141-160 of 734 results  for:

  • Art Materials and Techniques x
Clear all

Article

Chevet  

Article

Chevron  

John Thomas

Form of three-dimensional zigzag ornament particularly associated with Anglo-Norman Romanesque architecture, where it was used to decorate arches, doorways and windows. An equivalent term is dancette (or dancetty), although this is generally reserved for the zigzags used in heraldry. The stripes and flashes set on to the sleeves of military uniform tunics are also chevrons. Architectural chevron is possibly related to Byzantine brick saw-tooth ornament, transmitted indirectly through the decoration of, for example, canon tables in Carolingian and Ottonian illuminated manuscripts (e.g. the Gospel Book of Bernward of Hildesheim; c. 1000; Hildesheim, Diözmus. & Domschatzkam., MS. 18). The saw-tooth motif appears in Romanesque wall painting until the late 12th century (e.g. Terrassa, Spain, S Maria; c. 1175–1200). Chevron is not common in Western buildings before ad 1000, but it is found in Islamic architecture as early as the 8th century at Qusayr ‛Amra, and although it remains unclear precisely how chevron became so closely associated with Anglo-Norman architecture, Borg has suggested that both manuscript illuminations and knowledge of Islamic buildings brought by returning crusaders after ...

Article

Janis Callen Bell

[Fr. clair obscur]

Term from the Italian compound of chiaro (‘light’, ‘clear’) and scuro (‘dark’) used to refer to the distribution of light and dark tones with which the painter, engraver or draughtsman imitates light and shadow; by extension it refers to the variations in light and shade on sculpture and architecture resulting from illumination. Chiaroscuro has four accepted current usages: (1) the gradations in light and dark values of a colour on a figure or object, which produce the illusion of volume and relief as well as the illusion of light and shadow; (2) the distribution of light and dark over the surface of the whole picture, which serves to unify the composition and creates an expressive quality; (3) monochrome pictures, including Grisaille paintings (in grey, black and white, usually in imitation of sculpture), painting en camaïeu (painting in a single colour in imitation of cameos on pottery, porcelain and enamels (...

Article

Sandra L. Tatman

American architectural competition held in 1922 by the Chicago Tribune newspaper for its new corporate headquarters. The competition changed American views of European modernism and the course of American Skyscraper architecture. The 1922 Chicago Tribune Competition’s call for competitors attracted more than 260 architects from 23 countries with the offer of a $50,000 prize for the winning design. Although the company may have issued this competition as a way of attracting attention to its newspaper, competitors from around the world, drawn by what was in 1922 an astronomical sum, submitted entries that varied from the very traditional revival styles to cutting edge European modernism. In the end, the winners were Americans John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood (Howells & Hood) with their neo-Gothic skyscraper influenced by the Tour de Beurre in Rouen Cathedral (see Rouen, §IV, 1). However, the second place entry from Saarinen family, §1 of Finland took America by storm, encouraging the architect to immigrate to the United States. In fact, some American architects and critics, such as Louis Sullivan, preferred the Saarinen design to the Howells & Hood tower, and Saarinen’s stepped-back tower with little applied decoration certainly influenced later skyscraper design (...

Article

Alison Kelly

[mantelpiece]

Wooden, brick or stone frame surrounding a fireplace, which may include an overmantel above. Early fireplaces were literally a focus (Lat.: ‘hearth’) at the centre of a room, from which smoke escaped through a hole in the roof. In order to rid multistorey buildings of smoke, wall fireplaces were developed during the Middle Ages. An early example of a wall fireplace is in the Norman keep of Colchester Castle, Essex (c. 1090); it has an undecorated arch made of Roman tiles. By c. 1140 the ancestor of the modern chimney-piece had appeared in the keep at Castle Hedingham, Essex. Its fireplace arch is carved with zigzag decoration and simple pilasters on each side. As domestic wall fireplaces became common, it was usual to make the fire on a hearth projecting from the wall into the room, surmounted by an incombustible hood made invariably of stone in grander houses but often of wattle covered in clay in lesser buildings. A particularly fine stone example of the 13th century is at ...

Article

Choir  

Article

Chord  

Article

Term applied to sculpture incorporating gold (Gr. chrysos) and ivory (Greek elephantinos), often on a wooden armature. The term is applied to statues overlaid with gold (for drapery) and ivory (for skin). A famous example was Pheidias’ colossal statue of Zeus, once housed at the ancient Greek sanctuary of ...

Article

Cilery  

Article

Article

Cippus  

Article

Article

Jacqueline Colliss Harvey

[Claude Lorrain glass]

A small mirror, slightly convex in shape, with its surface tinted a dark colour. Carried in the hand, it was used by artists, travellers and connoisseurs of landscape and landscape painting. It has the effect of abstracting the subject reflected in it from its surroundings, reducing and simplifying the colour and tonal range of scenes and scenery to give them a painterly quality, similar in appearance to the work of Claude Lorrain, hence its name. A larger variant, which could be fixed to the side of a carriage window to reflect the passing scenery, also appears to have existed.

The Claude glass could be used either as an aid for painting, enabling the artist to assess the relative tonality of a particular scene, or simply in order to appreciate the scenes reflected in it. It is an interesting example of Art subduing Nature to its own purposes, especially as the viewer had to turn his back—both physically and metaphorically—on the ‘real’ landscape he wished to view. Not surprisingly, the greatest vogue for its use occurred during the days of European travel and the Grand Tour in the Romantic period at the end of the 18th century. In his biography of Thomas Gray (...

Article

Article

Phillip Lindley

Manager of the royal building works in later medieval England (see also Office of Works). In the 12th century royal building operations were usually initiated by a writ from the king to the sheriff of the county in which work was to be carried out, the sheriff bringing the writs to the Exchequer at Michaelmas as authority for his expenditure. Viewers also attended in order to verify the expenditure. During the 13th century, as financial control was progressively removed from the hands of the sheriff, individuals who supervised specific works as ‘keepers of the works’ (custodes operacionum) became increasingly common. By Henry III’s minority (1216–27), the keepers of major building operations generally submitted their accounts in writing. Under the reform of the Exchequer in 1236–7 a regulation required all works accounts to be audited by means of written accounts, and by the end of Henry’s reign rolls of particular expenses were being presented by sheriffs as well as keepers of works. Each passed account was usually enrolled, in a very condensed form, on the Pipe Roll. Although there is still evidence of major building operations for which no enrolled accounts were ever produced, the rendering of accounts in writing became increasingly common practice, and it was this reliance on the written record that necessitated the employment of paid officials as clerks of the works. In general, this move can be seen as part of the transition from an oral to a written culture. By the 14th century the management of the king’s works was entirely in the hands of professional clerks of the works, and the old title of ‘keepers of the works’ fell into disuse. The organization of the works increasingly tended towards specialization and centralization, with a separation of the administrative and technical sides....

Article

Article

Article

Richard A. Diehl

[Náhuatl: ‘snake wall’]

Wall decorated with serpent motifs built adjacent to temple pyramids in the Post-Classic period (c. ad 900–1521) in cultures of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Three coatepantlis are known: the courtyard wall in front of the Great Temple, the most important Aztec temple in the imperial capital at Tenochtitlán (c. 1500; see Mexico City, §I); a line of serpents depicted in the round at the Aztec religious centre, Tenayuca (c. 1500); and a free-standing vertical wall at Tula, the earlier Toltec capital (c. ad 950–c. 1200).

Although he did not actually see it, Fray Diego Durán (1537–88) seems to have described the Great Temple coatepantli from eye-witness accounts: ‘Its own private courtyard was surrounded by a great wall, built of large carved stones in the manner of serpents joined one to another … This wall was called Coatepantli, Snake Wall’ (...

Article

Margaret Lyttleton and Quentin Hughes

Type of panelling on a ceiling, in which beams are interspersed with crossbeams; the spaces created between them are called the coffers.

Margaret Lyttleton

In ancient Greek architecture flat ceilings were usually made with long beams of stone or wood interspersed with short crossbeams; the coffers between carried elaborate decorations, such as the rosettes found in the east cella of the Erechtheion at Athens (421–405 bc) and the lotus flowers of the peristyle of the Thymele at Epidauros (4th century bc). Greek coffers were often surrounded by an astragal, as at the Erechtheion. Sometimes coffers were decorated with paint, as in the Propylaia on the Acropolis at Athens (437–432 bc), where the decoration was particularly admired by Pausanias (Guide to Greece).

The coffers of the ceilings of ancient buildings do not often survive, since the roofs themselves do not survive. There are, however, remains of the sunken coffers in the dome of the ...

Article