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Article

David Blayney Brown

(Howland)

(b Great Dunmow, Essex, Nov 6, 1753; d Coleorton, Leics, Feb 7, 1827).

Amateur painter and draughtsman, collector and patron. He was the quintessential amateur, whose interests extended to literature and drama as well as to art; he became the leading arbiter of taste of his day. The painter Thomas Hearne described him as the ‘supreme dictator on works of art’. While Beaumont strongly supported new trends in poetry and did much to foster the careers of William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge, he maintained essentially 18th-century standards in his connoisseurship. His love of art had begun at Eton College, where he was taught drawing by Alexander Cozens; it was confirmed in 1771 by a meeting with the engraver William Woollett and Hearne, then Woollett’s pupil. Subsequently Beaumont was guided by a succession of distinguished artists including John Robert Cozens, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, Richard Wilson, Thomas Jones, Joseph Farington, Benjamin West, Thomas Girtin and John Constable. His own work, of which there is a large collection in the ...

Article

Roberta J. M. Olson

(b Bologna, 15 May ?1775–7; d Turin, March 6, 1860).

Italian painter, architect, designer and collector. At the age of 12 he began to frequent the house in Bologna of his patron Conte Carlo Filippo Aldrovandi Marescotti (1763–1823), whose collections and library provided his early artistic education and engendered his taste for collecting. From 1795 he worked on several decorative schemes with the theatre designer and decorator Antonio Basoli (1774–1848), and it was perhaps in theatre designs that Palagi was first exposed to an eclectic range of motifs from exotic cultures. He was influenced by the linear, mannered style of Felice Giani, with whom he frequented the important evening drawing sessions at the house of the engraver Francesco Rosaspina (1762–1841). Beginning in 1802, he participated in the informal Accademia della Pace, Bologna, as well as studying at the Accademia Clementina, and was elected to the Accademia Nazionale di Belle Arti of Bologna in 1803...

Article

Pomposa  

Charles B. McClendon

Italian former Benedictine abbey near the mouth of the Po River and 45 km north of Ravenna in the province of Emilia Romagna. Although first documented in ad 874, a monastic settlement probably existed there at least two centuries earlier. Pomposa rose to prominence in the 10th and 11th centuries through the support of the Holy Roman emperors. Over the course of the 14th century, a notable series of wall paintings in three different buildings were sponsored despite the monastery’s waning fortunes. In 1663 the monastic community was suppressed by papal decree. The site was secularized in 1802 and became property of the Italian state after 1870.

The proportions of the wooden-roofed basilican church, along with the polygonal outline of its main apse, reflect influence from nearby Ravenna and Classe and suggest a date in the 8th or 9th century. An elaborate pavement of mosaic and cut stone (opus sectile...