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Article

Steven F. Ostrow

[il Bresciano; Prospero da Brescia]

(b Brescia, 1555–65; d Rome, 1592).

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 Gregory XIII, including stucco angels (1580–81) for the Pauline Chapel and the Scala Regia in the Vatican. The success of these elegant, classicizing figures led to the commission (after 1585) for the sculptural components of the tomb of Gregory XIII in St Peter’s, consisting of a seated statue of the Pope, allegorical figures of Charity, Faith, Religion and Justice, and two angels bearing the papal arms. The tomb has undergone numerous transformations and much of its sculpture has been lost; its original appearance is recorded, however, in several engravings and in a drawing by Ciro Ferri (Florence, Uffizi). The surviving stucco figures of ...

Article

T. F. C. Blagg

(b Damascus; d Rome, c. ad 125).

Roman architect. His first known work, and possibly his training, was in military engineering. He constructed the 1135-m-long bridge across the Danube (nr Turnu Severin, Romania) in ad 103–5, between Trajan’s two Dacian campaigns. It had a timber superstructure and arches on huge masonry piers and is represented on Trajan’s Column in Rome. Apollodorus’ treatise on the bridge remains untraced. His other major achievements were in Rome. Dio (LXIX.iv.1) recorded that he built the Baths and Forum of Trajan and an odeum. Substantial remains of the first two survive. The forum, built in ad 107–13 and famous in antiquity for its magnificence, was a boldly conceived project that involved the removal of part of the Quirinal Hill (see Rome, §V, 2). Apollodoros was probably also architect of the adjacent Markets of Trajan, since its masterly adaptation to its site seems integral with the forum’s design (c....

Article

Mark D. Fullerton

(fl Rome, mid-1st century bc).

Greek sculptor. He was one of the greatest masters of his time, though referred to only by Pliny. A contemporary of Pasiteles, like him he worked in a variety of media (marble statuary, marble and/or metal vessels) and believed in the value of preliminary models, which were themselves sold at high prices. Arkesilaos was commissioned by L. Lucullus or his son to make a statue of Felicitas (Pliny: XXXV.clv–clvi), which was never completed. His most famous work was the cult statue for Caesar’s Temple of Venus Genetrix (ded. 46 bc). Hadrianic coin representations of this deity show a figure close to the late 5th century bc Fréjus Aphrodite type. If these represent Arkesilaos’ cult statue, then it must have been classicizing in style. The Temple of Venus, however, was extensively rebuilt in Trajanic times, so the statue depicted may have been a 2nd-century ad replacement. Only two other works are mentioned: a group of ...

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.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Charles Buchanan

Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.

The term ‘Atlantic’ (from the mythological giant Atlas) is derived from their impressive size; dimensions range from 550 to 600 mms by 300 to 400 mms. Their script, derived from Caroline minuscule, is placed in two columns of around fifty-five lines. The texts are decorated with two initial types, which Edward B. Garrison designated as ‘geometrical’ and ‘full shaft’, both of which are derived from Carolingian and Ottonian exemplars, respectively. The iconography consists of full-length prophets, patriarchs, kings and saints as well as narrative scenes. The last are at times found as full-page cyclical illuminations and preface important textual divisions, especially Genesis. The iconography of the Giant Bibles is a specific Roman iconographical recension with its sources based in part on Early Christian pictorial cycles, such as the wall paintings of Old St Peter’s in Rome. These came from an era considered by the reformers to have been uncorrupted by the abuses that afflicted the Church when these Bibles were being made. While the Giant Bibles were promulgated by the Church of Rome as a symbol of its supreme authority, they also allowed the clergy to perform the liturgy, and the Divine Office in particular, properly....

Article

Daniela Campanelli

(b Lugano, March 26, 1787; d Naples, Dec 6, 1849).

Italian architect and archaeologist, of Swiss origin. He was a pupil of Luigi Cagnola and attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan, graduating in architecture at Pavia in 1806. He lived in Rome and between 1810 and 1814 was superintendent of the excavation of the Colosseum, which was being directed by Giuseppe Valadier. In 1812 Bianchi published the Osservazioni sull’arena e sul podio dell’Anfiteatro Flavio … in Rome, and he also carried out excavations on the Forum Romanum.

As a member of the Accademia di S Luca, Bianchi was put forward to design the layout of the Largo di Palazzo (now the Piazza del Plebiscito), Naples; the commission was awarded him by Ferdinand I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (reg 1759–1825). Ferdinand had in fact announced a competition in 1817 for the completion of this work, which had been initiated by Joachim Murat, King of Naples, in ...

Article

Valeria Farinati

(b Casale Monferrato, Oct 24, 1795; d Florence, Oct 17, 1856).

Italian architect, archaeologist and architectural historian. He studied architecture at the University of Turin (1810–12) under Ferdinando Bonsignore (1767–1843) and his assistant Giuseppe Talucchi (1782–1863). After serving (1812–14) in the fortress of Alessandria, he resumed his studies and obtained a degree in architecture in 1814. He served a period of apprenticeship under Talucchi, who helped him obtain a three-year grant from the Court of Turin for further study in Rome, where Canina settled in January 1818. He worked on engravings of Roman monuments under the antiquarian, scholar and publisher Mariano Vasi (1744–1820), and at the end of his three-year period as pensionato, he presented a survey of the Colosseum (Anfiteatro Flavio descritto, misurato e restaurato; dispersed) to the architects of the Accademia di S Luca, including Giuseppe Valadier, who were much impressed.

In 1824 Canina was appointed to execute his scheme for the expansion of the park of the ...

Article

Thomas J. McCormick

(b Paris, baptAug 28, 1721; d Auteuil, Jan 19, 1820).

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 1746. He spent the years 1749 to 1754 at the Académie Française in Rome but left after an argument with the director Charles-Joseph Natoire over his refusal to make his Easter Communion; this may have been due to his Jansenist sympathies. He nevertheless remained in Italy until 1767. During these years he became a close friend of Piranesi, Winckelmann, Cardinal Alessandro Albani and other members of the international circle interested in the Antique.

In his early student days in Rome, Clérisseau became acquainted in particular with English travellers and began to sell them his attractive topographical drawings of Roman architecture. Initially these were influenced by his studies with ...

Article

Elizabeth Rawson

(Decimus)

(fl c. 170 bc).

First known Roman architect. Though a Roman citizen, he probably came from wealthy, Hellenized Campania (annexed by Rome). The pro-Roman King Antiochos IV Epiphanes of Syria (reg 175–163 bc) commissioned him to work on the Temple of Olympian Zeus at Athens (see Athens, §II, 4). Vitruvius (On Architecture VII, Preface 15 and 17) noted the temple’s huge cella and double Corinthian colonnade, which showed architectural learning and were admired by connoisseurs for their magnificence; he regretted that Cossutius left no annotated specification, as Greek architects had done. Surviving material, if datable to his time, is Greek and advanced in style, unlike contemporary building in Rome. The name Cossutius (in Latin letters) is also twice scratched inside a 2nd-century bc aqueduct near Antioch in Syria, suggesting that the architect worked on Antiochos’ building programme there. He may have travelled with his own workforce (as was common in the Greek world), probably chiefly his slaves and freedmen: the inscription could record a freedman, properly bearing his patron’s name. He may also have worked on the new Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus at Antioch and on buildings presented by Antiochos to various Greek cities....

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

(fl late 1st century bc).

Roman gem-engraver active in Rome at the time of Augustus (27 bcad 14). According to Pliny, Dioskourides made ‘an excellent likeness’ of the Augustus emperor on the emperor's personal seal, which was also used as a state seal by successive emperors (Natural History 37.8). The story is repeated by Suetonius, who adds that Augustus ‘at first used the figure of a sphinx, afterwards the head of Alexander the Great, and at last his own, engraved by the hand of Dioskourides’ (Life of Caesar Augustus 50).

No fewer than 11 intaglios and cameos signed by Dioskourides survive (Richter, nos 664–72; Plantzos, 96–7), and many more have been attributed to him and his workshop. Dioskourides signed his name in Greek, with his name in the genitive case, as was customary for gem-engravers in the Greek world. Although several Roman artists of the Augustan period assumed a Greek professional name to enhance their business prospects, or signed their Italian names in Hellenized form and script, it seems that Dioskourides was actually of Greek origin. He belonged, therefore, to the wave of artists and craftsmen who came to Italy in the ...

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

[Satra]

Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc–7th century bc).

Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century bc (the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of Greek history) to the late Roman and Byzantine period (6th–7th century bc). Even before that, archaeological finds suggest the existence of a continuous presence on the site from the late Neolithic (4th millennium bc) through to a flourishing Minoan site of the 3rd to 2nd millennia bc. Although later construction all but eliminated traces of prehistoric architecture, there is still significant evidence to confirm unbroken habitation. In historical times (9th century...

Article

John Turpin

(b London, March 5, 1761; d Rome, Aug 26, 1816).

English painter, archaeologist and dealer, of Irish origin. A Roman Catholic, he was the son of a prosperous London baker, originally from Cork. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1781; two years later he travelled to Italy via Flanders and Paris, reaching Rome in January 1784. There, under the influence of Andrea Appiani and François-Xavier Fabre, he evolved an individual and original Neo-classical style of portrait painting, with an emphasis on contour, clear colour and psychological penetration. By the early 1790s he had become a fashionable painter of English visitors and a prominent member of Roman artistic society. His portraits often include evocative Italian landscape settings, as in Elizabeth, Lady Webster (1793; priv. col.), which shows Mt Vesuvius in the background, and the double portrait of his friend Sir Corbet Corbet with his Wife and Dogs in the Roman Campagna (c. 1797; priv. col., see Crookshank and Glin, ...

Article

Barry Bergdoll

(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).

French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...

Article

E. Clay

(b Hopton, Derbys, April 1, 1777; d Naples, Feb 4, 1836).

English Classical scholar, archaeologist and topographer. Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools, was elected Fellow of learned societies in London and, later, honoured by academic institutions abroad. Gell began his travels in Greece and the Troad in 1801, followed rapidly by exemplary publications. His travels continued until 1806, broken only in 1803 when he was sent on a diplomatic mission to the Ionian islands. The Society of Dilettanti appointed him to lead its third Ionian mission (1811–13), instructing him to make architectural measurements of Classical sites in Attica and Asia Minor, the results subsequently being published by the Society in The Unedited Antiquities of Attica (1817) and revised editions of Ionian Antiquities (1821 and 1840; see Chandler, Richard).

Gell was knighted in 1814, and accompanied Caroline, Princess of Wales, as one of her chamberlains when she set out on her foreign travels. He left her entourage after its arrival in Italy and resumed his archaeological studies, in particular at the site of Pompeii, which was his main interest throughout his life. His ...

Article

(?fl c. ad 10–20).

Greek sculptors. Though originally from Rhodes, they emigrated to Italy at some time in the early Empire, where they produced the statue of Laokoon, which Pliny (Natural History XXXVI.iv.37) called ‘superior to all works of both painting and sculpture’, and some or all of the groups of sculptures recently discovered in the Sperlonga grotto (see Sperlonga, §2). Tiberius owned the grotto, and the sculptures are in the ‘neo-baroque’ style that he is known to have favoured, suggesting that he may have commissioned the work from artists whose sculptures he may have admired while exiled on Rhodes from 6 bc to ad 2: the episodes depicted recall works by his favourite poet, Euphorion, and give prominence to his personal hero Odysseus.

While all these works embody the style of the Hellenistic ‘neo-baroque’, with turbulent surfaces, exaggerated musculature, dramatic expressions and an intense theatricality that recalls the reliefs on the Great Altar at Pergamon (...

Article

David Rodgers

(b Murdieston, Lothian, 1723; d Rome, Jan 4, 1798).

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 1751 he was briefly in Scotland, where he painted a full-length portrait of Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess of Hamilton (Lennoxlove, Lothian), in a conventional style derived from van Dyck. He returned to Rome in 1752 and remained there, with the exception of short visits to England, for the rest of his life. In 1755 he was introduced by Anton Raphael Mengs to Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who was to become one of the leading theorists of Neo-classicism. In the same year Hamilton entertained Robert Adam (i), who studied in Rome from ...

Article

Lykios  

Diane Harris

(b Eleutherai, Boiotia; fl c. mid-5th century bc).

Greek sculptor. He was trained by his father, the famous sculptor Myron (Pliny: Natural History XXXIV.xix.50). He was active in Athens and Olympia. None of his works survives; they included a bronze statue of a youth holding a basin on the Athenian Acropolis (Pausanias: Guide to Greece I.xxiii.8), of which the inscribed marble base perhaps survives (Inscr. Gr./2, I, 537). He also produced two bronze equestrian statues, which were erected at the entrance to the Acropolis, and remains of an inscribed base (Inscr. Gr./2, I, 400) show that it was a votive gift dedicated by the cavalry to commemorate the victories of Pericles (c. 446 bc). Another statue in Athens, near the prytaneion, depicted Autolykos, a champion wrestler at the Panathenaic games of 422 bc (Pausanias: I.xviii.3 and IX.xxxii.5), while the statues of The Argonauts and a youth blowing on a dying fire were also attributed to Lykios by Pliny (XXXIV.xix.79). The Ionians from Apollonia commissioned Lykios to set up a monument near the hippodameion at Olympia to commemorate a military victory of the ...

Article

Nancy Serwint

(fl c. 370–c. 300 bc).

Greek sculptor. He was the greatest sculptor from the school at Sikyon, then an artistic centre second only to Athens, and ancient sources classed him with Myron of Eleutherai, Pheidias, and Polykleitos as being among the most accomplished sculptors in bronze. His brother Lysistratos was also a sculptor.

Establishing accurate dates for Lysippos’ career is problematic, both because no original works survive and because of disputes over the attribution of copies and the dates of signed statue bases. Pliny dated the height of his activity to 328–325 bc (XXXIV.xix.51) because of his close connection with Alexander the Great. Other literary and epigraphic sources, however, indicate that he had a long and active career that probably spanned much of the 4th century bc.

Lysippos was probably influenced by the Sikyonian painter Eupompos (fl c. 410–c. 310 bc), but there is no evidence that they were contemporaries. A statue of Troilos, set up at Olympia to commemorate equestrian victories in 372 ...

Article

Andrew F. Stewart

(fl later 4th century bc).

Greek sculptor, brother of Lysippos. Pliny dated the artist, like his brother, from Sikyon, to the 113th Olympiad (328–325 bc) and wrote that he developed a method of taking plaster casts from the human body and face, then pouring wax into this to produce a perfect portrait likeness that was ready for moulding and casting. (Early studies of Greek bronze-casting misinterpreted this to mean that he actually invented the indirect method of lost-wax casting, which is clearly untrue: the indirect method is known in large-scale sculpture two full centuries before.) Surviving bronzes from this and the Hellenistic period suggest that these wax likenesses were almost certainly selectively retouched in order to heighten key features and so bring out the character of the sitter.

Nevertheless, Pliny’s observation that portraits thenceforth aimed at likeness rather than beauty is correct, for Hellenistic sculptors usually began with the individual rather than taking an ideal type and individualizing it to a greater or lesser extent, as earlier. Lysistratos also used master-moulds for overcasting variations on the same type, and he and his ...

Article

Gabriele Finaldi

(b Isola di Carturo, nr Padua, 1430–31; d Mantua Sept 13, 1506).

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 Presentation in the Temple (Berlin, Gemäldegal.); one in the Camera Picta (Mantua, Pal. Ducale) and the funerary bust in his burial chapel in S Andrea, Mantua, designed and probably executed by himself. His printmaking activity is technically advanced and of great importance, although certain aspects of the execution remain to be clarified. Due to the survival of both the Paduan and Mantuan archives, Mantegna is one of the best-documented artists of the 15th century....