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Article

Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

Article

Baroque  

Gauvin Bailey and Jillian Lanthier

Term used to describe one of the first genuinely global styles of art and architecture in the Western canon, extending from its birthplace in Bologna and Rome to places as far-flung as France, Sweden, Russia, Latin America, colonial Asia (Goa, Macao), and Africa (Mozambique, Angola), even manifesting itself in hybrid forms in non-European cultures such as Qing China (the Yuanming yuan pleasure gardens of the Qianlong Emperor) or Ottoman Turkey (in a style often called Türk Barok). The Baroque also embraced a very wide variety of art forms, from the more traditional art historical media of painting, sculpture, and architecture to public spectacles, fireworks, gardens, and objects of everyday use, often combining multiple media into a single object or space in a way that blurred traditional disciplinary boundaries. More so than the Renaissance and Mannerist stylistic movements which preceded it, Baroque was a style of the people as well as one of élites, and scholars are only recently beginning to explore the rich material culture of the Baroque, from chapbooks (Italy) and votive paintings (central Europe and Latin America) to farm furniture (Sweden) and portable oratories (Brazil). Although its precise chronological boundaries will probably always be a matter of dispute, the Baroque era roughly covers the period from the 1580s to the early 18th century when, in places such as France and Portugal, the ...

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Michael J. Lewis

(Gottlieb Wilhelm)

(b Nordhausen, May 29, 1806; d Berlin, June 19, 1889).

German architect, theorist, teacher and writer. He entered the Berlin Bauakademie in 1827 and soon became a leading figure in the new Architekten-Verein zu Berlin (see Berlin §II 3.). Like many of his generation, he was much influenced by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and had a youthful fascination with the Gothic. His first book was a study of medieval timber architecture. He was particularly concerned with the relationship between style and construction and he soon began to apply this analysis to Greek architecture. The result was his monumental Die Tektonik der Hellenen (1843–51). The Rundbogenstil architect Heinrich Hübsch had already suggested that the forms of ancient Greek architecture were based on stone construction and not derived from timber antecedents. Bötticher expanded this insight into a vast system that explained all of Greek architecture in structural terms. For him, Greek architecture was rational building, its forms corresponding absolutely to the requirements of the stone used in its post and lintel construction. This constituted a major upheaval in the interpretation of Classical architecture, insisting that its elements were sanctioned neither by their historical pedigree nor by Platonic perfection of form, but rather by immutable physical and material laws. Bötticher briefly considered synthesizing Greek and Gothic structural principles to form a new style, but he quickly abandoned the idea, arguing that it would be superficial. In a prophetic ...

Article

Ornamental tablet or shield bearing an inscription, monogram or heraldic arms framed in elaborate scrolls, shell-shaped volutes or similar devices. The term has been extended to include the lozenge-shaped frames inscribed with the names of pharaohs in Egyptian hieroglyphs. The cartouche was a minor ornament in the vocabulary of European Renaissance and Mannerist design. Used in both ecclesiastical and secular contexts, it adorned exterior and interior walls and furniture (e.g. cassone with shield cartouche flanked by putti, carved wood and gilt, Roman, mid-16th century; London, V&A). It also embellished manuscripts and prints, used as a motif to enclose titles and brief texts, notably in architectural elevations and maps (see Map).

The use of the cartouche developed more fully in the Baroque era, however, and in its more opulent 17th-century form it spread rapidly as a decorative device throughout Europe and eventually to the New World. It became the dramatic focus of pedimental designs above façades, doorframes and windows, as well as in chimney-pieces, keystones and balconies. Deeply carved in stone, marble and wood or in cast plaster or stucco, its commonly shared characteristics were lavish back or forward scrolls resembling parchment or a profusion of scrolling plant forms. Shields were frequently surmounted by crowns or mantled helmets and flanked by figures, animals or birds and heavy floral swags (e.g. shield cartouche flanked by ostriches, carved and painted wood, façade, ...

Article

Cinema  

Priscilla Boniface

Building for the projection and viewing of films. The term derives from cinématographie, the equipment devised for showing moving pictures patented by the Lumière brothers in France in 1895. Significant forerunners of this development include the Diorama, invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1822, and the Kinetoscope, a machine for running a film-reel, invented by Thomas Edison’s assistant William Dickson and introduced by Edison in the USA in 1891. The Kinetoscope was one of a variety of solutions produced in Europe and the USA in the last decade of the 19th century to the challenge of presenting moving pictures to an audience. Pressure for improvements in technology and comfort was probably at its most intense in the USA, and the first permanent, purpose-built cinema, the Electric Theater, was opened in Los Angeles, CA, by Thomas L. Tally in 1902.

The early cinema was typically a simple rectangular auditorium fronted by an ostentatious façade; this derived in part from fairground booths and shops, in the recesses of which picture shows were held during the 1890s. Music halls and theatres were often used for projecting moving pictures in conjunction with other forms of entertainment, and their decoration and plan were emulated in the design of early cinemas, many of which had stages. A few cinemas built before World War I had simple balconies and, occasionally, side-boxes, despite the limited vision these usually provided. From ...

Article

Christina Lodder

revised by Benjamin Benus

Avant-garde tendency in 20th-century painting, sculpture, photography, design and architecture, with associated developments in literature, theatre and film. The term was first coined by artists in Russia in early 1921 and achieved wide international currency in the 1920s. Russian Constructivism refers specifically to a group of artists who sought to move beyond the autonomous art object, extending the formal language of abstract art into practical design work. This development was prompted by the utopian climate following the October Revolution of 1917, which led artists to seek to create a new visual environment, embodying the social needs and values of the new Communist order. The concept of International Constructivism defines a broader current in European art, most vital from around 1922 until the end of the 1920s, that was centred primarily in Central and Eastern Europe. International Constructivists were inspired by the Russian example, both artistically and politically. They continued, however, to work in the traditional artistic media of painting and sculpture, while also experimenting with film and photography and recognizing the potential of the new formal language for utilitarian design. The term Constructivism has frequently been used since the 1920s, in a looser fashion, to evoke a continuing tradition of geometric abstract art that is ‘constructed’ from autonomous visual elements such as lines and planes, and characterized by such qualities as precision, impersonality, a clear formal order, simplicity and economy of organization and the use of contemporary materials such as plastic and metal....

Article

Robert M. Craig

Early 20th-century American manifestation of the late 19th-century international Arts and Crafts Movement and similarly grounded on the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris. The Craftsman Movement married Ruskin’s concept of an architectural morality with Morris’s ideal of art as quintessentially “doing a right thing well,” and called for artists to embrace the idea that the worth of an object is inherent in the pleasure in its making. Led in America by furniture maker Gustav(e) Stickley, the movement preached honesty in materials, elimination and simplification in design (as a reflection of a simpler life), and an integration of art and beauty into domestic life. A non-elitist craft of building embodying values of handiwork and “pleasure in labor” would result in a democratic architecture of good character available to the Everyman.

Stickley designed and manufactured furniture, and published designs for houses as appropriate settings for his honest and straightforward oak tables and chairs and built-in bookcases. He illustrated his work and point of view in ...

Article

Cubism  

Christopher Green and John Musgrove

Term derived from a reference made to ‘geometric schemas and cubes’ by the critic Louis Vauxcelles in describing paintings exhibited in Paris by Georges Braque in November 1908; it is more generally applied not only to work of this period by Braque and Pablo Picasso but also to a range of art produced in France during the later 1900s, the 1910s and the early 1920s and to variants developed in other countries. Although the term is not specifically applied to a style of architecture except in former Czechoslovakia (see Czech Cubism), architects did share painters’ formal concerns regarding the conventions of representation and the dissolution of three-dimensional form (see §II). Cubism cannot definitively be called either a style, the art of a specific group or even a movement. It embraces widely disparate work; it applies to artists in different milieux; and it produced no agreed manifesto. Yet, despite the difficulties of definition, it has been called the first and the most influential of all movements in 20th-century art....

Article

Werner Szambien

(b Paris, Sept 18, 1760; d Thiais, Dec 31, 1834).

French architect, teacher and writer. He was one of the most influential teachers of his time, and his radically rationalist approach, which emphasized priority of function and economy of means, was expressed in analytical writings that remained popular into the 20th century. He studied under Pierre Panseron (fl 1736) and from 1776 in the office of Etienne-Louis Boullée. He also took courses with Julien-David Le Roy at the Académie d’Architecture and participated in competitions under the guidance of Jean-Rodolphe Perronet. He twice came second in the Prix de Rome: in 1779 for a museum and in 1780 for a school. During the 1780s he worked as a draughtsman for Boullée and for the engraver Jean-François Janinet. In 1788 construction began in the Rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, Paris, of his Maison Lathuille, a building with Néo-Grec decoration but with a layout characterized by its extreme simplicity. About 1790 he executed a series of drawings entitled ...

Article

Gisela Moeller

(b Berlin, April 12, 1871; d Berlin, April 13, 1925).

German architect, designer, writer and teacher. After moving to Munich in 1892, he abandoned his plan to become a teacher, deciding on a career as a freelance scholar. He then studied aesthetics, psychology and philosophy, being particularly influenced by the lectures of the psychologist Theodor Lipps. He also studied German literature, art and music. In 1895 he intended to write a doctorate on the theme of ‘The Construction of Feeling’. In spring 1896 he met Hermann Obrist, who persuaded him to abandon his proposed academic career and become a self-taught artist. As well as book illustrations and decorative pieces for the art magazines Pan and Dekorative Kunst, he produced decorative designs for wall reliefs, carpets, textiles, coverings, window glass and lamps. In 1897 he designed his first furniture for his cousin, the historian Kurt Breysig. His first architectural work, the Elvira photographic studio in Munich (1896–7; destr. 1944), decorated on its street façade by a gigantic, writhing dragon, was a quintessential work of ...

Article

Paul Vogt and Ita Heinze-Greenberg

International movement in art and architecture, which flourished between c. 1905 and c. 1920, especially in Germany. It also extended to literature, music, dance and theatre. The term was originally applied more widely to various avant-garde movements: for example it was adopted as an alternative to the use of ‘Post-Impressionism’ by Roger Fry in exhibitions in London in 1910 and 1912. It was also used contemporaneously in Scandinavia and Germany, being gradually confined to the specific groups of artists and architects to which it is now applied.

Expressionism in the fine arts developed from the Symbolist and expressive trends in European art at the end of the 19th century. The period of ‘classical Expressionism’ began in 1905, with the foundation of the group Brücke, Die, and ended c. 1920. Although in part an artistic reaction both to academic art and to Impressionism, the movement should be understood as a form of ‘new ...

Article

Garden  

Relatively small space of ground, usually out of doors, distinguished from the surrounding terrain by some boundary or by its internal organization or by both. A combination of architectural (or hard) and natural (or soft) materials is deployed in gardens for a variety of reasons—practical, social, spiritual, aesthetic—all of which are explicit or implicit expressions of the culture that created them. A garden is the most sophisticated expression of a society’s relationship with space and nature. This necessarily imprecise definition is meant to accommodate a profusion of examples: the pleasure garden, winter garden, flower garden, vegetable garden, Botanic garden, landscape garden, public garden, Sculpture garden, community garden, allotment garden, victory garden, peace garden, cloister garden, edible garden, rock garden, water garden, dry garden, nursery garden, remembrance garden, zoological garden etc. Between these examples exists a complicated network of similarities, criss-crossing and overlapping, that inhibit any more concrete definition.

Gardens in the ancient world and Byzantine period...

Article

Jae Hoon Chung, Bruce A. Coats, Stanislaus Fung, Tan Tanaka, Nora Taylor, and William Warren

See also Garden

The prototype of the garden in East Asia can be traced back to the Zhou period (c. 1050–256 bc) in China. According to inscriptions on bones and carapaces, kings had already begun hunting in enclosed parks, where rare animals and birds were kept. Such enclosed areas were the origin of the tradition of the royal or imperial park (see §I, 1, (ii) below). In the Han period (206 bcad 220), another type of garden was developed: the private gardens owned by the aristocracy and the wealthy. During the reign of Emperor Wudi (reg 141–87 bc) of the Han dynasty, a garden layout was created with a pond in the centre containing artificial mountains symbolizing the islands of Penglai, Fangzhang, and Yingzhou—supposedly the abode of the Daoist Immortals. This garden design also influenced gardens in Korea and Japan (see...

Article

Patrick Bowe, John Dixon Hunt, Denis A. Lambin, Claudia Lazzaro, Michael Leslie, Judith A. Neiswander, K. A. Ottenheym, Vivian A. Rich, and Christopher Thacker

revised by Betsy Anderson

See also Garden

Just as Europe is not a homogeneous cultural, political, or geographical land mass, so its gardens have displayed both design debts to other cultures and civilizations, notably the Islamic and the Mughal empire, and horticultural obligations to the whole world. The European garden is, as the national and historical entries below make clear, a complex, multi-cultural phenomenon that varies according to topography, climate, and social and political needs. The broad historical pattern of its development, however, is distinct enough to allow some introductory points to be made.

A conventional garden history tends to focus on the respective elements of art/nature, formal/informal, regular or even symmetrical/irregular or picturesque. It explains how the first medieval and Renaissance gardens were highly controlled, even overdetermined manipulations of the physical world and how these ideas were disseminated north to such countries as France, the Netherlands, and England. It then addresses the issue of ‘natural’ design, which eventually banished architectural and other artificial elements from the garden, which tended to become a park and merge with the unmediated territory beyond....

Article

See also Garden

Climate, religion, and politics have all influenced the style and development of the gardens of the Indian subcontinent. The region as a whole enjoys a monsoon climate, but there are wide variations in rainfall (from less than 10 cm to more than 320 cm annually) and in the possibilities for irrigation. The north, with the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra rivers and their tributaries, receives water from the melting snow of the Himalayas and the monsoons. Peninsular India, however, derives its water almost entirely from the monsoon rains and during the hot season even its largest rivers are almost dry. Such seasonal fluctuations in water-supply as well as the subcontinent’s varied topography determine the type of garden that can be created. Religion and politics (for a brief overview see Indian subcontinent, §I, 2) are often inseparable and both are reflected in the division of gardens into four main categories: early Hindu/Buddhist, Islamic, British–Indian, and modern....

Article

Leslie Brubaker, Dominique Collon, Wilhelmina F. Jashemski, David M. Jones, K. S. Kropf, and W. J. Tait

revised by Trenton D. Barnes

There is sufficient evidence to confirm that the garden formed a constituent of all the ancient civilizations around the eastern half of the Mediterranean. These civilizations, supported by great rivers and seas—the Tigris, Euphrates, and the Nile, and the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Aegean—grew up in a climate ranging from hot and arid to warm and dry. The climatic variation corresponds to geographical differences, from the alluvial plains of Egypt and Mesopotamia to the higher plains and hills of Syria-Palestine, to the more mountainous and variegated landscape of the peninsulas and islands of Greece and Italy.

Over this geographical range there is a remarkable degree of similarity in the general form of the ancient garden. There is the small enclosed or courtyard garden of the Assyrians and Egyptians, the kepos of the Greeks, and the hortus of the Romans. Often directly associated with a dwelling, palace, or temple, the fundamental elements of these small gardens were an enclosure wall and rows of trees or other planting surrounding a central pool or water feature. ...

Article

Mahvash Alemi, James Dickie, Godfrey Goodwin, and Yasser Tabbaa

See also Garden

As the traditional Islamic lands stretch from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans and from the steppes of western Central Asia to the deserts of Arabia and Africa, a variety of climates—ranging from the Mediterranean and desert kinds prevalent in the central and western regions to the humid tropical and subtropical climates of the east—dictate the types of plants that can be cultivated, leading to distinct regional traditions of garden design. Gardens have always been an essential feature of settlement throughout the region. The Mediterranean lands inherited the Classical tradition of the hortus (see Gardens in the ancient world and Byzantine period, §4), whereas the eastern Islamic lands were heir to the ancient Iranian tradition of the firdaws (Gr. paradeisos), a walled garden quartered by irrigation channels. The Koran (xxv.15) describes paradise as the garden of eternity (Arab. jannat al-khuld) with four rivers of water, milk, wine, and honey (xlvii.15) and a fountain named Salsabil (lxxvi.18). The garden became the dominant image of paradise in Islamic thought and art, and later philosophers and poets elaborated and specified this metaphor. The memory of other gardens, such as the Garden of Eden and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, was also revived at specific times or places....

Article

Gothic  

Peter Kidson, Michael T. Davis, Paul Crossley, Dany Sandron, Kathryn Morrison, Andreas Bräm, Pamela Z. Blum, V. Sekules, Phillip Lindley, Ulrich Henze, Joan A. Holladay, G. Kreytenberg, Guido Tigler, R. Grandi, Anna Maria D’Achille, Francesco Aceto, J. Steyaert, Pedro Dias, Jan Svanberg, Angela Franco Mata, Peta Evelyn, Peter Tångeberg, Carola Hicks, Marian Campbell, Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, A. M. Koldeweij, G. Reinheckel, Judit Kolba, Lennart Karlsson, Barbara Drake Boehm, Danielle Gaborit-Chopin, Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Yvette Vanden Bemden, Nigel J. Morgan, Daniel Kletke, Erhard Drachenberg, and Scot McKendrick

Term used to denote, since the 15th century, the architecture and, from the 19th, all the visual arts of Europe during a period extending by convention from about 1120 to 1400 in central Italy, and until the late 15th century and even well into the 16th in northern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. The Early Gothic style overlapped chronologically with Romanesque and flourished after the onset of Renaissance art in Italy and elsewhere. Scholarly preoccupations with the nature of the Gothic style (see §I below) have been centred almost exclusively on architecture, and the term has never been satisfactory for the figural arts, especially painting (see §IV below); but the 19th-century tradition of classification has proved so enduring that it continues to be used for figural styles.

The people who produced what has since come to be known as Gothic art needed no name to distinguish what they were doing from other styles. They were aware of differences of appearance between the churches they built and buildings of earlier periods, but if these had any significance for them, it was mainly iconographical. As the defining characteristics of Gothic are always more conspicuous in ecclesiastical than in secular art, they no doubt considered its primary function to be in the service of the Church. Otherwise they seem to have been unaware that their arts had a history. It needed the comprehensive changes of taste associated with the Renaissance to introduce the notion of Gothic into the vocabulary of art. During the 15th century educated Italians such as ...

Article

Monique Riccardi-Cubitt

French term derived from the Italian grottesco, describing a type of European ornament composed of small, loosely connected motifs, including scrollwork, architectural elements, whimsical human figures and fantastic beasts, often organized vertically around a central axis.

Grotesque ornament was inspired by the archaeological discovery at the end of the 15th century, of the ancient Roman interiors of the Domus Aurea of Nero in Rome, and by subsequent finds of other palaces, tombs and villas in and around Rome and Naples. The interior walls and ceilings of these underground rooms, known as grotte, were painted in a light and playful manner previously unknown to those familiar only with the formal grammar of Classical ornament derived from more accessible antique ruins. A ceiling in such a room might be covered with an interlocking arrangement of compartments containing mythological or allegorical scenes depicted as trompe l’oeil cameos, or it might be subdivided into areas dominated by a single such compartment with the remaining space filled with a variety of motifs, symmetrically organized but otherwise unrelated either by scale or subject-matter. ...