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Cruet  

Small bottle with a stopper, used for oil, vinegar and other condiments. Its earliest use was ecclesiastical, for wine, oil and water; some medieval examples survive (see Reliquary, §II, 1). Cruets were used domestically from the late 17th century, from which time they were made of glass imported from Italy, often with silver or silver-plated mounts. Cruets were grouped together on a stand in a frame or rack, sometimes with a central vertical handle and supporting feet. The number of bottles could vary from two to six or more, and they were often combined with ...

Article

Santos  

James Cordova and Claire Farago

Term that refers to handmade paintings and sculptures of Christian holy figures, crafted by artists from the Hispanic and Lusophone Americas. The term first came into widespread use in early 20th-century New Mexico among English-speaking art collectors to convey a sense of cultural authenticity. Throughout the Americas, the term imagenes occurs most frequently in Spanish historical documents. Santos are usually painted on wood panels (retablos) or carved and painted in the round (bultos). Reredos, or altarpieces, often combine multiple retablos and bultos within a multi-level architectural framework.

European Christian imagery was circulated widely through the Spanish viceroyalties in the form of paintings, sculptures, and prints, the majority of which were produced in metropolitan centres such as Mexico City, Antigua, Lima, and Puebla, where European- and American-born artists established guilds and workshops. These became important sources upon which local artists elsewhere based their own traditions of religious image-making using locally available materials such as buffalo hides, vegetal dyes, mineral pigments, and yucca fibres, commonly employed by native artists long before European contact....

Article

Michael Ellul

Maltese family of bronze-founders. Originally from Haute Provence, they arrived in Malta in 1530 with the Order of St John of the Knights Hospitaller. Between 1700 and 1798 the family was responsible for the Order’s foundry in Valletta. The first family member recorded working in Malta was Francesco Trigance (i) (c. 1660–1737), who was involved in the casting of the fine bronze statue of Grand Master Antonio Manuel de Vilhena (1734) near The Mall in Floriana. The best-known foundry operators were Francesco Trigance (ii) and his brother Gioacchino Trigance (b 1746), grandsons of Francesco (i). Francesco (ii) worked in Turin, where he produced a bronze cannon, signed and dated 1769 (now in Great Siege Square, Valletta). The Trigance brothers also cast a number of church bells and made a medal-cutting machine for the Order’s mint. When Napoleon expelled the Order from Malta in 1798...

Article

Michael Ellul

Maltese family of silversmiths, architects and designers. The first recorded family member is Carlo Troisi (fl 1697–1736), followed by Andrea Troisi (fl 1750), Pietro Paolo Troisi (?1700–50) and Massimiliano Troisi (fl 1794). A silver sugar bowl (1775–97; London, Mus. Order St John) is attributed to Aloisio Troisi, probably a member of the same family. During the 17th and 18th centuries various members of the Troisi family filled the post of Master of the Mint of the Order of St John of the Knights Hospitaller. The Mint was established in Valletta, Malta, in 1566. The best-known Troisi silversmith is Pietro Paolo, who was also an architect. His best work is the Altar of Repose, which he designed for Mdina Cathedral, and which was constructed by the Maltese painter Francesco Vincenzo Zahra in 1750. It is a magnificent Baroque scenographic creation in wood executed in a masterful ...