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Alexandra Wedgwood

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Chiara Stefani

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Agano  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese region in Buzen Province (now part of Fukuoka Prefect.), northern Kyushu, where stonewares were manufactured at various sites from c. 1600 (see also Japan, §IX, 3, (i), (d)).

The first potter to make Agano ware was the Korean master Chon’gye (Jap. Sonkai; 1576–1654). Deported to Kyushu during one of the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597, he entered the service of Hosokawa Tadaoki (1563–1645), the newly appointed governor of Buzen. On the completion of Tadaoki’s fortress at Kokura (now Kitakyushu), Chon’gye built the Saienba kiln, probably within the castle precincts. A site thought to be Saienba was found beneath Myōkōji, the temple that replaced the castle in 1679, and excavations took place between 1979 and 1983. Sherds of both tea ceremony and everyday wares have been found there; they have transparent glazes made with a wood-ash flux, opaque glazes made with a straw-ash flux or brown-black glazes pigmented with iron oxide. Inscriptions on surviving pieces and entries in contemporary diaries indicate that these early products were also called Buzen or Kokura ware. After a few years the Saienba kiln closed, and ...

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Marianne Barrucand

[‛Alawī; Filālī]

Islamic dynasty and rulers of Morocco since 1631. Like their predecessors the Sa‛dis, the ‛Alawis are sharīfs (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad), and both dynasties are sometimes classed together as the ‘Sharifs of Morocco’. From a base in the Tafilalt region of south-east Morocco, the ‛Alawi family was able to overcome the centrifugal forces exerted by the Berber tribes who had destroyed the Sa‛di state in the first half of the 17th century. To restore political authority and territorial integrity, Mawlay Isma‛il (reg 1672–1727) added a new black slave corps to the traditional tribal army. Although royal power was weak during the 19th century and the early 20th, when the French and Spanish established protectorates, the ‛Alawis’ power was fully restored after independence from the French in 1956.

‛Alawi building activities (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)) were concentrated in the four cities that have served as their capitals: Fez and Marrakesh at various times from ...

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Marcus Burke

[Alvárez de Toledo] [now Berwick y Alba]

Spanish family of politicians and collectors. The prominent role of the Alvárez de Toledo family in the history of Spain and the dynastic marriages that have joined many other titles into the house of Berwick y Alba have placed the Alba collection among the finest in Europe. Don Fernando Alvárez de Toledo (1507–82), the ‘Gran-Duque’ de Alba, Governor of the Netherlands (from 1567), commissioned paintings from Anthonis Mor and Titian (General Pardon Conceded to Flanders by the Duque de Alba; Christ in the House of Martha; portrait of Don Fernando Alvárez de Toledo, Duque de Alba, in Armour; all Madrid, Pal. Liria, Col. Duke of Alba). His namesake, Don Fernando Alvárez de Toledo, the 6th duke, returned to Spain in 1653 from an embassy in Italy with a large shipment of works of art. The family collection, which included an impressive holding of tapestries, was housed in the palace of La Abadia in Extremadura and at the former ducal seat in Alba de Tormes....

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Gordon Campbell

[Fr. point d’Alençon]

Type of lace produced in France. In 1675 a group of 30 Venetian lacemakers was settled in the Norman town of Alençon by Jean-Baptiste Colbert (Louis XIV’s minister of finance). The Venetians instructed local needlewomen in point de Venise, but by the 1690s the distinctive local style known as point d’Alençon had emerged (see alsoLace §2, (iii), §2(iii)). Needlewomen adopted the net ground technique, and invented a series of new stitches.

Lace production was halted at the Revolution because of its association with the ancien régime, but revived under Napoleon (reg 1804–14) and again under the Second Empire. Lace is still produced in Alençon, supported by the Atelier National du Point d’Alençon founded in 1976, and there are good collections of Alençon lace in the Musée de la Dentelle au Point d’Alençon and the Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle.

The term point d’Alençon now denotes a style as well as a place of origin. The style is characterized by a uniform mesh (called the ...

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