This French, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and German surname of ANDRESON was originally derived from the Greek Andreas, a name meaning manly. It was the name of the first of Jesus Christ's disciples, which is known in various local forms throughout Christendom. The disciple is the patron saint of Scotland and there is a legend that his relics were brought to Scotland in the 4th century by a certain St. Regulus. He is also the patron saint of Russia. The name was popular in Eastern Europe and in Poland. The name has numerous variant spellings which include ANDREA, AINDRIAS, AINDRIU, ANDRE, ANDREIX, ANDREY, ANDREZ, ANDREW, ANDRES and ANDREI, to name but a few. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. A notable member of the name was da Firenza ANDREA (c.l343-l377) the Florentine painter. His most famous work is the monumental frescoe cycle in the Spanish chapel of the Dominican Church of Saint Maria Novella in Florence painted about l366-l368. These paintings, an elaborate celebration of the Dominican doctrine are the most unusual and impressive mural scheme of the time : the whole interior surface of the building is covered with descriptive scenes, painted in a meticulously detailed but severe and somewhat rigid style. Many panel paintings of varying quality are attributed to him but, his only other documented work is the "Life of Saint Ramieri" frescoes in the Camposanto in Pisa completed in l377.
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