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Çigdem Kafesçioglu and Walter B. Denny

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Çigdem Kafesçioglu and Walter B. Denny

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Marcus Burke

[Alvárez de Toledo] [now Berwick y Alba]

Spanish family of politicians and collectors. The prominent role of the Alvárez de Toledo family in the history of Spain and the dynastic marriages that have joined many other titles into the house of Berwick y Alba have placed the Alba collection among the finest in Europe. Don Fernando Alvárez de Toledo (1507–82), the ‘Gran-Duque’ de Alba, Governor of the Netherlands (from 1567), commissioned paintings from Anthonis Mor and Titian (General Pardon Conceded to Flanders by the Duque de Alba; Christ in the House of Martha; portrait of Don Fernando Alvárez de Toledo, Duque de Alba, in Armour; all Madrid, Pal. Liria, Col. Duke of Alba). His namesake, Don Fernando Alvárez de Toledo, the 6th duke, returned to Spain in 1653 from an embassy in Italy with a large shipment of works of art. The family collection, which included an impressive holding of tapestries, was housed in the palace of La Abadia in Extremadura and at the former ducal seat in Alba de Tormes....

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Patwant Singh

Sikh holy city in Punjab, northern India. Lying on a flat stretch of agricultural land between the rivers Beas and Ravi, close to the Pakistan border, Amritsar (Skt amrit sarowar, ‘pool of nectar’) is the location of the Harmandir, the holiest of Sikh shrines at the heart of the Darbar Sahib temple complex, also referred to as the Golden Temple (see also Indian subcontinent §II 8., (ii) and §III, 7(ii)(a), fig.). It was the third Sikh guru, Amar Das (1552–74), who was first drawn to the area by the peace and tranquillity of its forested terrain and the pool where the Harmandir was later built. His successor, Guru Ram Das (1574–81), bought the pool and the surrounding land. Some historians believe that the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) offered the land as a gift, but that Ram Das declined in keeping with the Sikh tradition of self-reliance (...

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An antiquary (Lat. antiquarius) is a lover, collector and student of ancient learning, traditions and remains. Antiquarianism originated from the revived interest in Classical antiquity during the Renaissance and became a scientific and historical method in the 17th century. The difference between literary and non-literary sources distinguishes humanism from antiquarianism, the latter being based on those tangible remains of antiquity (inscriptions, coins and ruins) related to literary sources. From the 16th century new attitudes towards antiquity were discussed in antiquarian circles, later giving rise to antiquarian societies. Thereafter, antiquarianism was firmly linked to archaeological excavations and to the study and collecting of ancient art. It was also linked to the search for a national identity in the arts and for the origins of Western culture and was sustained by a curiosity about civilizations outside Europe. Antiquarianism, in fact, was associated with the Grand Tour and with travel more generally. Antiquaries and artist–antiquaries were responsible for producing numerous drawings, prints and illustrated volumes. High-quality illustrations of archaeological sites and ancient sculpture contributed to the growth of art history as an autonomous discipline. They also contributed to the popularization of the Antique and to the transformation of commercial dealing in objects associated with antiquarian interests (...

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Giorgio Tabarroni

Italian family of patrons and collectors. They were one of the wealthiest and most celebrated patrician families of Milan. The earliest records of them date from 1228, when they made lavish donations to the monastery of Chiaravalle, near Milan. Giuseppe Archinto (i) (d 1476), Chancellor under Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza (reg 1466–76), added to the family’s wealth. His grandson Francesco Archinto (d 1551), a jurist, was the favoured commissary of Louis XII in the area of Chiavenna; a portrait of him, preserved by the family, is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Francesco’s cousin Filippo Archinto (1500–58) was appointed Senator by Duke Francesco Maria Sforza and in 1530 represented Milan at the coronation of the Emperor Charles V in Bologna. Filippo held various Imperial posts, including that of Ambassador to Rome, where Pope Paul III ordained him Bishop. In 1566 the Pope appointed him Archbishop of Milan, in which capacity his portrait (...

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Roy R. Behrens

Mechanical contrivances that once set in motion can continue to operate independently. Depending on the mechanism, the term is also sometimes used as a synonym for androids (machines that resemble human beings) and robots (devices designed to accomplish a task). Automata were often intended to be aesthetic as well as mechanical accomplishments, and they can be remarkable for the extent to which an inanimate object can convey convincingly the appearance of a living organism.

While the practice of inventing automata originated in antiquity, the only surviving mechanisms are from the 16th century or later. Knowledge of early examples is based on incidental accounts (some undoubtedly apocryphal) and several treatises, including the Pneumatica by Heron of Alexandria (1st century ad), Shui shi tu jing (‘Book of hydraulic elegancies’), a 7th-century Chinese manual, and al-Jazari’s Kitāb fī ma‛rifat al-ḥilal al-handasiyya (‘Book of knowledge of ingenious mechanical devices’), an Islamic manuscript of ...

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Rosa Barovier Mentasti

Italian family of glassmakers. The family are recorded as working in Murano, Venice, as early as 1324, when Iacobello Barovier and his sons Antonio Barovier and Bartolomeo Barovier (b Murano, ?1315; d Murano, ?1380) were working there as glassmakers. The line of descent through Viviano Barovier (b Murano, ?1345; d Murano, 1399) to Iacobo Barovier (b Murano, ?1380; d Murano, 1457) led to the more noteworthy Barovier family members of the Renaissance. Iacobo was responsible for public commissions in Murano from 1425 to 1450. From as early as 1420 he was a kiln overseer, with a determining influence on the fortunes of the Barovier family.

During the 15th century Iacobo’s sons, notably Angelo Barovier (b Murano, ?1400; d Murano, 1460), and his sons Giovanni Barovier, Maria Barovier, and Marino Barovier (b Murano, before 1431; d Murano, 1485) were important glassmakers. From as early as ...