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Antefix  

Nancy A. Winter

[antefixum; pl. antefixes, antefixa]. Plaque closing the outer end of the final cover tile in each row of overlapping cover tiles running down from the ridge to the eaves of a sloped roof on Classical Greek and Roman and on Neo-classical buildings. Its practical functions were to prevent rain from penetrating below the cover tile and seeping through the opening between the adjacent pan tiles beneath, and to prevent wind from dislodging the row of cover tiles. Although functional in origin, the antefix soon also became a decorative element adorned with relief and/or painted decoration. The size and shape of early examples was determined by that of the cover tile, but by ...

Article

Thomas J. McCormick

French architect, archaeologist and painter. He was an important if controversial figure associated with the development of the Neo-classical style of architecture and interior design and its dissemination throughout Europe and the USA. He studied at the Académie Royale d’Architecture, Paris, under Germain Boffrand and won the Grand Prix in ...

Article

John Wilton-Ely

Type of delicate, painted Neo-classical decoration, derived mainly from the shapes, motifs and colours of antique vases. It was part of the quest in Europe in the last quarter of the 18th century for a contemporary expression in interior design and the applied arts. The term is applied loosely to various schemes of decoration inspired by Classical sources, involving Renaissance ...

Article

German archaeologist and architect. He studied architecture at the Karls-Akademie in Karlsruhe and with David Gilly at the Bauakademie in Berlin. In 1808 he visited Italy. For a short while he worked as a building official in Nuremberg, but only a small number of his designs were executed. In ...

Article

David Rodgers

Scottish painter, archaeologist and dealer, active in Italy. He was educated at Glasgow University and in 1748 arrived in Rome to study portrait painting under Agostino Masucci. He lodged with the architects James Stuart and Nicholas Revett; they probably encouraged him to visit Herculaneum and the recently discovered archaeological site of Pompeii, which had a profound effect on his subsequent career. Convinced that ‘the ancients have surpassed the moderns, both in painting and sculpture’, Hamilton undertook a systematic study of Classical antiquities during the 1750s and 1760s. In ...

Article

Mark D. Fullerton

Greek sculptor and writer from South Italy. He is generally regarded as the head of a school producing eclectic, neo-classical statuary related to Neo-Attic decorative reliefs. Virtually everything known about Pasiteles is derived from a few literary references. No signatures of his are extant, although a marble statue of a youth (...

Article

David Watkin

English architect and archaeologist. Stuart, called ‘Athenian’ in his lifetime, achieved an international reputation as the author, with Nicholas Revett, of the Antiquities of Athens, in four volumes (1762–1816), the first accurate record of Classical Greek architecture. Second in importance only to the writings of Winckelmann in promoting enthusiasm throughout 18th-century Europe for the notion of a Greek ideal, it was these measured drawings and topographical views that were used as a basis for the ...

Article

German art historian. His writings on the sculpture of ancient Greece and Rome redefined the history of art and provided a theoretical apologia for Neo-classicism. Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums (1764) was a standard reference on the art of the ancient world until well into the 19th century. Winckelmann revolutionized archaeological studies by providing a framework for stylistic classification of antiquities by period of origin, whereas previous antiquarian scholars had concerned themselves almost exclusively with questions of subject-matter. His analysis of the aesthetics of Greek art and his account of the conditions that encouraged its flowering, which highlighted the importance of climate and the political freedom of the ancient Greek city states, had a major impact in the art world of his time. His scholarly celebrations of masterpieces of ancient sculpture were particularly popular and were widely quoted in travel books and artistic treatises....