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Article

Z. Waźbiński

(Florence)

Academy of artists in Florence, Italy. The Accademia was based on the Compagnia di S Luca (founded 1349), an association of artists of a religious character, and was constituted in 1563 largely at the instigation of Giorgio Vasari. Its numbers increased in 1571 when more artists broke away from the Arte dei Medici e Speziali (founded 13th century) and the masons’ guild (founded 1236). The enlarged institution became the sole officially recognized professional body representing Florentine artists, and the school of art (see Academy, §2). In its final legal form, established in 1585, it comprised the Compagnia and the Accademia sensu stricto, and it was administered on behalf of the court by a Luogotenente (lieutenant) drawn from a distinguished Florentine family. The Accademia survived in this form until it was replaced in 1784 by the Accademia di Belle Arti, founded by Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany....

Article

John Camp and Reinhard Stupperich

(Athens)

In ancient Greek the term acropolis means simply the ‘upper or higher city’ or ‘citadel’, although in general usage it has become firmly associated with the unparalleled architectural and sculptural ensemble of the Classical Athenian Acropolis.

First inhabited and fortified in the Bronze Age (c. 1550–c. 1050 bc), the Acropolis was by the Archaic period (c. 700–480 bc) given over largely to cult activity, primarily the worship of Athena. The earliest remains of cult buildings may date to the 8th and the 7th century bc, but it was not until the 6th century bc that the Acropolis was adorned with monumental architecture.

The impetus for the first major building phase on the Acropolis seems to have been the Peisistratid family, who ruled Athens as tyrants (absolute, but not necessarily despotic, rulers; see Peisistratos), and was apparently connected with their reorganization of the Panathenaic festival in honour of Athena around 566 ...

Article

Agora  

John Camp and José Dörig

(Athens)

The Agora was the large open square north-west of the Acropolis that constituted the civic and commercial centre of Classical Athens. It was reserved for public functions, meetings, theatrical events, festivals, markets, elections, and the like. During the Bronze Age and Iron Age it had been used for habitation and as a burial-ground, and its use as the civic centre seems to date from the mid-6th century bc, when the first public buildings were erected along its west side. By the end of the 6th century bc its limits were clearly defined by boundary stones, and a great street, known as the Panathenaic Way, ran diagonally through the square, leading from the city gate in the west to the Acropolis. The ancient site has been excavated under the direction of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens since 1931.

Though few structures were set up within the square itself, one exception was the Altar of the Twelve Gods, erected by the younger ...

Article

Lars-Olof Albertson

[Aakirkeby] [Aa church]

Romanesque church in the village of Åkirkeby on the island Bornholm, Denmark. The church, dedicated to St Hans, was constructed in the second half of the 12th century and is the largest church on Bornholm. The oldest parts are the apse, the choir, and the lowest part of the nave. The upper part of the nave and the tower were later additions. The porch dates from the first half of the 13th century and is one of the oldest in Denmark. A greenish sandstone and brownish slate were used for the walls. The nave was constructed with two arcade walls, one running in the middle of the nave from the triumph wall to the tower wall, the other one running from the south entrance to the north entrance. Both were removed during restoration in 1874. In the Middle Ages the church belonged to the chapter at Lund Cathedral and was the seat for one of the canons and was also known as ‘Kapitalskirken’ or the Chapter Church....

Article

Bernard O'Kane

(Cairo)

Mosque in Cairo, Egypt. The mosque known as al-Azhar (‘the Radiant’) was begun in ad 970 as the principal mosque of al-Qahira (see fig.). Completed in 972, it was made a teaching institution in 988–9, and its present renown is due to the prestige of its almost unbroken tradition as an educational centre. The original mosque was a rectangle (c. 85×70 m) with arcades on three sides of a court. There was no arcade opposite the qibla, but there may have been a monumental portal like that at the earlier mosque built by the Fatimids at Mahdia in Tunisia or the later Cairene mosque of al-Hakim. At the centre of the qibla side a raised transept on paired columns leads to a dome over the mihrab bay, an arrangement recalling Mahdia, and domes cover the back corners of the hypostyle prayer-hall, otherwise covered with a flat wooden roof (...

Article

Mary Gough

[Koca Kalesi]

Early Christian monastery on the southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains in Isauria, part of the Roman province of Cilicia in south-western Turkey. It is some 300 m above the main road between Silifke (anc. Seleucia) and Konya (anc. Iconium), 21 km north of Mut (anc. Claudiopolis). From two funerary inscriptions, pottery and coins, the monastery may be securely dated to the reigns of two Isaurian emperors, Leo (reg ad 457–74) and Zeno (reg 474–91).

The monastery was originally founded in a series of caves in a limestone outcrop at the west end of a narrow mountain ledge. The largest of these caves contained two rock-cut churches. The ledge was later enlarged by quarrying to the north and by the construction of a retaining wall to the south. The earliest building, immediately to the east of the caves, was the three-aisled Basilica. It was originally lavishly decorated, both inside and out, with architectural sculpture in a flowing naturalistic style, including plant forms, birds and fishes; figures occur only on the jambs and lintel of the main doorway between the narthex and the central aisle. On the west side of the lintel is a head of Christ set in a circle supported by angels, and at each end of the lintel and on the doorposts are four busts in high relief, possibly of the Evangelists. On the inner faces of the jambs are full-length figures of the archangels Michael and Gabriel in flat relief, while on the underside of the lintel is a remarkable relief of the four ...

Article

Ana Marín Fidalgo

Although outside the Roman walls, the site was an important stronghold in Seville, Spain, from an early date. A Palaeo-Christian basilica was built there, probably encircled by a walled precinct (destr. ad 844). The Dar al-Imara (913–14), the original nucleus of the Alcázar, was built over the old basilica by the Umayyad ruler Abd al-Rahman III (reg 912–61) and was enlarged in the 11th century by a series of fortified walls extending towards the west, which resulted in a new palace complex called Alcázar al-Mubarak, or El Bendito. Part of this building was called al-Turayya, or the Salón del Trono (the present Salón de Embajadores). In the 12th century a military precinct was constructed towards the south, marking the boundary of an area that became the orchards and inner gardens of the Alcázar. During this period two courtyards and the Patio de los Yesos were built within the old precincts....

Article

(St Petersburg)

Monastery in St Petersburg, Russia. The monastery was founded in 1710 by Peter I on the River Neva c. 2 km from the city centre, where, according to legend, Aleksandr Nevsky, Prince of Novgorod (reg 1236–63), defeated the Swedish forces in 1240. It is situated at the end of the Nevsky Prospekt leading from the Admiralty (see St Petersburg §I, 3). The first design (1717) by Domenico Trezzini was for a central cathedral surrounded by blocks of monks’ cells. Between this complex and the Neva was to be a formal garden and the household court. Trezzini’s cells on the north side of the site were built in the 1720s; those on the south, built in the 1740s, were designed by Trezzini’s son Pietro Antonio Trezzini (b 1710). Domenico Trezzini’s church of the Annunciation (1717–22) was erected in the north wing (now a museum of urban sculpture). The cathedral was begun ...

Article

Eugenio Galdieri

[‛Alī Qāpū](Isfahan)

Palace in Isfahan, Iran. Situated in the middle of the western side of the Royal Maidan (see fig.), the ‛Ali Qapu (Lofty Gate) was begun by ‛Abbas I c. 1597 as a simple entrance hall for the royal palace complex but was gradually modified and extended until it reached its present form c. 1660 under ‛Abbas II. Its function evolved from a guard house to an audience hall and later an official tribune from which to inspect military manoeuvres and games held in the maidan below. The building consists of a main block with a tower and a lower extension crowned by a raised columnar hall (Pers. tālār). The towered section (20 m sq., h. 33 m) is subdivided into five levels. Because of the differing elevations of the rooms, the floors had different layouts, and many of the structural elements lack continuity from one floor to the next. The main supporting structures, which are heavy and massive on the lower floors, become lighter towards the top, fading into hollow pilasters on the third floor and ending as a network of thin arches that support and cover the Music Room (...

Article

F. B. Sear and Zilah Quezado Deckker

Building or precinct with tiers of seats surrounding a central space used for public spectacles.

F. B. Sear

The Roman amphitheatre differs from a theatre in that it is elliptical in shape, has seats all round the arena and was used either for gladiatorial games or for contests between men and beasts. Under the arena floor were cages for the animals, and rooms and movable platforms for the props and scenery. Spectators were protected from the sun by a canvas awning suspended on ropes that were attached to masts around the top of the outer wall and secured to bollards at ground-level.

During the earlier Republican period gladiatorial games at Rome were held either in the Circus Maximus or in the Forum Romanum, with the spectators seated on temporary wooden benches. The senatorial ban on permanent theatres also applied to amphitheatres, with the result that even during the late Republic only temporary amphitheatres were erected at Rome, such as the one built by the senator ...

Article

H. J. Zantkuijl

[Koninklijk Paleis]

What is now the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) on the Dam was originally Amsterdam’s town hall (Stadhuis). It had long been intended to replace the existing town hall with one more indicative of Amsterdam’s power and wealth, and many medieval houses were demolished to make way for it. In 1647 Jacob van Campen designed the monumental building, which was begun in 1648. Daniël Stalpaert was appointed city architect and supervised the building work, taking control of the project when van Campen withdrew in 1654 because of a disagreement with his assistants.

The outbreak of war with England in 1653 imposed financial restrictions on the project, but these were lifted in 1655 when it was decided to carry out the original designs. The front of the building faces the Dam; the ground plan is 80×57.5 m; the height to the top of the dome is 52 m. The building is a rectangular block with two internal courtyards. Three bays project at each corner, together with the seven central bays of the long façades. The corners are emphasized by transverse roofs. Above the basement are two main floors divided by a horizontal cornice. Each of the main floors has two levels of windows, defined by a giant order of pilasters, Composite for the lower and Corinthian for the upper level, following Vincenzo Scamozzi’s book of orders ...

Article

Robert Will

Former Benedictine convent of nuns, dedicated to St Saviour, in Alsace, France. Founded in the 9th century, it was suppressed at the Revolution in 1789. The west tower and the nave with tribunes were rebuilt in the 17th century, but the crypt and western block survive and contain important Romanesque remains. The sculptural decoration, executed in sandstone from the Vosges, is concentrated on the façade block.

The finest work is found on the portal, which is abundantly decorated with low-relief sculpture. The door-frame belongs to the 11th-century church, but the sculptures are contemporary with the construction of the westwork in 1140. Their iconography is linked to the theme of paradise, a term used in medieval times to denote both the parvis in front of a church and the entrance porch. Standing out in the centre of the tympanum, Christ confers a key on St Peter and a book on St Paul. The scene takes place in a celestial garden, reminiscent of Early Christian decorative backgrounds, but here the trees are emphasized and the traditional scheme is combined with other allegorical subjects: the climbing of a heavenly tree and bird-hunting. On the lintel is the story of Adam and Eve, from the Creation of Eve to the Expulsion. The Lamentation of Adam and Eve, represented on the extreme right, is exceptional in the region and is derived from Byzantine iconography. Each of the pilasters flanking the jambs bears five superimposed niches, sheltering Abbey benefactors and their spouses, designated by name. The lowest niches are supported by atlas figures. Over the porch arch are three groups in high relief: the keystone bears Christ treading a dragon under his feet, flanked by Samson opening the lion’s mouth (right) and David victorious over Goliath (left)....

Article

Pascale Charron

Castle in Angers, France. Around 850, in response to the Viking invasions, Odo, Count of Anjou, built his residence on the south-west of the rocky promontory dominating the River Maine. This building was probably a simple wooden fortress, the castle being essentially a ceremonial site, described in surviving documents as ‘aula’ (hall). The residential buildings occupied at least a quarter of the present castle site and lay mainly against the Gallo-Roman fortification. The hall, built on the earlier terrace, had adjoining rooms overlooking the Maine.

The earliest surviving remains date from the transformation of the castle in the 11th and 13th centuries. The first building to be erected outside the Gallo-Roman fortification was the St Laud Chapel (1150). Traces of the foundations of a donjon (8×11 m) and of a tower (3×4 m) are visible. Linked by a passage, they must have constituted the fortified gate-house of the count’s castle. The castle fell to Philip II (...

Article

Jan van Roey

[City Hall]

The earliest city government of Antwerp, Belgium (12th century) presumably met in the house of one of the aldermen. In the 13th and 14th centuries, however, municipal government was housed in the Broodhuis (destr.), a residence of the Dukes of Brabant. When Antwerp returned to the rule of Brabant in the early 15th century (see Antwerp §I, 1), the municipal government was given its own aldermen’s hall, south of the current town hall. Although relatively modest, it nevertheless demonstrated the city’s growing importance. Owing to the vast increase in population after 1500, plans were made c. 1540–41 for a larger and more imposing town hall, to be built by Domien de Waghemakere in Gothic style on the south side of the Grote Markt. Political and military circumstances, however, required that the materials and money that had already been collected were used to build the new fortifications (see...

Article

J. J. Martín González

Spanish palace that stands beside the rivers Tagus and Jarama in the province of Madrid, 47 km south of the capital. It was intended as a spring and summer residence for the royal family and is renowned for its gardens and fountains. The summer residence built at Aranjuez in 1387 by Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, became royal property under Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile and León. In the reign of Charles V improvements were carried out by Luis de Vega (from c. 1537) and the palace was extensively enlarged by Philip II. The chapel was designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo and completed by Jerónimo Gili and Juan de Herrera. It was built in a combination of white stone from Colmenar de Oreja and brick, giving a two-toned effect that was adopted for the rest of the palace. In ...

Article

Georgios Velenis

(Thessaloniki)

Monument in Thessaloniki, Greece. In the early 4th century ad Galerius built a triumphal arch, c. 170 m west of the Kassandrian Gate, to commemorate his victory over the Sasanians in 298. It originally comprised four piers supporting a brick dome. Only the two western piers survive, decorated with four superimposed registers of low relief depicting scenes from his campaigns and triumphal processions. Two small archways connected the triumphal arch with a rectangular chamber on the south side. The exact relationship of this complex to the palace of Galerius to the south, the Rotunda (see Hagios Georgios [Rotunda of Galerius]) and the Via Regia (see Thessaloniki §I) has yet to be confirmed. One theory states that the arch connected the palace to the Rotunda, and that the Via Regia, flanked by colonnaded arcades, ran beneath the dome. According to this view, the arch was connected on the north side to two smaller piers that marked the beginning of a colonnaded ceremonial way leading to the Rotunda. It has been shown, however, that this pair of piers was added when the Rotunda was converted into a church and that the piers were directly related to the construction of the ceremonial way (Velenis, ...

Article

Creighton E. Gilbert

(Padua)

Chapel in Padua, Italy. This small brick structure (interior 29.26×8.48×12.8 m to the apex of the vault) consists of a single-cell nave, the walls and vault of which are entirely covered with paintings (rest.) by Giotto (see fig.; see also Joachim and the Shepherds, the Betrayal of Christ, and the Lamentation, and a choir with paintings by an imitator. The cycle by Giotto is widely accepted to represent the pinnacle of his achievement and to be one of the most important Italian pictorial cycles (for a discussion of the paintings see Giotto, §I, 3, (i)).

The chapel is the sole remaining fragment of a house built by a leading citizen, Enrico Scrovegni (d 1336), on a site just outside the city walls in an area marked by the remains of the elliptical Roman amphitheatre or arena (hence the names of Cappella dell’Arena and degli Scrovegni). Scrovegni purchased the land from another leading family on ...

Article

P. J. Nordhagen

(Ravenna)

Baptistry in Ravenna, Italy. This small, octagonal building was erected next to the Arian cathedral (now Santo Spirito) by Theodoric for his Arian Goths in the late 5th century. The dome is decorated with mosaics belonging to two phases of work, thus reflecting the apparently swift changes that occurred with the introduction of all-gold backgrounds and the loss of three-dimensional representation (see fig.). As in the Orthodox baptistery, the centre of the dome is dominated by a medallion of the Baptism, which is encircled by a ring of Apostles processing towards a jewelled throne surmounted by a jewelled cross. The Baptism, and the figures of SS Peter and Paul flanking the throne and of an anonymous Apostle standing next to Paul, belong to the first phase. They are depicted in an illusionistic style; their faces and garments reveal bolder modelling and warmer colouring than those of the remaining nine Apostles. Clear breaks in the mortar also show that the rest of the ring was completed by a second team of mosaicists. By comparison with their counterparts in the Orthodox baptistery, the forms and draperies of the nine Apostles are much stiffer, as if frozen into immobility. The group of mosaicists responsible for this stylistic change in decoration evidently helped to decorate ...

Article

M. I. Andreyev

Estate situated 20 km west of Moscow. It was first recorded in 1537 as the village of Upolzy, and renamed Arkhangel’skoye after a brick church dedicated to the Archangel Michael was built in 1667 to replace a wooden one. From 1703 to 1810 the estate belonged to the princes Golitsyn and from 1810 to 1917 to the princes Yusupov, notably Yusupov family, §1. In 1919 it became a museum-estate.

One of the finest Russian palace and park ensembles, Arkhangel’skoye has as its nucleus a Neo-classical palace, connected to the two wings set in front of the main façade by powerful Tuscan colonnades. It was built by local serf craftsmen between 1780 and 1790 to a plan by the French architect Charles de Guerney. The strict symmetry of the palace’s architecture is underscored by the severe belvedere and central portico with four Ionic columns; on the opposite side, overlooking the park, the projection of an oval room, decorated with a pair of Ionic columns, echoes the portico. In ...

Article

Arsenal  

Building or group of buildings for the manufacture and storage of warships, weapons or ammunition. The term (from the Arabic dar accina‛ah: ‘workshop’) was first used at the Arsenale in Venice, where both the military and the commercial ships of the Venetian Republic were built. According to tradition, the Arsenale at Venice was founded in 1104, although recent research has suggested a later date at the beginning of the 13th century. As Venetian maritime power increased, the Arsenale grew in size, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, eventually occupying 46 ha, surrounded by walls and canals (see Venice, fig.). The Arsenale’s importance was emphasized by its monumental architecture, including one of the city’s first Renaissance buildings, the Great Gateway (1460), attributed to Antonio Gambello, which is in the form of a triumphal arch. Despite the scale of the Arsenale at Venice, Venetian naval power was successfully challenged by the Ottoman Empire, whose own ...