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Trevor Proudfoot

Material most commonly used as a cheaper alternative to stone. Occasionally, its special properties make it a preferred but more expensive choice to stone. In its simplest form, artificial stone is an ashlar covering for buildings (e.g. 18th-century terraced houses by John Nash). It is found in its most sophisticated form as the component of numerous 19th-century terracotta or cement-based sculptures.

The earliest and simplest form of artificial stone is the lime-and-gypsum plaster used to decorate the walls of Egyptian tombs. These facings were predominantly of gypsum plaster lined and painted to simulate the texture of stone. In ancient Rome, renders (first coats of plaster) had a similar design and purpose, although they were applied to a wider variety of buildings. The incorporation of lime, pozzolana, additives of volcanic ash, sherds of pottery and brick dust strengthened the mortars and gave them greater durability. The renders were often painted to increase the illusion that actual stone was used (...

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G. Lloyd-Morgan

Sculpted female figure (equivalent to the male Atlantid) used in place of a column (see fig.). Caryatids first appeared in ancient Greek architecture around the mid-6th century bc; they were also used in Roman architecture, and these models were revived in the 18th and 19th centuries (see §2). Classical caryatids are always clothed; they may be dressed in the Ionic style and may have either a polos or a high-sided crown on their heads, or a wider drum representing a basket containing sacred objects. When dressed in Doric costume, however, caryatids bear the capital directly on their heads. Where hands survive, they may hold ceremonial religious vessels. Non-architectural caryatid figures occur as decorative elements in the minor arts of Greece, Etruria and Imperial Rome. The most notable are the stand supporting mirror-discs, usually dating from the 6th and 5th centuries bc. Caryatids were used in furniture decoration, often as bronze mounts, during the 18th and 19th centuries....

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Kathryn Morrison

[column figure]

Form of sculpture in which a column and a figure are carved from a single block of stone. It is distinct from the Classical Caryatid, which structurally replaces the column, or from figures carved into columnar shafts (e.g. the Puerta de las Platerías of Santiago de Compostela, c. 1110). Column statues first appeared on the embrasures of French portals in the middle of the 12th century and are regarded as the main feature that distinguishes Romanesque from Early Gothic sculptural ensembles.

The desire to depict large figures on doorposts and recessed doorway embrasures was manifest in the first half of the 12th century, for example at St Pierre, Moissac (c. 1125–30), where large standing figures were carved into the sides of the trumeau and the faces of the doorposts, or at Ferrara Cathedral (c. 1135), where figures were carved into the arrises of the embrasures. Meanwhile, column statues may have appeared in cloisters or church furnishings. Three marble column statues from ...

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Door  

Dominique Collon, Marie-Christine Hellmann, Jane Geddes, Charles Avery, Sheila S. Blair, Jutta Jain-Neubauer, Stanislaus Fung, Nancy Ingram Nooter and David M. Jones

Movable closure of an entranceway to a building or room. The symbolic and theological significance of the door has provided many opportunities for artistic decoration and attracted the attention of many major artists. This has led not only to the creation of magnificently formed, carved or decorated door panels but also to some richly decorated examples of Overdoor and to the creation of elaborate sculptural schemes in the tympana of Classical, Romanesque and other buildings (see Tympanum).

The concept of the door was important in ancient Egypt, and stelae frequently depict closed doors (see Stele, §2). Although some actual doors have survived, none is of great artistic merit. The rectangular leaves of a miniature door on a shrine (h. 505 mm; Cairo, Egyp. Mus.) from the tomb of Tutankhamun were decorated with scenes in gold leaf in three registers on the exterior and four on the interior. Each leaf had a horizontal bolt at a different level running through hoops. It is likely that palace and temple doors would have resembled these on a larger scale. Stone doorsockets have survived (e.g. ...

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Naomi Miller

Sculptural or architectural structure that channels a spring or source of water and shapes it by means of jets or sprays, the water falling into one or more containers or basins.

Fountains may serve decorative or practical purposes and have, in a multitude of forms, been a feature of both public and private spaces since ancient times. They have been erected to celebrate technological advancement in a civilization, for example in the harnessing of water for public use; to serve as objects of religious significance or to commemorate events of historical importance; and to create poetic and theatrical displays.

Whereas the fountain is documented throughout the world, its absence from some areas is due to such factors as the lack of an adequate hydraulic system for its construction or, in terms of the fountain’s decorative function, the prevalence of a different aesthetic for the display of water.

The latter has historically been the case in East Asia. An essential feature of ...

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Herm  

Statue type consisting of a plain shaft surmounted by a head, shoulder bust or sometimes a head and torso. It originated in ancient Greece and has been used since in a variety of settings, often architectural or open-air. Herms also occur, especially in classicizing contexts, as decorative motifs.

Ancient Greek herms usually featured a head of the god Hermes, from which the type derives its name, and the front of the shaft was carved with male genitals. They are known from surviving examples, the earliest of which date from the Archaic period (c. 600–480 bc; e.g. an ithyphallic herm from Siphnos, c. 520 bc; Athens, N. Archaeol. Mus., 3728; see fig.), as well as inscriptions and other literary sources, and from depictions in vase paintings. There is evidence, even at an early stage, of numerous variations: in addition to Hermes, other gods including Dionysos, Ares, Artemis and Aphrodite were shown, and portrait herms include the statue of ...

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Huesca  

Daniel Rico

Spanish provincial capital, to the north of Saragossa in Aragón. Known in pre-Roman Iberia as Bolskan and as Osca under the Romans, it was the seat of the Quintus Sertorius government, a municipium (free town) since the time of Augustus and a bishopric under the Visigoths. During the period of Muslim domination from the 8th to the 11th centuries, the town, known as Wasqa, became a defensive settlement with a city wall stretching for more than 1.8 km, of which some sections still remain. Although the city was recovered by the Christians in 1096 and the episcopal see restored the following year, the architectural transformation of Huesca was not immediate. During the 12th century only two edifices of any real importance were constructed. One of these was the Benedictine monastery of S Pedro el Viejo, of which three Romanesque structures have survived: the church—a simple construction which nevertheless has two interesting tympana carved by sculptors from Jaca; a small chapel, possibly inherited from the Mozarab community in the 11th century, which was used as the Chapter House and then as a funeral chapel; and a cloister decorated around ...

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Trevor Proudfoot

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Trevor Proudfoot and Fiona Allardyce

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Jutland  

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Mainland peninsula of modern-day Denmark and one of the three provinces (Jutland, Zealand and Skåne, southern Sweden) that constituted medieval Denmark. The conversion of the Danes to Christianity initiated a reorganization of the economic, social and legal structures of Denmark that would change the shape of Jutland dramatically between the 11th and 14th centuries. Under Knut the Great, King of Denmark and England (reg 1019–35), Jutland acquired a stable diocesan system (1060) that enabled a systematic collection of tithes and the growth of religious institutions between 1050 and 1250. During this period, agricultural practices changed as manor houses and landed estates were established, producing wealth for the ruling families. Under Valdemar I (reg 1157–82) and Knut VI (reg 1182–1202), Jutland witnessed a great building activity; on Jutland more than 700 stone churches were constructed, some replacing earlier wooden churches, each needing liturgical furnishings. Workshops, such as that of the renowned sculptor Horder and many others, were actively engaged in carving stone baptismal fonts (e.g. Malt, Skodborg, Ut, Stenild), capitals, reliefs (Vestervig, Aalborg) and tympana (Gjøl, Ørsted, Stjaer, Skibet), wooden cult figures, Jutland’s golden altars (Lisbjerg, Sahl, Stadil, Tamdrup) and wall paintings. Evidence of the earliest wall paintings in Jutland, ...

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Gordon Campbell

Copper-green stone. In ceramics, the term denotes a glaze used to create pottery with the copper-green colour of malachite. Powdered malachite was long used in wall painting, but is only rarely used in easel painting. Deposits of malachite were discovered in Siberia in 1635, and thereafter malachite vessels were produced in the Kremlin workshops. Objects made of malachite were fashionable in the first half of the 19th century, reaching their technical height from 1830 to 1840 with ten columns (h. 9 m) for St Isaac's Cathedral in St Petersburg (in situ), but also being used for table-tops and other decorative items such as urns (e.g. the massive malachite urn presented to George IV by the Tsar; Windsor Castle, Royal Col.). Later in the century Carl Fabergé used malachite for small objects.

N. Guseva and others: ‘Diplomatic Gifts from Tsar Nicholas I of Russia to the Duke of Wellington’, ...

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Henry Adams

Italian family of stonecarvers active in America. At the turn of the century, when the craze for classical architecture was at its height, statues in marble were produced in great quantity for buildings and public spaces. Since the early 19th century, it had been common to separate the design process of creating a model in clay or plaster, and the task of actually carving the marble block. To take advantage of the skills of Italian craftsmen, in the early 19th century many American sculptors established studios in Rome or Florence. By the turn of the century, however, many Italian craftsmen immigrated to the United States in order to work more easily with American sculptors and architects, and to take advantage of the American building boom. Among this group were the Piccirilli brothers, who established the most successful statuary and stone carving business that has ever existed in America. The patriarch of the Piccirilli clan, Giuseppe (...

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Jeremy Hunt and Jonathan Vickery

At the turn of the millennium, public art was an established global art genre with its own professional and critical discourse, as well as constituencies of interest and patronage independent of mainstream contemporary art. Art criticism has been prodigious regarding public art’s role in the ‘beautification’ of otherwise neglected social space or in influencing urban development. Diversity and differentiation are increasingly the hallmarks of public art worldwide, emerging from city branding strategies and destination marketing as well as from artist activism and international art events and festivals. The first decade of the 21st century demonstrated the vast opportunity for creative and critical ‘engagement’, activism, social dialogue, and cultural co-creation and collective participation. New public art forms emerged, seen in digital and internet media, pop-up shops, and temporary open-access studios, street performance, and urban activism, as well as architectural collaborations in landscape, environment or urban design.

Intellectually, the roots of contemporary public art can be found in the ludic and the architectonic: in the playful public interventions epitomized in the 1960s by the ...

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Charles Avery

Form of sculpture in which the ornaments or figures are attached to a background, from which they stand out to a greater or lesser degree, being accordingly known as high relief or low relief (bas-relief). It is commonly used for architectural decoration, and also for pictorial narration. This is because sculpture in the round is usually limited to not more than three figures in a group, constraining the amount of incident that can be depicted; furthermore, it excludes all but the most elementary references to a setting. The capacity of relief sculpture for narration has often led artists, including Leonardo and Michelangelo, to associate it with the art of painting, rather than with sculpture in the round.

A natural, elementary form of relief is produced by scratching a design on the surface of a material and then enhancing the linear effect by chiselling off matter to one side. This gives a slight convexity to the contours of the figures depicted, as in ...

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Pamela Tudor-Craig

Term applied to the type of heavily undercut, distinctively blunt, trefoiled leaves with strong stalks and mid-ribs that characterized English foliage sculpture in the first half of the 13th century. The term was apparently coined by Simpson in 1909, and it passed into general use after Gardner devoted a chapter to stiff-leaf in English Gothic Foliage Sculpture (1927).

The Carolingian sources of stiff-leaf were based on acanthus designs, as in the spandrels of the arcading in the ivory cover of the Lorsch Gospels (London, V&A, 810), but the occasional incidence of bunches of grapes show that by 1200 the vine was also intended. The vault boss is the finest field for knots of stiff-leaf, sometimes laced with dragons or even historiated (e.g. at the cathedrals of Worcester, and Ely, and Westminster Abbey). The native affection for trefoil foliage can be traced to pre-Conquest churches such as St Mary’s, Sompting, W. Sussex (early 11th century), but the first essay in pure stiff-leaf is perhaps the eastern boss of the east end of the choir at ...

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R. W. Sanderson, Lorenzo Lazzarini, Gordon Campbell, Trevor Proudfoot and Tim Lees

Stone has been one of the world’s most predominantly used materials for building and sculpture. It has been worked since the Palaeolithic period, when man learnt how to cut flint and related hard stones to produce tools and weapons. Soon after, stone began to be used for carving small sculptures, and it was used in the construction of the earliest domestic dwellings.

The identification of stones (see Technical examination, §VIII, 1) and the determination of their provenance is of great importance. This information not only characterizes the single objects, but also allows archaeologists, art historians and architects to confirm or strengthen their attributions of the works to a certain workshop; to understand how physical properties of stones affected techniques and styles; and to reconstruct the patterns of import, use and commercial trade routes. To know the provenance of stone is also important for the supply of new materials for restorations, substitutions and copies. The following survey defines the major types of stone and describes their properties and distribution, the general techniques of stoneworking and the conservation of stone buildings and objects. For further information on the types and quarries of stone and the history of the techniques used, the reader should consult: (i) the relevant country and civilization surveys in this dictionary under the headings ‘Architecture’, ‘Materials and techniques’ and ‘Sculpture’; and (ii) the index listings under the specific type of stone....

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Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Stonecarving throughout American history has been utilized for various purposes: utilitarian work such as paving, roofing and hitching posts; and ornamental work, such as architectural elements, gravestones and monuments, and sculpture. America’s first professional stonecarvers were mainly trained, skilled artisans from England and Scotland. These men were often called “statuaries” because they were capable of producing highly ornamental carving and sculpture, similar to the work of trained academic sculptors. There was little call for such highly decorative work in the colonies, but as urban centers gradually formed, stone masons found plenty of work in newly emerging cities such as Boston, Philadelphia and New York.

In rural areas many of America’s early stonecarvers were native-born and self-taught. Their skills were most often put to use carving gravestones, which were needed in every community. Both professional and native-born stonecarvers produced beautiful, often idiosyncratic carved work. They worked in the “direct” method of carving, that is carving directly into the stone without creating a preliminary model. Botanist John Bartram designed his own stone house in Philadelphia around ...