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1430 - 1439
English language
Modern English
Order of the Golden Fleece
Rublev Andrei
Andrei Rublev
Desiderio da Settignano
Desiderio da Settignano
Antonello da Messina
Antonello da Messina
Eugene IV
Villon Francois
Francois Villon  "Ballades"
Mantegna Andrea
Andrea Mantegna
Pollaiuolo Antonio
Antonio del Pollaiuolo
University of Poitiers
University of Caen
Cabral Gonzalo
Hans Memling
Double-headed eagle
Wladislav III, King of Poland
Battle of Lipany
Prokop the Bald
Cosimo di Medici
Eanes Gil
Cape Bojador
Treaty of Arras
Lombardo Pietro
Pietro Lombardo
Robbia Andrea della
Andrea della Robbia
Niccolo dell’Arca
Niccolo dell’Arca
Froment Nicolas
Nicolas Froment
Verrocchio Andrea del
Andrea del Verrocchio
Pacher Michael
Michael Pacher
Bernt Notke
Battle of Piperdean
San Marco, Florence
James II of Scotland
Albert II of Germany
Quercia Jacopo della
Jacopo della Quercia
Jama Masjid
Souls' College
Dauphin of France
Francesco di Giorgio
Francesco di Giorgio
YEAR BY YEAR:  1400 - 1499
1436 - 1437
Battle of Piperdean

The Battle of Piperdean (1436) was an engagement in the Scottish Borders, fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England.

An English force led by George de Dunbar, 11th Earl of March and Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland attempted to take the forfeited Dunbar's Castle of Dunbar, back from William Douglas, 2nd Earl of Angus who as Warden of the Scottish Marches had invested the castle the previous summer. Percy and Dunbar came north with some 4000 men.

Angus did not want to undergo a siege, and decided to pre-empt the English by attacking them en route. An army of roughly he same force surprised the English, under Angus, Adam Hepburn of Hailes, Alexander Elphinstone of that ilk and Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie.

  Although an overwhelming Scots victory, here is some confusion as to casualties and prisoners taken. Ridpath states that the Scots lost 200 men including Elphinstone, with Brenan concurring about this 'trifling' amount, whilst stating that the English fatalities were to the tune of 1500 men, including 40 knights. Balfour Paul disagrees citing Walter Bower's Scotichronicon, stating that the slain on the field of both sides amounted to only forty, but with 1500 taken prisoner.

Northumberland retreated to Alnwick Castle, but it was not long before he returned to Scotland to successfully relieve Roxburgh Castle, under besiegement by King James.

Compact of Iglau ends Hussite Wars, Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor being acknowledged as King of Bohemia
Hussite Wars
Angelico Fra  works at the San Marco Monastery, Florence
San Marco, Florence

San Marco is the name of a religious complex in Florence, Italy. It comprises a church and a convent. The convent, which is now a museum, has three claims to fame: during the 15th century it was home to two famous Dominicans, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher, Girolamo Savonarola. Also housed at the convent is a famous collection of manuscripts in a library built by Michelozzo.


The present convent occupies the site where a Vallombrosan monastery existed in the 12th century, which later passed to Benedictine monks of the Silvestrine line. In 1435 the Benedictines were replaced by Dominicans from the Convent of San Domenico in Fiesole. Two years later, they appealed to Cosimo de' Medici the Elder, who lived nearby in the family palace, now known as the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, to fund the renovation of the entire complex. The works were entrusted to Michelozzo. Each cell of the monks cloister and many other walls were decorated by Fra Angelico in collaboration with others, including Benozzo Gozzoli. Cosimo de' Medici had a cell at the convent for his personal retreat.

San Marco is famous as the seat of Girolamo Savonarola's discourses during his short spiritual rule in Florence in the late 15th century.


The façade and the bell tower of San Marco in Florence.
The church was consecrated in 1443, in the presence of Pope Eugene IV. It has a single nave with side chapels designed in the late 16th century by Giambologna, and housing paintings from the 16th–17th centuries. In the late 17th century the tribune and the carved ceiling were also realized. A further renovation was carried on in 1678 by Pier Francesco Silvani. The façade, in Neo-Classical style, was built in 1777–1778. Among the artworks, the most ancient is a 14th century crucifix in the counter-façade. The crucifix on the high altar is by Angelico (1425–1428). In the first altar to the right is St. Thomas Praying by Santi di Tito from 1593, while on the second altar is a Madonna with Saints by Fra Bartolomeo.
  Giambologna completed the Cappella di Sant'Antonino (also known as Salviati Chapel) in May 1589. The Salviati family had been linked by marriage to the Medici (Pope Leo XI was the son of Francesca Salviati, the daughter of Giacomo Salviati and Lucrezia de' Medici. The interior was decorated in fresco with a Translation and Funeral of St. Antonino Perozzi by Domenico Passignano. The dome of the chapel is by Bernardino Poccetti, also author of frescoes in the Sacrament Chapel. The latter also has canvases by Santi di Tito, Crespi, Francesco Morandini, Jacopo da Empoli, and Francesco Curradi.

Significant figures buried in San Marco include Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and the poet Angelo Poliziano.

Last Judgement by
Fra Angelico
Museo di San Marco, Florence
Michelozzo built for Cosimo de' Medici a sober, though comfortable, Renaissance edifice, including the elegant cloister and, above all, the Library, which, under the reign of Lorenzo il Magnifico became one of the favourite meeting points for Florentine humanists such as Poliziano and Pico della Mirandola, who could conveniently consult here texts in Latin and Greek language.

The convent was stripped from the Dominicans in 1808, during the Napoleonic Wars, and again in 1866, when it became a possession of the state.

The convent is now home to the Museo Nazionale di San Marco. The entrance to the museum is from the so-called Cloister of St. Antoninus, frescoed by Bernardino Poccetti in the 16th-17th century.

  The museum houses the major collection of works by Fra Angelico.
Panel paintings included the Deposition executed for Palla Strozzi, the San Marco Altarpiece commissioned by the Medici in 1440, and a Tabernacle of the Linaioli (1433–1435) whose frame was designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti. There are also a great number of small frescoes by Angelico and his assistants in the monastic cells and a number of larger frescoes including the Annunciation. His masterwork is the complex Crucifixion in the Capitular Hall, finished in 1442.

The museum exhibits works by other artists including Domenico Ghirlandaio, a reduced scale version of the Last Supper in the church of Ognissanti; Alesso Baldovinetti, Giovanni Antonio Sogliani and Fra Bartolomeo. The cells where Girolamo Savonarola lived can also be visited.


Pala di Santa Trinita
Deposition by
Fra Angelico
Museo di San Marco, Florence
The Deposition from the Cross is a painting of the Deposition of Christ by the Italian Renaissance master Fra Angelico, executed between 1432 and 1434. It is now housed in the National Museum of San Marco, Florence.

Giorgio Vasari defined it to have been “painted by a saint or an angel”.

Angelico intervened to complete this altarpiece when it had been already begun by Lorenzo Monaco for the Strozzi Chapel in the Florentine church of Santa Trinita. It portrays Christ supported by several people, with Mary Magdalene keeping his feet, as a symbol of human repention. A figure on the right, with a red hat, is showing the cross' nails and the horns crown, symbols of passion and sacrifice.

Mary, wearing a dark dress, is showed in the traditional gesture of keeping hands joined.


Madonna with the Child, Saints and Crucifixion by
Fra Angelico
Museo di San Marco, Florence
San Marco Altarpiece
The San Marco Altarpiece (also known as Madonna and Saints) is a painting by the Italian early Renaissance painter Fra Angelico, housed in the San Marco Museum of Florence, Italy. It was commissioned by Cosimo de' Medici the Elder, and was completed sometime between 1438 and 1443. In addition to the main panel depicting the enthroned Virgin and Child surrounded by Angels and Saints, there were 9 predella panels accompanying it, narrating the legend of the patron saints, Saints Cosmas and Damian. Only the main panel and two predella panels actually remain in the Convent of San Marco, Florence, Italy, today. The San Marco Altarpiece is known as one of the best early Renaissance paintings for its employment of metaphor and perspective, Trompe l'oeil, and the intertwining of Dominican religious themes and symbols with contemporary, political messages.
The San Marco Altarpiece depicts a portrait of the Virgin and Child seated on a throne surrounded by saints and angels. The formal elements are innovative for a contemporary Virgin and Child altarpiece as the positioning of the characters creates a deeply-receding and logical space in front of the landscape background. The pomegranate embroidered curtain behind the Virgin and Child establishes a distinct horizontal line separating the events depicted in the painting from the landscape behind it. The altarpiece is situated on the then newly-invented single rectangular panel, which helps turn a typical easel painting into the principle image of the altarpiece.

Representing the figures set within a coherent pictorial space was also a new technique Angelico employed. While partially covered by the saints and angels, there is a definite line created by the carpet's receding squares in the foreground adding depth to the painting. Angelico's use of space is exceptional as he creates a sense of balance on both sides of the Virgin and Child, but also leaves available space on the carpet approaching the Virgin and Child so the viewer does not feel blocked or overwhelmed.
This symmetry and order would allow worshippers to clearly view the painting from afar. He also employs naturalistic effects of light and color combined with a variety of colors and patterns. The natural colors contribute to the slightly darker complexion of the painting, which may accentuate the sacred holiness of the moment.
  His usage of the red and blue traditional colors of the Virgin and Saints Cosmas and Damian are noteworthy. By dressing both kneeling saints as well as several of the angels in red, Angelico creates a vertical link and further geometric stability. The symmetry resulting from the figures and colors allows the viewer to zoom-in and creates a smooth, continuous movement from figure to figure, eventually arriving at the Virgin and Child in the center. On the right, Saint Damian kneels on an inward angle towards the center praising the Virgin and Child, which draws the viewer's eyes towards the painting's vanishing point at the Virgin's chin. The Virgin and Child are featured precisely at the vertical and horizontal axes' intersecting points and are placed above Angelico's Trompe l'oeil depiction of the crucifixion. One may criticize Angelico for his imperfect use of scale. Though they are sitting on a pedestal, the Virgin and Child do not seem much larger than the rest of the characters, showing a lack of a scale setting the main subjects apart from other mortals. If anything, the Virgin and Child should be smaller due to their increased distance from the viewer. While he does create a sense of depth, the distance to approach the throne is minimal, which some historians perceive as a lack of awe for the holy figures. The altarpiece is thus seen as a radical departure from the vulnerable models known in Dominican art. One should also note that the San Marco Altarpiece is one of the earliest examples of sacra conversazione (sacred conversation), a type of image showing the Virgin and Child amongst saints in a unified space and single pictorial field, rather than setting them completely apart.

St. Peter of Verona Triptych by Fra Angelico
Museo di San Marco, Florence
The St. Peter of Verona Triptych (Italian: Trittico di San Pietro Martire) is a painting by the Italian early Renaissance master Fra Angelico, executed around 1428-1429.
It is housed in the National Museum of San Marco, Florence, central Italy.

The work is Fra Angelico's first documented work. It comes from the convent of San Pietro Martire and a document from 30 March 1429 notes a sum of 20 florins owed to the convent of San Domenico, Fiesole, where the painter was a monk.

According to some art historians, it could be contemporary of the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne by Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale (1424-1425), although it lacks the use of compartments which at the time were widespread.

In the center of the work is a Maestŕ (Madonna Enthroned with Child) and, at the sides, are the Saints Dominic, John the Baptist, Peter of Verona and Thomas of Aquino. In the cusps are lobed tondoes with the Annunciation Angel, the Annunciation and, in the center, Blessing Christ. Between the cusps are scenes of the life of St. Peter of Verona (Predication and Martyrdom). The Madonna sits on a brocaded seat, with the Child standing on her knees. She is holding an ampulla, a reference to Mary Magdalene's ampulla and thus to Jesus' passion. The Child wears a tunic with rich golden decoration. His hand holds a globe, a symbol of his power, while the other hands is raised in a blessing gesture. The relative lack of decoration, compared to Angelico's earlier Fiesole Altarpiece (1424-1425), which was still heavily based on Gentile da Fabriano's style, show the growing influence of Masaccio and a more realistic approach.
The Tabernacle of the Linaioli (Italian: Tabernacolo dei Linaioli, literally "Tabernacle of the Linemakers") is a marble aedicula designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, with paintings by Fra Angelico, dating to 1432-1433. It is housed in the National Museum of San Marco, Florence, central Italy.

Tabernacle of the Linaioli
Fra Angelico and Lorenzo Ghiberti
The tabernacle was commissioned for the exterior of the seat of the Linaioli (the guild of line workers in Florence), in the former Old Market, in the October 1432. The marble parts were executed by Simone di Nanni da Fiesole, under design by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The contract for the internal paintings was signed by Angelico on 2 July 1433, for a total of 190 golden florins. The predella is generally dated to 1433-1435. The work was a large one, comparable only to Cimabue's Santa Trinita Maestŕ or Duccio di Buoninsegna's Rucellai Madonna. It has been speculated that the marble frame was sized according to a pre-existing painting, which was later replaced by Fra Angelico's, or that the size was inspired by that of the statues in Orsanmichele niches. Work had been moved to the Palazzo della Borsa as early as 1777, together with other works commissioned by the city's guilds. In that year it was transferred to the Uffizi, whence it was transferred to the current location in 1924.

The tabernacle is composed of a rectangular marble frame, with a triangular top with a sculpted almond depicting the "Blessing Christ and Cherubims". In the center, within an arched opening, are Fra Angelico's panel of the Maestŕ with twelve musician angels. At the front are two shutter panels with further paintings of saints. These are, internally, St. John the Baptist (left) and St. John the Evangelist (right); and externally St. Mark the Evangelist (left) and St. Peter (right). The panels are completed by a predella, placed below, with three scenes of St. Peter Dictating the Gospel to St. Mark, Adoration of the Magi and Martyrdom of St. Mark. The figure of Mark is recurrent due to his status as the patron of the corporation which commissioned the work.
The central panel, although damaged, has a style similar to Angelico's early works, with a marble step over which is the throne. Behind two draperies (perhaps a hint to the guild's textile activities) is a ceiling painted in blue with stars and the Holy Spirit dove, which is similar to Masolino's Annunciation in Washington, DC.


The Annunciation
by Fra Angelico
late 1430s
Convento di San Marco, Florence
The Annunciation. This is a fresco in a corridor of the San Marco convent in Florence. Mary and the angel greet each other devoutly. In the background Fra Angelico painted typical Tuscan cypresses.

The purpose of the black lines between the arcs of the loggia is unclear. They do show that Angelico had good control of linear perspective.

Fra Angelico spent most of his life in the San Marco convent. He and his assistants decorated the walls between 1438 and 1450. For the fresco's in the monks' cells they used less expressive colours.


  Fra Angelico  
Gothic & Early Renaissance Art

James I, King of Scots  murdered at Perth; succeeded by James II (-1460)
James II of Scotland

James II (16 October 1430 – 3 August 1460), who reigned as king of Scots from 1437 on, was the son of James I and Joan Beaufort. Nothing is known of his early life, but by his first birthday his twin and only brother, Alexander, who was also the older twin, had died, thus making James the heir apparent and Duke of Rothesay. Curiously enough, James held no other titles while Duke of Rothesay. On 21 February 1437, James I was assassinated and the six-year-old Duke of Rothesay immediately succeeded him as James II.

  James II, (born Oct. 16, 1430, Edinburgh, Scot.—died Aug. 3, 1460, Roxburgh Castle, Roxburgh), king of Scots from 1437 to 1460. He survived the civil strife of the first half of his reign and eventually emerged as a masterful ruler who consolidated his power throughout the kingdom. The only surviving son of King James I, he succeeded to the throne at the age of six upon his father’s assassination (February 1437). Because he was too young to take control of the government, the strong central authority that his father had established quickly collapsed. In the ensuing turmoil three rival families—the Crichtons, the Livingstons, and the Douglases—fought to gain control of the young king. James finally assumed his royal duties upon his marriage to Mary of Gueldres in 1449. His first task was the restoration of monarchical authority. He immediately seized the Livingston estates, but he maintained an uneasy peace with the powerful Douglas family until 1450, when he quarreled with William, 8th Earl of Douglas. In February 1452 he stabbed the earl to death. Three years later James demolished the Douglas castles and confiscated their vast estates. The revenues from these lands enabled him to set up a strong central government and make improvements in the administration of justice. James then turned his attention to the English, who had renewed their claims to rule Scotland. He attacked English outposts in Scotland in 1456 and 1460. In the latter campaign he was killed during a siege of Roxburgh Castle.
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor d., last of the House of Luxembourg; succeeded as king of Hungary, Bohemia, and (1438) Germany by his son-in-law, Albert V
Albert II of Germany

Albert the Magnanimous KG (10 August 1397 – 27 October 1439) was King of Hungary from 1437 until his death. He was also King of Bohemia, elected (but never crowned) King of Germany as Albert II, duke of Luxembourg and, as Albert V, archduke of Austria from 1404.

Albert was born in Vienna as the son of Albert IV, Duke of Austria, and Johanna Sophia of Bavaria.

He succeeded to the Duchy of Austria at the age of seven on his father's death in 1404. His uncle Duke William of Inner Austria, then head of the rivaling Leopoldinian line, served as regent for his nephew, followed by his brothers Leopold IV and Ernest the Iron in 1406. The quarrels between the brothers and their continued attempts to gain control over the Albertinian territories led to civil war-like conditions. Nevertheless Albert, having received a good education, undertook the government of Austria proper on the occasion of Leopold's death in 1411 and succeeded, with the aid of his advisers, in ridding the duchy of the evils which had arisen during his minority.

In 1422 Albert married Elisabeth of Luxemburg, the daughter and heiress of the King Sigismund of Hungary (later also Holy Roman Emperor and Bohemia), and his second wife, the Slovenian noblewoman Barbara of Celje.

Though Elizabeth was not the daughter of Sigismund's first wife Mary of Hungary and thus not a member of the royal Angevin dynasty, she descended from the old Arpád kings of Hungary. Her paternal grandparents were Emperor Charles IV and Elizabeth of Pomerania. Her maternal grandfather was the Ban of Slavonia Count Herman II of Celje, whose parents were Count Herman I of Celje and Catherine of Bosnia, who apparently descended also from Nemanjić kings of Serbia and from Catherine of Hungary, a daughter of Stephen V of Hungary. In right of the paternal grandparents, she was, through Elizabeth of Pomerania, also heiress of Poland, of its Kujavian Piast branch of kings.
Thus, Albert's marriage brought him claims to several Slavic kingdoms and principalities.
Albert himself descended from Béla IV of Hungary through his daughter Ilona whose descendant was a princess of Brieg who became Albert's ancestress the countess of Hainaut and Holland, and from a younger sister of Queen Elisabeth of Bohemia, thus descending from both Constances of Hungary, and also from King Géza II of Hungary through his daughter Elisabeth who married Bedrich of Czech, their daughter being an ancestress of Albert's maternal Bavarian line.

Albert assisted his father-in-law Sigismund in his campaigns against the Hussites, involving the Austrian duchy in the Hussite Wars. In return Sigismund designated him as his successor and granted him the title of a Margrave of Moravia in 1423. The Austrian lands were devastated several times and Albert also participated in the 1431 Battle of Domažlice where the Imperial troops suffered an embarrassing defeat.

  When Sigismund died in 1437, Albert was crowned king of Hungary on 1 January 1438, and just as his predecessor did, he moved his court to the Hungarian Kingdom from where he later oversaw his other domains. Although crowned king of Bohemia six months after ascending to the Hungarian throne, he was unable to obtain possession of the country. He was engaged in warfare with the Bohemians and their Polish allies, when on 18 March 1438, he was chosen "King of the Romans" at Frankfurt, an honour which he does not appear to have sought. He thus was not crowned as Holy Roman Emperor.

Afterwards engaged in defending Hungary against the attacks of the Turks, he died on 27 October 1439 at Neszmély and was buried at Székesfehérvár. Albert was an energetic and warlike prince, whose short reign as a triple king gave great promise of usefulness for the Holy Roman Empire. Until its final dissolution in 1806 the House of Habsburg remained the ruling dynasty.

Expulsion of the Jews
Though the Jews in the Austrian duchy had been subject to local persecutions during the 13th and 14th century, their position remained relatively safe. Jewish communities prospered in several towns like Krems or the area around the Judenplatz at Vienna. During the confusion after the death of Duke Albert IV in 1404 their situation worsened sharply, culminating in the blaze of the Vienna synagogue on 5 November 1406, followed by riots and lootings. When Albert V came of age in 1411 and interfered in the Hussite Wars, he repeatedly established new taxes imposed on the Jewish community to finance his campaigns. On the other hand, after the Hussites had devastated the duchy, the Austrian Jews were accused of collaboration and arms trade in favour of the enemies. The accusations of a host desecration at Krems in 1420 gave Albert pretext for the destruction of the Jewish community.
  According to the 1463 Chronica Austriae by chronicler Thomas Ebendorfer the duke on 23 May 1420, at the behest of the Church, ordered the imprisonment and forcible conversion of the Jews. Those that had not converted or escaped were sent off in boats down the Danube, while wealthy Jews remained under arrest, several of them tortured and stripped of their property. The forced baptism of Jewish children was stopped on intervention by Pope Martin V.

On 12 March 1421 Albert sentenced the remaining Jews to death. 92 men and 120 women were burned at the stake south of the Vienna city walls on 12 March 1421. The Jews were placed under an "eternal ban" and their synagogue was demolished.

The persecutions in several Austrian towns are explicitly described in a 16th century script called Vienna Geserah.
Dunstable John develops counterpoint in musical composition
John Dunstable - Motets - Quam pulcra es

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