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Article

Walter Geis

(b Andernach, April 15, 1823; d Cologne, Sept 13, 1888).

German sculptor, writer, designer, collector, dealer and furniture-restorer. From 1846 to 1871 he made gothicizing sculptures for Cologne Cathedral: for example figures of evangelists, martyrs and angels and figured reliefs (limestone; south transept, portals and buttresses). He also produced sculpture in period styles for castles, public buildings and private houses, for example 36 limestone statues of German emperors (1882–7; Aachen, Rathaus). The balanced form of his blocklike standing figures shows the influence of classical sculpture, and their generally pensive expression may be traced to the influence of the Lukasbrüder (see Nazarenes). With the help of costumes, Mohr adapted sculpted figures to the style of architecture, but in general his work after 1860 is characterized by massiveness, broad surfaces and an expression of pathos.

Mohr’s later work suggests an admiration for Michelangelo and for the monumental sculpture of Mohr’s contemporaries Ernst Rietschel and Johannes Schilling. The sculptures Mohr made between ...

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

Ravello  

Antonio Milone

Italian cathedral city in the province of Salerno, Campania. Ravello has been documented as an urban centre since the 10th century and as a bishopric since 1087. The centre, near the Toro quarter, is high up between the two rivers that separate the city from Scala and Minori. The city’s fortifications were damaged and the city itself was sacked by a Pisan assault in 1135 and in 1137. At the end of the 14th century, its inhabitants also clashed with the neighbouring city of Scala. In the 13th century a mercantile oligarchy with power throughout all of Sicily and close relations to the Crown took control of the city, celebrated in Boccaccio’s Decameron (II.4), and enriched it with numerous monuments and artworks.

The cathedral, dedicated to S Pantaleone, dates to 1087 but was extensively altered in the late 18th century. The cathedral has three naves and the façade has three portals—the central one has a bronze door (...