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Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Abū’l-Qāsim]

(fl c. 1816).

Persian painter. His only known work is a long composition depicting the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834) entertained by female musicians and dancers. The only surviving fragments of it are a painting of the shah (London, B. W. Robinson priv. col.) and three paintings of the entertainers (Tehran, Nigaristan Mus., ex-Amery priv. col.). The paintings of a woman playing a drum and of a woman playing a stringed instrument are signed raqam-i kamtarīn Abū’l-Qāsim (‘painted by the most humble Abu’l-Qasim’) and dated 1816, but the third painting showing a woman dancing is half-length and damaged. All the fragments share the same continuous architectural background and scale (a little less than life-size). Robinson has suggested that this mural might be the one described in the mid-19th century by the traveller Robert Binning, who reported that the house he occupied in Shiraz contained a painting of Fath ‛Ali Shah seated in state attended by ten women. The composition extended around three sides of the room and the figures were almost life-size. This identification suggests that Abu’l-Qasim might have been a native of Shiraz....

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Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala, Jan 7, 1933).

Guatemalan painter and printmaker. From 1954 to 1957 he studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Guatemala City while researching folk art for the Dirección de Bellas Artes, but he was virtually self-taught and began as a draftsman and painter of bullfighting scenes. In 1958 he traveled to New York on a Guatemalan government grant, prolonging his stay there with further grants, studying at the Arts Students League and Graphic Art Center, and finally settling there permanently. He was influential in Guatemala until c. 1960, but because of his long residence abroad his work did not fit easily in the context of Central American art. Before leaving Guatemala he had painted landscapes and nudes in a naturalistic style, but he soon adopted a more modern idiom partly inspired by aboriginal Guatemalan subjects. After moving to New York, and especially from 1958 to 1961, his art underwent a profound transformation as he sought to bring together elements of abstract art and Surrealism and experimented with textures, for example in cross-hatched pen-and-ink drawings such as ...

Article

Abusir  

Miroslav Verner

[Egyp. Per-Usir; Gr. Busiris]

Ancient Egyptian royal necropolis that flourished during the 5th Dynasty (c. 2465–c. 2325 bc). The site is 25 km south-west of the centre of Cairo and has been intermittently excavated since the beginning of the 19th century by teams of English, French, German, Egyptian and Czech archaeologists.

In the 5th Dynasty the sun cult reached its climax, and, according to legend, the first kings of that dynasty were considered the direct descendants of the sun god Re. Sahure (reg c. 2458–c. 2446 bc), the first king who established his pyramid complex at Abusir, presumably wished to be buried in the vicinity of the sun temple of his predecessor, Userkaf, which stood at the northern outskirts of the necropolis. Sahure’s pyramid was small, and its core was built of poor quality limestone. His pyramid temple, however, was carefully executed in different kinds of stone and richly decorated with reliefs, the whole representing a new stage in the evolution of this type of monument. A small subsidiary pyramid, an enclosure wall, a causeway and a valley temple also originally belonged to the pyramid complex....

Article

Abydos  

John Baines

[anc. Egyp. Abdjw]

Egyptian site, c. 50 km south of Sohag, and necropolis of the ancient city of This (perhaps modern Girga), which was briefly the capital of the newly united Egypt in the Late Predynastic period (c. 3000–c. 2925 bc). As the country’s most ancient capital, it remained significant throughout Egyptian history, becoming the principal cult centre of Osiris, a funerary deity who embodied the tradition of kingship. From the later Middle Kingdom (c. 1750 bc), the Early Dynastic period (c. 2925–c. 2575 bc) royal necropolis was believed to contain the tomb of Osiris; because of this, it was visited by pilgrims until Roman times (30 bcad 395). Large cemeteries continued to accumulate, and they were characterized in the latest period by a distinctive Greco-Egyptian type of stele. These merged Egyptian and Classical styles with a largely Egyptian decorative repertory and were increasingly inscribed in Greek. Thus for two millennia Abydos was an important centre of non-royal art, as well as the location of major temples....

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Abydos, general plan: (a) Umm el-Qaab; (b) Shunet el-Zebib; (c) Kom el-Sultan; (d) Temple of Osiris; (e) Middle Kingdom tombs and cenotaphs; (f) temple of Sethos I; (g) temple of Ramesses II

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Robert Demachy: Académie, gum bichromate print, 222×170 mm, 1900 (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933, Accession Number: 33.43.57); image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Article

Academy  

Humphrey Wine

Association or school of artists organized as a professional institution with a view to providing training, theoretical debate and exhibiting opportunities, and to mediate between its members and patrons or public. The word ‘academy’ derives from the ancient Greek ‘akademeia’, the name of the grove near Athens where Plato taught his pupils philosophy. In early modern times the term was first used in 15th-century Italy to describe meetings of literati, but from the 16th century it was adopted by those artists’ corporations that included teaching as one of their main purposes, particularly teaching with an intellectual as opposed to a purely manual content. Drawing after antique statuary and from the live model (see Academy figure) played a preponderant part in this teaching, although anatomy, geometry, perspective, history and other disciplines were variously included in the curricula of academies. From around 1600 the academic idea spread from Italy to France, Spain and the Netherlands. It was in France under ...

Article

Term applied to a drawn or painted representation of the human figure, most commonly made as part of the instruction in an academy or art school. Although the practice of making drawings from nude models had developed during the Renaissance and was commended by such theorists as Alberti, it was only with the foundation of academies of painting in the 17th century that such drawing became formalized as part of a rigorous programme of training. Indeed, by the mid-18th century, the word ‘académie’ was defined in Diderot’s Encyclopédie as ‘a public school where painters go to draw or paint, and sculptors to model, after a nude man called the model’. In France one of the principal means by which the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture asserted its predominance was by maintaining a monopoly on life classes. After the student had mastered the difficulties of copying engravings and plaster casts, he was set to draw from the nude figure under the supervision of the professor. The model was almost invariably male because female models were forbidden at the Académie Royale, and elsewhere they were extremely expensive to hire. Classes lasted two hours, and the pose was usually changed twice a week. The student began by drawing with red chalk on white paper and later progressed to black chalk on tinted papers, applying white chalk for highlights. Such drawing was an exercise in shading, hatching, graining and stumping, and increasingly the results became so homogeneous in style that unsigned examples are almost impossible to attribute. Painted academy figures (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

Bruce Tattersall and Eva Wilson

Ornamental motif based on the leaves of the acanthus plant, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean area. Two species have been proposed as likely models for different forms of decorative leaf motifs: Acanthus mollis, with broad, blunt tips to the leaves, and Acanthus spinosus, with comparatively narrow leaves and pointed lobes terminating in spines. Acanthus leaves added to a lotus and palmette border gave rise to a motif known as Anthemion. The acanthus was described by Alois Riegl as a variant of the palmette motif (for discussion and illustration see Palmette). The acanthus leaf’s spiky form and scrolling growth made it highly suitable for both ornamental and architectonic use, although, after its initial introduction in Greek art and architecture, the motif rarely corresponded closely to a particular species of plant; throughout its long history the leaf ornaments known as acanthus were imaginary designs adapted variously with no reference to any living plant. In various forms, it was one of the most widely used types of foliage motif from antiquity until the late 19th century....

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Acanthus motifs (from top to bottom): (a) carved ornament at the top of a marble stele, from Athens, c. 390–c. 365 bc (London, British Museum, Sculpture 605); (b) stone relief from the church of SS Sergios and Bakchos, Istanbul, ad 527–36; (c) detail of a border and corner rosette from the Benedictional of St Aethelwold, Winchester, Old Minster, ...

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

Olivier Michel

(Rome)

Olivier Michel

Professional Italian institution established in 1577 to replace the old artists’ guild in Rome, the Università dei Pittori, and to provide for the education of young artists. During the later 17th century and the 18th it dominated artistic life in Romkumbers. Although its importance diminished in the 19th century, it continues in existence and preserves a notable collection of documents in its archives and art works in its gallery. (For an account of the Accademia’s place in the development of art academies see Academy §2)

A papal brief issued by Gregory XIII on 13 October 1577 decreed the creation of an academy of fine arts named after St Luke to replace the Università dei Pittori (see Rome §III 3. above), then over a century old. The initiative behind the establishment of the Accademia di S Luca, however, came from Girolamo Muziano, who was entrusted with defining the broad aims on which the activities of the new institution were to be based. On ...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Trápani, Oct 9, 1924).

Italian painter. After training at the Accademie di Belle Arte in Palermo and Florence, she moved to Rome in 1946, where she met the Sicilian artists Pietro Consagra, Ugo Attardi (b 1923) and Antonio Sanfilippo (1923–80), the last of whom she married in 1949. Together with Giulio Turcato, Mino Guerrini (b 1927), Piero Dorazio and Achille Perilli (b 1927), the group established Forma in 1947 to promote an abstract Marxist art distinct from social realism. Accardi participated in the Forma exhibition (October 1947; Rome, A. Club) with work still indebted to post-Cubism (e.g. Decomposition, 1947; U. Parma, Cent. Studi & Archv Communic.). After one-woman shows in Rome (Lib. Age Or, 1950) and Milan (Lib. Salto, 1951), and having established contact with the Movimento Arte Concreta, Accardi visited Paris. There the contrasting static and energetic work of Alberto Magnelli and Hans Hartung initiated a crisis of direction, and she abandoned painting in ...

Article

Tessa Garton

(fl Apulia, c. 1039–41).

Italian sculptor. His name occurs in inscriptions on a marble pulpit in Canosa Cathedral and on the beams of similar pulpits at S Maria, Siponto, and the Sanctuary of S Michele at Monte Sant’Angelo. The inscription on the Canosa pulpit (per iussionem domini mei guitberti venerabilis presbiteri, ego acceptus peccator archidiaconus feci[?t] hoc opus) identifies Acceptus as an archdeacon who made the pulpit on the orders of the priest Guitbertus. The inscription on the beam at Siponto refers to Acceptus (dmitte crimina accepto) and gives the date 1039; the lectern at Monte Sant’Angelo is dated 1041, and the inscription on one of the beams identifies Acceptus as sculptor ([sc]ulptor et acceptus bulgo). The workshop evidently included more than one sculptor, since another beam at Siponto is signed david magister. Fragments of choir screens at Monte Sant’Angelo and Siponto, and the lion support and crossbeam of a throne at Siponto, indicate that the Acceptus workshop made several kinds of liturgical furniture....

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Marlene Dumas: The Accident, oil on canvas, 1986 (Munich, Pinakothek der Moderne, Bayerische Staatsgemaeldesammlungen); © Marlene Dumas/Courtesy Galerie Paul Andriesse/photo credit: bpk, Berlin/Art Resource, NY

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Marius De Zayas: The Accidental Cubists, photomechanical print, 1914 (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Article

Janis Callen Bell

(di Fabrizio)

(b ?Arezzo, 1579; d Florence, 1642).

Italian writer, painter and architect. He was descended from an illustrious Aretine family (his grandfather was Cardinal Benedetto Accolti (1497–1549), Archbishop of Ravenna and Secretary to Pope Clement VII). He was librarian and architect in the service of Cardinal Carlo Medici, and a member of the Florence Accademia and the Accademia di Disegno. He is known for Lo inganno degli occhi (1625), a three-part treatise (on plane figures, solids and shading) in which he showed how perspective practice derived from principles of visual perception. In this he examined classical and modern theories of vision, including those by Euclid (fl c. 300 bc), Witelo (c. 1230–80), Franciscus Aguilonius (1567–1617) and Guidobaldo del Monte, and criticized contemporary writers on perspective for underestimating the importance of light and shadow. He emphasized the need to distinguish parallel solar rays from diverging point sources of light, such as candlelight, and presented some original ideas on arranging compositions with multiple vanishing points and on foreshortening pictures within pictures. Chapters on anamorphosis and ...