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Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian art style that takes its name from Amarna, (Tell) el-, the site of the capital city during the reigns of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) and Smenkhkare (reg c. 1335–c. 1332 bc). Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a move away from the traditional idealism of Egyptian art towards a greater realism and artistic freedom. This new sense of vigour and naturalism is most apparent in surviving fragments of paintings from the walls and floors of palaces (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and Oxford, Ashmolean; see Egypt, ancient §X 2.). The statuary and reliefs, mainly from el-Amarna, Thebes and Hermopolis Magna, represent the royal family and their subjects in a style that was initially grotesque and often crude, as the artists struggled to come to terms with the new approach (see Egypt, ancient §IX 3., (viii)). However, they eventually reached a high degree of sophistication and beauty, exemplified by the painted limestone bust of Queen ...

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

Greek city situated at the foothills of Mt Olympus in northern Greece (district of Pieria), 14 km south of modern city of Katerini. It was an important Macedonian political and cultural centre from the Classical to the Roman periods (6th century bc–4th century ad). By the 6th century bc it seems that the Macedonians were gathering at Dion in order to honour the Olympian gods, chiefly Zeus; according to myth, Deukalion, the only man to survive the flood at the beginning of time, built an altar to Zeus as a sign of his salvation. His sons, Macedon and Magnes, lived in Pieria, near Olympus, and became the mythical ancestors of the Macedonians. The altar allegedly erected by Deukalion remained the centre of the cult life at Dion throughout its history.

King Archelaos of Macedon (c. 413–399 bc) organized athletic and dramatic contests in the framework of the religious celebrations, following the practice of the Greeks in the south, such as at the great sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi. Philip II (...

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Dimitris Plantzos

[Satra]

Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc–7th century bc).

Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century bc (the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of Greek history) to the late Roman and Byzantine period (6th–7th century bc). Even before that, archaeological finds suggest the existence of a continuous presence on the site from the late Neolithic (4th millennium bc) through to a flourishing Minoan site of the 3rd to 2nd millennia bc. Although later construction all but eliminated traces of prehistoric architecture, there is still significant evidence to confirm unbroken habitation. In historical times (9th century...

Article

Huesca  

Daniel Rico

Spanish provincial capital, to the north of Saragossa in Aragón. Known in pre-Roman Iberia as Bolskan and as Osca under the Romans, it was the seat of the Quintus Sertorius government, a municipium (free town) since the time of Augustus and a bishopric under the Visigoths. During the period of Muslim domination from the 8th to the 11th centuries, the town, known as Wasqa, became a defensive settlement with a city wall stretching for more than 1.8 km, of which some sections still remain. Although the city was recovered by the Christians in 1096 and the episcopal see restored the following year, the architectural transformation of Huesca was not immediate. During the 12th century only two edifices of any real importance were constructed. One of these was the Benedictine monastery of S Pedro el Viejo, of which three Romanesque structures have survived: the church—a simple construction which nevertheless has two interesting tympana carved by sculptors from Jaca; a small chapel, possibly inherited from the Mozarab community in the 11th century, which was used as the Chapter House and then as a funeral chapel; and a cloister decorated around ...

Article

L. A. D’yakov

Russian village and centre of bone-carving production, a craft that also developed in neighbouring villages. A port on the Severnaya Dvina River, 75 km south of Arkhangel’sk, Kholmogory was a key trading village in the 14th century for the merchants of Novgorod; in the 15th and 16th centuries it was a major commercial centre through which the English Muscovy Co. conducted its trade. The origins of Kholmogory bone-carving go back to the Neolithic period. Caskets, boxes, snuff-boxes, combs, small furniture pieces and other items were made mostly from walrus tusks and fossil mammoth bones. Delicate ornament is combined with figures in relief, engraved lines and layers of coloured foil inserted into the object. One of the most important characteristics of Kholmogory bone-carving is its close stylistic link to Russian folk wood-carving. In 1930 the School of Bone-carving was founded in the village of Lomonosovo, and gave a new impetus to the development of the craft. In the late 20th century the ...

Article

Le Puy  

Walter Cahn

French city in Haute-Loire. Best known for its Romanesque sculpture, surviving work includes the cathedral of Notre-Dame with its baptistery and cloister, the chapels of St Clair and St Michel d’Aiguilhe, and the church of St Martin, Polignac. The cathedral, an imposing structure with a rectangular choir, projecting transept, and aisled nave of six bays, dominates the city. St Michel d’Aiguilhe, which stands on a volcanic peak near by, has a square core, with apses on three sides, that was enlarged in the Romanesque period with an irregularly shaped ambulatory and short nave. St Clair, located within the precinct of the former hospice of St Nicolas, in the same suburb, is an octagonal chapel with a semicircular eastern apse. The parish church of St Martin, Polignac, situated some 6 km north-west of Le Puy, was originally a dependency of Pébrac Abbey. Four bays of the Romanesque nave remain, terminated by a choir with triple apses. Fragments of sculpture found along the perimeter of the cathedral, which derive from other no longer identifiable structures, are preserved in the Musée Crozatier. The most common material is a local variety of soft-grained sandstone, which resists erosion poorly, with the occasional use of a local basalt. The study of the development of this sculpture is impeded by the virtual absence of secure documentary evidence and the substantial alterations to the appearance and fabric of the buildings made during the extensive 19th-century restorations....

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 (...

Article

Scala  

Antonio Milone

Italian cathedral city in the province of Salerno, Campania. According to the 10th-century Chronicon Salernitanum, where it is referred to as Cama, Scala is the oldest centre along the entire Amalfi coast and has its origins in Late Antiquity. However, documentary proof that the city existed is only available from the beginning of the 10th century. Throughout history it has been home to a commercial aristocracy with commercial and political power throughout the entire Kingdom of Sicily. The Sasso and d’Afflitto families stood out from others in this group. Monasteries have been recorded in the city from the 10th century and it was under the control of the Duchy of Amalfi for the entire medieval period.

The settlement is characterized by numerous villages, such as Pontone and Minuta, which are found high up in the mountains behind Amalfi as well as in front of Ravello . Although the city is defended by a series of fortifications, it was damaged and sacked by a Pisan assault in ...

Article

Brian Austen

English spa town in Kent and centre of decorative woodware production. The chalybeate spring was discovered in 1606, but no major development took place until after 1680, when capital was raised in London to provide shops and amusement rooms. The items that Celia Fiennes, the travel writer, saw being sold on the Parade near the well in 1697 were probably those manufactured in London and sold by tradesmen who visited the town for the season, since there is believed to have been little local manufacturing until the early 18th century. The earliest Tunbridge wares were both turnery and cabinet wares, and some were painted or lacquered in a manner similar to contemporary woodwares produced at Spa in Belgium. Veneered wares decorated with marquetry or parquetry were produced by the late 18th century, and exotic woods used in cubic parquetry designs are distinctive of the period. Prints of Classical and topographical subjects were also extensively employed as decoration. By the late 1820s a technique of producing patterns from small triangular pieces of different-coloured wood had been introduced. From the early 1830s the characteristic tessellated mosaic developed in which such pictorial subjects as birds, butterflies, moths, views of buildings and various types of flower were produced....