A donor portrait or votive portrait is a portrait in a larger painting or other work showing the person who commissioned and paid for the image, or a member of his, or her, family. Donor portrait refers to the portrait or portraits of donors alone, as a section of a larger work, whereas votive portrait may refer to a whole work of art intended as an ex-voto, including for example a Madonna if the donor is prominent; the terms are not used consistently by art historians, as Angela Marisol Roberts points out, may be used for smaller religious subjects that were made to be retained by the commissioner rather than donated to a church. Donor portraits are common in religious works of art paintings, of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the donor shown kneeling to one side, in the foreground of the image. Late into the Renaissance, the donor portraits when of a whole family, will be at a much smaller scale than the principal figures, in defiance of linear perspective. By the mid-15th century donors began to be shown integrated into the main scene, as bystanders and participants.
The purpose of donor portraits was to memorialize the donor and his family, to solicit prayers for them after their death. Gifts to the church of buildings, altarpieces, or large areas of stained glass were accompanied by a bequest or condition that masses for the donor be said in perpetuity, portraits of the persons concerned were thought to encourage prayers on their behalf during these, at other times. Displaying portraits in a public place was an expression of social status. Furthermore, donor portraits in Early Netherlandish painting suggest that their additional purpose was to serve as role models for the praying beholder during his own emotional meditation and prayer – not in order to be imitated as ideal persons like the painted Saints but to serve as a mirror for the recipient to reflect on himself and his sinful status, ideally leading him to a knowledge of himself and God. To do so during prayer is in accord with late medieval concepts of prayer developed by the Modern Devotion.
This process may be intensified. When a whole building was financed, a sculpture of the patron might be included on the facade or elsewhere in the building. Jan van Eyck's Rolin Madonna is a small painting where the donor Nicolas Rolin shares the painting space with the Madonna and Child, but Rolin had given great sums to his parish church, where it was hung, represented by the church above his praying hands in the townscape behind him. Sometimes, as in the Ghent Altarpiece, the donors were shown on the closed view of an altarpiece with movable wings, or on both the side panels, as in the Portinari Altarpiece and the Memlings above, or just on one side, as in the Merode Altarpiece. If they are on different sides, the males are on the left for the viewer, the honorific right-hand placement within the picture space. In family groups the figures are divided by gender. Groups of members of confraternities, sometimes with their wives, are found. Additional family members, from births or marriages, might be added and deaths might be recorded by the addition of small crosses held in the clasped hands.
At least in Northern Italy, as well as the grand altarpieces and frescos by leading masters that attract most art-historical attention, there was a more numerous group of small frescoes with a single saint and donor on side-walls, that were liable to be re-painted as soon as the number of candles lit before them fell off, or a wealthy donor needed the space for a large fresco-cycle, as portrayed in a 15th-century tale from Italy: And going around with the master mason, examining which figures to leave and which to destroy, the priest spotted a Saint Anthony and said:'Save this one.' He found a figure of Saint Sano and said:'This one is to be gotten rid of, since as long as I have been the Priest here I have never seen anyone light a candle in front of it, nor has it seemed to me useful. Donor portraits have a continuous history from late antiquity, the portrait in the 6th-century manuscript the Vienna Dioscurides may well reflect a long-established classical tradition, just as the author portraits found in the same manuscript are believed to do.
A painting in the Catacombs of Commodilla of 528 shows a throned Virgin and Child flanked by two saints, with Turtura, a female donor, in front of the left hand saint, who has his hand on her shoulder. Another tradition which had pre-Christian precedent was royal or imperial images showing the ruler with a religious figure Christ or the Virgin Mary in Christian examples, with the divine and royal figures shown communicating with each other in some way. Although none have survived, there is literary evidence of donor portraits in small chapels from the Early Christian period continuing the traditions of pagan temples; the 6th-century mosaic panels in the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna of the Emperor Justinian I and Empress Theodora with courtiers are not of the type showing the ruler receiving divine approval, but each show one of the imperial couple standing confidently with a group of attendants, looking out at the viewer. Their scale and composition are alone among large-scale survivals.
In Ravenna, there is a small mosaic of Justinian originally of Theoderic the Great in the Basilic
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the established Kingdom of Italy; the Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. The city attracts millions of tourists each year, the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982; the city is noted for Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.
The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. Florence originated as a Roman city, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries; the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, still is, accepted as the Italian language. All the writers and poets in Italian literature of the golden age are in some way connected with Florence, leading to the adoption of the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, as a literary language of choice.
Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, they financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families. Lorenzo de' Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century: Leo X and Clement VII. Catherine de Medici married King Henry II of France and, after his death in, reigned as regent in France. Marie de' Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future King Louis XIII; the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de' Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici in 1737.
The Etruscans formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole, destroyed by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC in reprisal for supporting the populares faction in Rome. The present city of Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers and was named Fluentia, owing to the fact that it was built between two rivers, changed to Florentia, it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement became an important commercial centre. In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent periods of Ostrogothic rule, during which the city was troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, which may have caused the population to fall to as few as 1,000 people. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital.
The population began to grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county. Margrave Hugo chose Florence as his residency instead of Lucca at about 1000 AD; the Golden Age of Florentine art began around this time. In 1013, construction began on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte; the exterior of the church was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. In 1100, Florence was a "Commune"; the city's primary resource was the Arno river, providing power and access for the industry, access to the Mediterranean sea for international trade. Another great source of strength was its industrious merchant community; the Florentine merchant banking skills became recognised in Europe after they brought decisive financial innovation to medieval fairs. This period saw the eclipse of Florence's powerful rival Pisa, the exercise of power by the mercantile elite following an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, that resulted in a set of laws called the Ordinances of Justice.
Of a population estimated at 94,00
Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
A saint is a person, recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation. While the English word saint originated in Christianity, historians of religion now use the appellation "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people", with the Jewish tzadik, the Islamic walī, the Hindu rishi or Sikh guru, the Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva being referred to as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, as in the Catholic faith, or by popular acclamation; the English word "saint" comes from the Latin "sanctus". The word translated in Greek is "ἅγιος", which means "holy"; the word ἅγιος appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament, its English translation 60 times in the corresponding text of the King James Version of the Bible.
The word sanctus was a technical one in ancient Roman religion, but due to its "globalized" use in Christianity the modern word "saint" in English and its equivalent in Romance languages is now used as a translation of comparable terms for persons "worthy of veneration for their holiness or sanctity" in other religions. Many religions use similar concepts to venerate persons worthy of some honor. Author John A. Coleman S. J. of the Graduate Theological Union, California wrote that saints across various cultures and religions have the following family resemblances: exemplary model extraordinary teacher wonder worker or source of benevolent power intercessor a life refusing material attachments or comforts possession of a special and revelatory relation to the holy. The anthropologist Lawrence Babb in an article about Sathya Sai Baba asks the question "Who is a saint?", responds by saying that in the symbolic infrastructure of some religions, there is the image of a certain extraordinary spiritual king's "miraculous powers", to whom a certain moral presence is attributed.
These saintly figures, he asserts, are "the focal points of spiritual force-fields". They exert "powerful attractive influence on followers but touch the inner lives of others in transforming ways as well". According to the Catholic Church, a "saint" is anyone in Heaven, whether recognized on Earth or not, who form the "great cloud of witnesses"; these "may include our own mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones" who may have not always lived perfect lives but "amid their faults and failings they kept moving forward and proved pleasing to the Lord". The title "Saint" denotes a person, formally canonized, authoritatively declared a saint, by the Church as holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, is therefore believed to be in Heaven by the grace of God. There are many persons that the Church believes to be in Heaven who have not been formally canonized and who are otherwise titled "saints" because of the fame of their holiness. Sometimes the word "saint" denotes living Christians. In his book Saint of the Day, editor Leonard Foley, OFM says this: the " surrender to God's love was so generous an approach to the total surrender of Jesus that the Church recognizes them as heroes and heroines worthy to be held up for our inspiration.
They remind us that the Church is holy, can never stop being holy and is called to show the holiness of God by living the life of Christ."The Catholic Church teaches that it does not "make" or "create" saints, but rather recognizes them. Proofs of heroicity required in the process of beatification will serve to illustrate in detail the general principles exposed above upon proof of their "holiness" or likeness to God. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Chapter 2, Article 1, 61, "The patriarchs and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the church's liturgical traditions." On 3 January 993, Pope John XV became the first pope to proclaim a person a "saint" from outside the diocese of Rome: on the petition of the German ruler, he had canonized Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg. Before that time, the popular "cults", or venerations, of saints had been local and spontaneous and were confirmed by the local bishop. Pope John XVIII subsequently permitted a cult of five Polish martyrs.
Pope Benedict VIII declared the Armenian hermit Symeon to be a saint, but it was not until the pontificate of Pope Innocent III that the Popes reserved to themselves the exclusive authority to canonize saints, so that local bishops needed the confirmation of the Pope. Walter of Pontoise was the last person in Western Europe to be canonized by an authority other than the Pope: Hugh de Boves, the Archbishop of Rouen, canonized him in 1153. Thenceforth a decree of Pope Alexander III in 1170 reserved the prerogative of canonization to the Pope, insofar as the Latin Church was concerned. One source claims that "there are over 10,000 named saints and beatified people from history, the Roman Martyrology and Orthodox sources, but no definitive head count". Alban Butler published Lives of the Saints including a total of 1,486 saints; the latest revision of this book, edited by the Jesuit Herbert Thurston and the British author Donald Attwater, contains the lives of 2,565 saints. Monsign
San Pier Maggiore, Florence
San Pier Maggiore was a church in Florence, central Italy destroyed in the 18th century. A benedictine convent was established on the site in 1067, with a gothic church being built in the 14th Century and completed in 1352, it was rebuilt in 1638 before being demolished in 1784. Three arches of the portico remain with two being occupied by houses; the multi panelled altarpiece by Jacopo di Cione and Niccolò di Pietro Gerini or Niccolò di Tommaso was completed in 1371. Other artworks in the church included Botticini's Assumption of the Virgin and Francesco Granacci's The Madonna of the Girdle and The Visitation by Maso da San Friano
Francesco di Giovanni Botticini referred to as Francesco Botticini, was an Italian Early Renaissance painter. He was born in Florence and remained active as a painter until his death in 1498, he studied in the workshops of Cosimo Rosselli and Andrea del Verrocchio. He established his own Florentine workshop after a brief period as Neri di Bicci's assistant. Although there are few works attributed to Botticini directly, in recent years historians have unearthed of a considerable number of works that were authored by Botticini. Since the assembly of the complete record of his works, he is viewed as a remarkable minor master of Renaissance Art. Botticini's best known works are the Tabernacle of the Sacrament, Assumption of the Virgin and Madonna Child in Glory with Saint Mary Magdalen and Saint Bernard. Francesco Botticini was born in 1446 in Florence, his father, Giovanni di Domenico di Piero, was a painter. Giovanni's connections in the art world at that time led to the opportunity for Francesco to become a paid assistant to Neri di Bicci.
He began as an assistant in the prosperous workshop on 22 July 1459 under a contract of one year of training. At this time Francesco was 13 years of age; the group of talented artists in the workshop led to important exposure for the young Botticini. Despite the one-year contract, Francesco left Bicci's workshop in July 1460 after only nine months of training. Scholars account for his early independence by pointing to the influence of his father's painting career and connections to other artists; when he left Bicci's workshop, it is believed that he spent considerable time in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio, alongside many of his famous contemporaries, including Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo di Credi, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Perugino. However, there is no documentary evidence. Direct evidence of their relationship during this time is found in Francesco's collaboration with Verrocchio on works, the influence of Verrocchio's style on Francesco's paintings. Due to the competition of other talented artists present in the workshop, in 1469 Botticini opened up his own workshop, as reported in an arbitration document of the year.
However, his working relationship with Verrocchio continued until at least 1475. Francesco remained close with his father Giovanni di Domenico, who oversaw his working contracts until 1475. In 1475, Francesco filed for emancipation from paternal authority, granted in 1477 according to legal records. On 16 January 1498, Francesco Botticini died in Florence, Italy at the age of 51. At the time he was in the process of working on the monumental Tabernacle of the Sacrament for the collegiate church of Empoli, his son, Raffaello Botticini, was commissioned to finish the altarpiece after his death. The Tabernacle of the Sacrament was commissioned as an altarpiece for the high altar of the church in Empoli, Italy; this remains as one of Botticini's most notable works. Saint Andrew is pictured on the left of the ciborium. Saint Andrew was the patron saint of the church at the time. On the right of the ciborium, the home of the Eucharist, is a painting of Saint John the Baptist. Below the two main pictures are three smaller paintings in the predella.
On the left the Martyrdom of St. Andrew is depicted, directly below the painting of the Saint. In the center the Last Supper is found, with the martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist in the compartment to the right, below the larger painting of Saint John the Baptist; the paintings are enclosed in a wooden frame, carved and gilded. The altarpiece was set to be completed by 15 August 1486, however it was not installed in the church until 1491; the work was not complete until 1504 when the church commissioned Francesco Botticini's son, Raffaello, to complete the work in accordance with the original contract. The Assumption of the Virgin is Francesco Botticini's most famous work, it was first attributed to Sandro Botticelli in Vasari's The Lives of the Artists but has since been confirmed to be Botticini's work by art historians. Botticini began working on the painting in early 1475, completed it two years in 1477; the piece was commissioned by his wife Niccolosa de'Serragli. It hung in the church of S. Pier Maggiore in Florence, where Palmieri was buried, although records indicate this was not the original destination for the work.
The painting can now be found in the National London. The painting has the same dimensions of the Last Judgment by Hans Memling; the subject of the painting was influenced by the patrons, who are depicted kneeling on either side of the Assumption. Niccolosa de'Serragli is pictured dressed despite never being a nun during her lifetime; this may be explained through her active role in the decision making of the painting after the death of her husband. The background of the painting connects directly to the patrons as it includes views of Florence; the inclusion suggests. One of Palmieri's properties on the Fiesole is included; the white farm in the landscape is meant to resemble the farm included in Serrageli's dowry. The painting's subject resembles the last stanza of Palmeri's Città di Vita poem which discusses the reception of the Virgin Mary as the Queen of Heaven; the painting illustrates a clear separation between earth. Scholars believe that Botticini was forced to exaggerate the division in order to comply with the poet's wishes.
In heaven, nine tiers of angels and saints intermingle. Martin Davies believes that the intermingling represented the changing of angels back to saints when they refused to take sides over