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Algarve  

Kirk Ambrose

Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in 1249. Further excavations could shed much light on this history.

Highlights in the Algarve include remains at Milreu of a villa with elaborate mosaics that rank among the most substantial Roman sites in the region. The site further preserves foundations of a basilica, likely constructed in the 5th century, and traces of what may be a baptistery, perhaps added during the period of Byzantine occupation in the 6th and 7th centuries. The period of Islamic rule, from the 8th century through to the 13th, witnessed the construction of many fortifications, including examples at Aljezur, Loulé and Salir, which were mostly levelled by earthquakes. Silves, a city with origins in the Bronze Age, preserves a substantial concentration of relatively well-preserved Islamic monuments. These include a bridge, carved inscriptions, a castle, cistern and fortified walls, along which numerous ceramics have been excavated. Most extant medieval churches in Algarve date to the period after the Reconquest. These tend to be modest in design and small in scale, such as the 13th-century Vera Cruz de Marmelar, built over Visigothic or Mozarabic foundations. The relatively large cathedrals at Silves and at Faro preserve substantial portions dating to the 13th century, as well as fabric from subsequent medieval campaigns. Renaissance and Baroque churches and ecclesiastical furnishings can be found throughout Algarve....

Article

Maria Angela Mattevi

[Buon Consiglio; Trent; Trento]

Vast monumental complex built between the north and east gates of the ancient city walls (c. 1200–20) of Trent, the capital of Trentino in Italy. It has three main nuclei: the Castelvecchio, the Magno Palazzo and the Giunta Albertiana. The oldest part, Castelvecchio, was built (1239–55) around the strong donjon, the Torre d’Augusto, by the Imperial Podestà of Trent, Sodegerio da Tito (d 1255), who took up office in 1238. Its function was predominantly military. In 1277 it passed to the Church and became the residence of the prince–bishop of Trent. In subsequent centuries a series of modifications and extensions have brought the castle to its present form. Of fundamental importance were the works completed in 1475 by Giovanni Hinderbach (d 1486) with the aid of Venetian craftsmen, who built the Renaissance Gothic internal court with tiered open galleries and the small loggia on the third floor. At that time the walls of the upper loggia were frescoed with portraits of the bishops of Trent from the city’s origin to the year ...

Article

Alessandra Civai

Italian family of patrons and collectors. Members of the family held important political positions in Florence, especially during the 15th century. One of their most important acts of patronage, recorded by Vasari, was the commissioning by Roberto Martelli (1408–64) of several sculptures from Donatello, including the famous statue of St John the Baptist as a Youth (c. 1455; Florence, Bargello). Although the accuracy of Vasari’s information has been questioned, some recently discovered unpublished documents have enabled a partial confirmation of the attribution (see Civai, 1988–9, pp. 40–59; 1989). During the 16th century the family gave important commissions to Lorenzo di Credi, Giorgio Vasari, Andrea Sansovino and Giovanni Francesco Rustici in connection with the decoration of family chapels in the basilica of S Lorenzo and the churches of S Frediano in Florence and S Agostino in Rome. In the 17th century the Martelli constructed their sumptuous chapel (...