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Article

Gordon Campbell

Technical term, borrowed from Greek, for the ram’s head or goat’s head used to decorate altars in classical antiquity and revived in the Renaissance as an ornamental device, and used up to the 19th century on furniture and pottery.

Article

Steven F. Ostrow

Italian sculptor. According to Baglione, he went to Rome from his native Brescia as a youth. He studied anatomy and the art of ancient Rome, and he gained fame for his anatomical models and small bozzetti. His skill as a modeller resulted in several commissions from ...

Article

Nicholas Penny

Term used between the 15th and the 18th century to refer in a general way to the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. It was used to appeal to qualities and standards common, or thought to be common, to the art of that period. It was widely believed that such qualities should be revived, should inspire and (no less important) should control the productions of the modern artist. Progress in taste involved a return to the Antique. Such a vague index of excellence could not have survived for centuries had it not commanded general consent, and for this very reason it is fundamental to any understanding of European culture in this period. The Antique was indeed in many respects equivalent to the Classics—a category, quite as vague, that constituted the body of generally admired ancient Greek and Roman literature. These were also recommended as models, but for modern literature in the modern languages. Implicit in the pedagogic invocation of the Antique as a standard was the assumption that antique art was generally superior: it was not believed that all ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture were of the highest quality, but it was assumed that most of it was of high quality and worthy of special study. Moreover, within the four or more centuries of Greek and Roman civilization held up for special admiration, little development or variation was allowed for. This was certainly a false picture, but it is based on one important truth: patrons of high art of the Roman Empire and of the Hellenistic kingdoms seem to have acknowledged that certain models of excellence in art and architecture had been achieved that should be faithfully imitated and that could never be surpassed. It was indeed precisely because the concept of the superior ancient model was so powerful in antiquity that the Antique could reassume an equivalent role in the modern world....

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time....

Article

F. B. Sear, Dericksen Brinkerhoff and John Pinto

The summer palace of the emperor Hadrian, built between AD 118 and 134 and situated on an elevated plateau south-west of Tivoli. Its unusual architecture and wealth of sculpture and mosaics have fascinated artists and scholars since the Renaissance.

F. B. Sear

The buildings on the 120 ha site (...

Article

Gabriele Finaldi

Italian painter and printmaker. He occupies a pre-eminent position among Italian artists of the 15th century. The profound enthusiasm for the civilization of ancient Rome that infuses his entire oeuvre was unprecedented in a painter. In addition to its antiquarian content, his art is characterized by brilliant compositional solutions, the bold and innovative use of perspective and foreshortening and a precise and deliberate manner of execution, an aspect that was commented on during his lifetime. He was held in great esteem by his contemporaries for his learning and skill and, significantly, he is the only artist of the period to have left a small corpus of self-portraits: two in the Ovetari Chapel; his presumed self-portrait in the ...

Article

William E. Metcalf

Large medal struck normally in commemoration of an event or as a reward of merit and used here to refer to Roman pieces; for Renaissance and later periods see Medal.

In the standard study of Roman medallions, J. M. C. Toynbee struggled to distinguish them from coins on the one hand and medals on the other, while admitting that medallions share features of each. She defined medallions as monetiform (coinlike) pieces that do not correspond completely to a denomination in regular use; they were ‘struck by the Emperor for special or solemn commemoration’ and were intended as ‘individual, personal gifts, any idea of their circulation as currency being either wholly absent or, at the most, quite secondary and subordinate’. This functional definition omits mention of the high level of artistry that characterizes the pieces and constitutes the internal evidence for their status as presentation pieces. For while medallions were produced at imperial mints using the same techniques as those employed for regular coinage, they uniformly display a higher level of artistry; their larger format invited more ambitious and original compositions even when they commemorated events otherwise noted in contemporary coinage....

Article

Circular temple dedicated to all the gods. The best-known example is the Pantheon in Rome, built by the Emperor Hadrian in ad 118–25 (see Rome, §V, 8, and fig.). The Pantheon’s design was highly influential to many architects from the Renaissance onwards. During the French Revolution the church of Ste Geneviève in Paris was renamed the Panthéon (...

Article

Greek, 17th century, male.

Active in the second half of the 17th century.

Born in Crete.

Painter.

Victor of Crete was a representative of the Post-Byzantine style influenced by the Italian Renaissance. He also worked in Venice.

St Petersburg (Gosudarstvennyj Russkij Muz.): Nativity