Tag Archives: 15th Century

1437: Freeing the Poor

Sassetta: The Blessed Ranieri Frees the Poor from a Prison in Florence (1437-44) This painting—now in the Louvre—was once part of an elaborate altarpiece in the Church of S. Francesco in Sansepolcro, Tuscany. The altarpiece contained 60 images and was … Continue reading

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1495: Weighing Souls

Juan de la Abadía (the Elder): Saint Michael Weighing Souls (c. 1480-1495) (source) Note the Devil trying to cheat by pushing down the scale; St Michael doesn’t like this and points his spear threateningly.

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1435: The Liberal Arts

Giovanni dal Ponte- The Seven Liberal Arts (c. 1435) (source) Each allegorical figure is accompanied by a historical luminary who also represents the discipline: From left to right: 1) Grammar with Donatus (4th century) or Priscian (5th and 6th centuries), … Continue reading

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15th Century: Angel

Illustration from the Aurora Consurgens, a 15th century alchemical treatise once attributed to Thomas Aquinas.

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1475: Battle of the Nudes

Antonio del Pollaiuolo: Battle of the Nudes (c. 1470-1475)

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1321: Kleptomania

In Some Observations Made in Travelling Through France, Italy, &c. in the Years 1720, 1721 and 1722, Edward Wright relates being told in Florence about one of Dante’s bad habits: This great man, we are told, had a most unhappy … Continue reading

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1400: Rain God

This Mixtec figure from the Middle Post Classic Period (1200-1400) represents a person impersonating a deity—a practice whereby the god would have been brought into the world of human experience. The undersized symbolic weapon and shield, as well as the … Continue reading

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