Michelangelo’s Signature

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Michelangelo signed only one work with his name, the Pietà in Saint Peter’s Basilica. As his first public commission in Rome, the sculpture gave the young artist an opportunity to establish his reputation and public image. The band across the Virgin’s chest serves no other function than to hold Michelangelo’s signature, which was not added as an afterthought as Vasari claimed in his 1568 biography of the artist. Although Michelangelo had carefully planned his inscription, its style of execution suggests letters that are spontaneously written, not carved.

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The Michael Wood Mystery: William Cecil and the Lincolnshire Printing of John Day

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John Day is perhaps best known as the printer of John Foxe’s Actes and Monuments, usually referred to as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Other lucrative Elizabethan patents held by John Day, such as those for the Metrical Psalms, the ABC, and the Catechism, ensured considerable financial return and a revered, if not envied, status among Elizabethan printers. Only the Queen’s Printer, Christopher Barker, could compare with Day’s volume of output; each man printed in excess of 350 works. Scholarship has primarily focused upon Day’s Edwardian and Elizabethan activities.

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Francisco de Sotomayor and Nascent Urbanism in Sixteenth-Century Madrid

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This article examines a document in the Spanish National Archive at Simancas, which entails a list of urban reform projects for Madrid in its early years as both court and de facto capital of the Spanish Habsburg monarchy. Herein, the document is dated to 1565 and attributed to Francisco de Sotomayor, a corregidor, or royal governor of the city appointed by Philip II. Sotomayor’s report on urban reforms was informed by years of service in Madrid both in government and in the royal works.

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Gender and the Rhetoric of Martyrdom in Jean Crespin’s Histoire des vrays tesmoins

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In sixteenth-century France many Protestant women took an active role in the defense of their religious convictions. The French Protestant martyrologist Jean Crespin recounted the stories of numerous women who became martyrs for this cause. A problem arose, however, as female martyrs abandoned home and family, thus challenging the gendered social order. As the martyrologies had a didactic function, images of exemplary women needed to be constructed so as not to threaten prescribed gender roles but also not undermine the power of the martyr.

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Wolsey, More, and the Unity of Christendom

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An irony of Thomas Wolsey’s fall and, soon thereafter, of Thomas More’s resignation of the chancellorship is that, in using the office of chancellor to advance and defend the interests of Catholic orthodoxy, first Wolsey and then More was defeated by the contradictory demands of a king who aspired to be a faithful son of the church yet imperial in his own realm. Wolsey was ruined in the futile endeavor of obtaining the annulment that the king desired under constraints imposed by the papacy’s rights and privileges inside England.

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An Antiquarian Scholar between Text and Image? Justus Lipsius, Humanist Education, and the Visualization of Ancient Rome

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Humanist scholar and pedagogue Justus Lipsius (1547–1606) cherished the overly ambitious project to compose a true Fax historica, a comprehensive synthesis of Roman, Greek, Jewish, Egyptian, Persian, Macedonian, and Spanish history, together with their institutions and customs. In the Italian antiquarian tradition, Lipsius collected appropriate illustrations for his thematic commentaries on the writings of ancient historiographers and illustrated them with special care.

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The Magdeburg Cathedral Pastor Siegfried Saccus and Development of the Lutheran Funeral Biography

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Some early Lutheran funerals for rulers and reformers included Latin funeral orations as part of the religious funeral ceremonies. This provided the impetus for the second generation of Lutheran pastors to include biographical information, in the rhetorical pattern of the oration, as part of their funeral sermons. The funeral sermons of the Magdeburg cathedral pastor Siegfried Saccus (1527–96) provide a clear example of the varied homiletic possibilities in this newly emerging tradition.

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