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Article

A. Gerhardt

Benedictine abbey on the River Enns in Styria, Austria. It was founded in the mid-11th century by Bishop Gebhard from Salzburg, endowed by St Henna von Gurk, Gräfin von Friessach (d 1045), and settled by Benedictine monks from St Peter’s, Salzburg under Abbot Isingrin. The Romanesque minster (consecrated 1074), which was dedicated to St Blaise, was famous for its marble columns and was rebuilt after a fire in 1152; a Gothic choir was added in 1276–86. The present church incorporates Romanesque side doors as well as other fragments. The abbey became an important cultural centre with a renowned scriptorium. Amongst the many famous scholars there was Abbot Engelbert of Admont (reg 1297–1327). From 1121 to the 16th century a convent was attached to the abbey. Under the abbots Mathias Preininger (reg 1615–28) and Urban Weber (reg 1628–59) the whole establishment was transformed in the Baroque style, and the church was rebuilt (...

Article

Lucília Verdelho da Costa

Cistercian abbey in Portugal. The abbey, dedicated to S Maria, was founded as part of the policy of repopulation and territorial improvement of the first king of Portugal, Alfonso I (reg 1139–85), who in 1152 granted a large area of land to St Bernard of Clairvaux by a charter known as the Carta dos Coutos (Lisbon, Arquiv. N.). Work on the monastery started in 1158 and adhered to the rigid precepts of the Order. Although the exterior was extended and altered in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially the Baroque façade of the church, the interior essentially preserves its original Early Gothic appearance.

W. Beckford: Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha (London, 1835/R 1972) M. V. Natividade: Ignez de Castro e Pedro o Cru perante a iconografia dos seus túmulos (Lisbon, 1910) E. Korrodi: Alcobaça: Estudo histórico, arqueológico e artístico da Real Abadia de Alcobaça...

Article

Swiss, 16th – 17th century, male.

Born towards the end of the 16th century, probably in Attiswyl (Bern canton); died 15 December 1629, in Solothurn.

Sculptor, stonemason, architect.

From 1617 onwards, Gregorius Bienckher worked almost exclusively in Solothurn. Among his sculptures is a Statue of St Ursus...

Article

Delia Kottmann

Italian village in Lazio, north of Rome, known for its church. The church of SS Anastasius and Nonnosus is all that remains of the 6th-century Benedictine monastery, which submitted to Cluny in ad 940. Apart from some re-used fragments, the architecture is Romanesque, with a Cosmati pavement in opus sectile as well as an ambo and ciborium. The church is famous for its wall paintings from the first quarter of the 12th century. The apse and its adjacent walls, showing the 24 elders, are influenced by Romano–Christian motifs. Christ in the middle of the conch is flanked by Peter and Paul in a Traditio legis depiction, with a procession of lambs below. Underneath, Maria Regina has to be reconstructed in the middle, between two conserved angels followed by female saints in a Byzantine manner. No Romano–Christian iconography seems to have influenced the vast apocalyptic cycle painted on the side walls of the transept. A band of prophets runs beneath the roof on all the walls of the transept. An inscription in the apse indicates three Roman painters....

Article

Javier Rivera

Spanish monastery in the town of Celanova in the province of Orense, Galicia. It was founded in 936 by the bishop and monk St Rosendo (d 977), who was also abbot of the monastery from 959 until his death. The monastery belonged to the Benedictine Order and was dedicated to St Salvador. The oldest and most important part of the monastery, the chapel of St Michael of Celanova, founded in the 10th century by St Rosendo, is located in the former novitiate’s garden. It comprises a small pre-Romanesque, Mozarabic oratory that can be dated to the fourth decade of the 10th century, as the monastery was consecrated in 942. Its architectural language and its spatial concepts belong to contemporaneous art developed in the kingdom of León, with similarities to such buildings as Santiago de Peñalba and Santa Comba de Bande and drawing on Asturian, Visigothic, and Islamic influences. Its ground-plan covers an area of 22 sq. m, and the chapel reaches a maximum height of 6 m. It is composed of three spatial units arranged longitudinally. The first unit contains the access door on its south side; it has a square ground-plan and a horseshoe arch along its axis. The next unit, slightly larger in area and of a greater height, has a rectangular ground-plan and has a ribbed vault resting on arches with lobed pendentives. The chancel is entered via a horseshoe arch that is framed by an ...

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Born 1532, in Porlezza (Lombardy); died 3 September 1602, in Rome.

Architect, sculptor. Churches, villas, fountains.

Although Giacomo della Porta is first noted as a sculptor in 1559, he worked primarily as an architect in Rome throughout his career and likely trained with Guidetto Guidetti. His early commissions include the portal of the Vigna Grimani (...

Article

Howard Colvin

Term used to describe the survival of Gothic architecture in western Europe, a phenomenon that was more widespread and more prolonged than is generally recognized. Interested in the first manifestations of a new style rather than the last recurrences of an old one, architectural historians have tended to pay too little attention to the persistence of Gothic forms alongside those introduced in the Renaissance. What are often seen as isolated anachronisms prove on investigation to be so numerous and so widespread as to represent an alternative tradition that cannot be dismissed as of no significance. In any case, in northern Europe the assimilation of the Renaissance was a long-drawn-out process that was not fully accomplished until the latter part of the 17th century. Until then much new building, especially in rural areas, was basically medieval in form, though often with classical details added, such as doorways and altarpieces. Each country clung to some different feature from the past that had become too deeply embedded in its architectural consciousness (or sub-consciousness) to be easily dispensed with: in France it was the high-pitched roof sustained by an intricate mass of carpentry; in northern Germany the stepped gable; in England the battlemented parapet; in Scotland the fortified tower-house; in Spain the frenetic elaboration of decoration that, when classicized, became the ...

Article

Gotland  

Axel Bolvig

Largest island in the Baltic Sea and a province and municipality of Sweden that also includes Fårö, Gotska Sandön and Karlsö islands. The history and economic importance of Gotland is connected to its central position in the Baltic Sea. Culturally it has been compared with Rhodes, Crete and Sicily. Archaeological evidence dating from as early as the 1st millennium bc indicates close interaction with areas as distant as the Indian Ocean as well as a flourishing trade during the Viking age. Throughout the medieval period, the town of Visby attracted many German tradesmen and became a centre of the Hanseatic League. The Danish army invaded Gotland in 1361, destroyed the peasants’ army and extorted large contributions from Visby. Later, Gotland became a centre for pirates and its importance declined. At times it was under Danish control but since 1645 it has been part of Sweden.

Several hundred tombstones decorated during the Iron Age and Viking period are unique to Gotland and offer an insight into a pre-Christian world. During the Middle Ages, 97 churches of great architectural interest were built, and baptismal fonts were widely exported, providing evidence of the area as a centre of intense artistic activity....

Article

Term for a style of German architecture in which Gothic-style details are imposed on Renaissance buildings. The name derives from Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn (1545–1617), Bishop of Würzburg, who, in his efforts on behalf of the Counter-Reformation, developed a taste for the earlier architecture of the faith. Examples of the style include the small rose window (...

Article

Nigel J. Morgan

Benedictine abbey in Upper Austria. It was possibly founded in 1054 by St Adalbero (1045–90), Bishop of Würzburg, and has been a Benedictine foundation since 1056. Of the Romanesque church only the westwork survives, and the remainder of the church and conventual buildings date from the rebuilding begun under Abbot Placidus Hieber (reg 1640–78), which was continued into the early 18th century. The west choir was built 1056–89 but was blocked off by a Baroque organ loft and buttressing wall. In 1957 it was discovered that behind these structural additions there was a complete series of wall paintings, which probably date from before the time of the consecration of the church in 1089. They are one of the most important survivals of 11th-century painting in northern Europe. The space, surmounted by three domical groin vaults, is covered with paintings on both the vaults and the walls. They show cycles from the Old Testament and the ...

Article

Meteora  

Ioanna Bitha

Series of monastic buildings set high (c. 180–280 m) on a cluster of precipitous rocks near the village of Kastraki, c. 25 km north-west of Trikala in northern Greece. Still the largest monastic site in Greece after Mt Athos, at its 16th-century apogee it contained 13 monasteries and some 20 smaller settlements, of which 7 monasteries survive: the Transfiguration or Great Meteoron, Varlaam, Roussanos, Hagios Nikolaos Anapafsas, St Stephen’s, Holy Trinity and the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Ypapantis).

Documentary and literary sources for the Meteora’s history include the lives and testaments of the monasteries’ founders, the Syngramma istorikon [Historical discourse] (1521; ex-Varlaam Monastery, Meteora; from 1858) and the donor inscriptions found in the churches. It is not known when the Meteora first became a monastic settlement, but by the 12th century anchorites were probably living in cells served by rudimentary chapels in the area around the Doupiani Rock, and by the second half of the century an idiorrhythmic skete (that is, a monastic ‘village’ with a central church or kyriakon and refectory for use on Sundays and feasts) of Stagoi or Doupiani is recorded as being under the control of the neighbouring Archbishop of Stagoi (now Kalambaka). Another early indication of the community’s existence is the foundation ...

Article

Ronald Baxter and Mario D’Onofrio

Benedictine abbey in Lazio, Italy. The birthplace of Western monasticism, it was founded c. ad 529 by St Benedict (c. ad 480–c. 547; see Benedictine Order §1) on the mountain overlooking the town of Casinum, on the site of a pagan temple. Benedict wrote the Rule here after 534, and he was buried alongside his sister, St Scholastica, in the chapel of St John the Baptist. The architectural history of the abbey (see §1 below) is closely linked with historical events. Montecassino was sacked by the Lombards c. 589, and it lay abandoned until c. 718, when a small community was founded there; it was reformed c. 729, and the monastery was rebuilt by Willibald, from Waltham Abbey. The abbey grew more powerful during the 8th century: Carloman, brother of Pepin the Short, was a monk there c. 746, and Paul the Deacon stayed for ten years until his death ...

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...

Article

Massimiliano David

(Rome)

Massimiliano David

Situated at the end of the Esquiline Hill and formerly known as S Maria ad Praesepem, S Maria Maggiore was traditionally founded by Pope Liberius (reg 352–66) and financed by Johannes, a rich citizen, after a miraculous summer snowfall. It is more likely, however, that it was founded in the early 5th century by Sixtus III, whose name appears in the mosaics of the triumphal arch in front of the apse. The church had a nave and aisles, the nave more than twice as wide as the aisles, and there was a single apse. Monolithic Ionic columns supporting a continuous entablature divided the nave from the aisles; above these, clerestory windows corresponded to the intercolumniations below. The windows were flanked by Corinthian pilasters aligned over the Ionic columns of the colonnade, and these were inset with a double tier of stucco colonnettes with fluting that spiralled right and left. Beneath each window was an aedicule encasing a mosaic panel....

Article

Bernd Euler-Rolle and Gerhard Schmidt

Augustinian abbey near Linz, Austria. The present Baroque monastic complex was begun in 1686 with the rebuilding of the Gothic collegiate church and early Baroque buildings (1628–32) and was completed in the mid-18th century. The original abbey was built in the 9th century on the site of St Florian’s grave and became an Augustinian foundation in 1071.

Bernd Euler-Rolle

The complex is clearly articulated, with a regular system of closed courtyards, and the church is situated in the traditional location at the northern edge. On the south side of the church is the simple, rectangular conventual courtyard, which was divided into two by the insertion of a theatre in 1731; adjoining this to the south is the large, square prelatial courtyard. The Leopoldine wing between the two was retained from the early Baroque structure.

A presentation sketch of the whole complex by the first architect of the rebuilding project, ...

Article

Liliana Herrera

(b Fuente del Maestro, Extremadura; fl 1631; d ?Cuzco, 1664 or 1680).

Spanish sculptor and architect, active in Peru. He influenced generations of indigenous sculptors in the Cuzco region, where he was resident from about the 1630s until 1664 and where he introduced and developed the Plateresque style. Some of his carved retables are known only from documentation, as is the case with the principal altar (1631; destr. 19th century) at La Merced, Cuzco. Other works in Cuzco include the principal retables in Cuzco Cathedral, executed (1637–?1646) in collaboration with Juan Rodríguez Samanez (fl 1626–56), in the monastery of S Clara (1636) and in the monastery of S Agustín (1639; all destr.). He also worked with Rodríguez Samanez on the principal retables for the Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (destr. 1650) and for the Hospital de Españoles de S Juan de Dios in 1637, both in Cuzco. He is best known for the two ambónes (1656) in Cuzco Cathedral, pulpits placed either side of the high altar; which complement the building’s mid-17th-century architecture. They are decorated with paired columns, flanking niches with angular and squared tops, pediments with volutes crowned by a cartouche, and with five carved Apostles on each pulpit. In 1651, following the 1650 Cuzco earthquake, he was contracted as architect to work on the main entrance to the church of La Merced, Cuzco. This was completed in 1669, with the exception of the tower, which was finished in 1675 possibly by Torres himself....

Article

Christopher Wilson and Mark Stocker

English castle and royal residence in Berkshire.

One of a series of castles that William I (reg 1066–87) established around London, Windsor occupied the nearest strong point in the Thames Valley to the west of the city. From William’s reign date the motte and also the distinctive elongated arrangement of lower, middle, and upper baileys that exploits the lie of the land at the top of a great chalk cliff south of the river. By the reign of Henry I (reg 1100–35) the creation of a large hunting forest, together with the proximity of London, made this a favoured royal residence as well as a fortress. The Round Tower, the stone shell-keep on the motte, may date from this time. The systematic replacement of timber defences by stone walls with rectangular interval towers was begun by Henry II in 1165, but work on the lower bailey was unfinished at his death in ...