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Article

J. M. Rogers

[Muh‛ammad ibn al-Zayn; Ibn al-Zayn]

(fl early 14th century).

Arab metalworker. He is known from signatures on two undated inlaid wares, the Baptistère de St Louis (Paris, Louvre, LP 16, signed in six places) and the Vasselot Bowl (Paris, Louvre, MAO 331, signed once). His style is characterized by bold compositions of large figures encrusted with silver plaques on which details are elaborately chased. His repertory develops themes characteristic of later 13th-century metalwork from Mosul (see Islamic art, §IV, 3(ii) and (iii))—mounted or enthroned rulers, bands of running or prowling animals, an elaborate Nilotic composition, courtiers bearing insignia of office, and battle scenes on scroll grounds with strikingly naturalistic fauna. His work is marked by a realism of facial expression, in which Turco-Mongolian physiognomy, dress, headgear and even coiffure are prominent, and a vigour of movement, gesture or stance that enlivens and transforms even the running animals and rows of standing courtiers, some in Frankish costume. The technique and style of these pieces allow their attribution to the Bahri Mamluk period in Egypt and Syria (...

Article

‛Ali  

S. J. Vernoit

[‛Alī; Ḥusayn ‛Alī]

(fl c. 1800–20).

Persian enamel painter. All of his work is associated with the patronage of the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834). ‛Ali signed his work with the title ghulām khānazād (‘slave born in the household’) signifying ‘artist in the royal service’. A jewelled nephrite dish (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus., Samml. Plastik & Kstgew., M3223) presented in 1819 by the Persian ambassador Abu’l-Hassan Khan to the Austrian emperor Francis I (reg 1792–1835) has a central gold plaque enamelled with a full-length portrait of Fath ‛Ali Shah (dated 1817–18), inspired by Mihr ‛Alis life-size oil portrait (Tehran, Nigaristan Mus.). Other objects enamelled by ‛Ali include an oval mirror with a carved jade handle (Tehran, Bank Markazi, Crown Jewels Col.); on the back is an enamel portrait of Fath ‛Ali Shah seated within a floral frame, probably the finest painted enamel in the collection (see Islamic art, §viii, 3...

Article

Alexander Nagel

[Fr. postautel, retable; Ger. Altar, Altaraufsatz, Altarbild, Altarretabel, Altarrückwand, Retabel; It. ancona, dossale, pala (d’altare); Sp. retablo]

An image-bearing structure set on the rear part of the altar (see Altar, §II), abutting the back of the altarblock, or set behind the altar in such a way as to be visually joined with the altar when viewed from a distance. It is also sometimes called a retable, following the medieval term retrotabulum [retabulum, retrotabularium].

The altarpiece was never officially prescribed by the Church, but it did perform a prescribed function alternatively carried out by a simple inscription on the altarblock: to declare to which saint or mystery the altar was dedicated. In fact, the altarpiece did more than merely identify the altar; its form and content evoked the mystery or personage whose cult was celebrated at the altar. This original and lasting function influenced the many forms taken by the altarpiece throughout its history. Since the altarpiece was not prescribed by the Church, its form varied enormously. For this reason, it is often impossible, and historically inaccurate, to draw neat distinctions between the altarpiece and other elements occasionally associated with the altar apparatus. For example, movable statues, often of the Virgin and Child, were occasionally placed on altars according to ritual needs, and at those times fulfilled the function of the altarpiece....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1843; d 1901).

Norwegian silversmith. Founder of the Oslo company of silversmiths now known as David-Andersen. In 1876 Andersen established a workshop and retail shop in Christiania (Oslo). His early work, mostly in 830 silver, uses traditional Nordic motifs. David’s son Arthur (1875–1970), who became the principal designer for the firm and inherited it in ...

Article

John N. Lupia

Type of ewer, usually of metal, used for the washing of hands in a liturgical or domestic context. It is often zoomorphic in form and usually has two openings, one for filling with water and the other for pouring. In their original usage aquamanilia expressed the symbolic significance of the lavabo, the ritual washing of the hands by the priest before vesting, before the consecration of the Eucharist and after mass. The earliest production of aquamanilia is associated with Mosan art of the Meuse Valley in northern France, and with Lower Saxony in north-east Germany. The majority of surviving examples are made of a variety of bronze that resembles gold when polished, while nearly all those made of precious metals are known only from church inventories.

Church documents refer to aquamanilia as early as the 5th century, when canon regulations stipulated that on ordination the subdeacon should receive such a vessel. Various documents from the 5th century to the beginning of the 11th sometimes use the term to denote both the ewer and its basin. Sometime after the beginning of the 11th century the term became transferred to a type of vessel, usually in the shape of an animal (e.g. lion, stag, horse; ...

Article

Principal instrument of the pre-modern astronomer for taking readings of the altitudes of stars and planets. The astrolabe was invented by the Greeks; together with Greek science it was passed to the Islamic world in the 8th and 9th centuries ad, and thence to western Europe. The earliest extant astrolabe was made in 927–8 by an Arab named Nastalus or Bastalus, and at least eight 10th-century astrolabes are known.

Astrolabes are of several types. The most familiar is the flat or planispheric (Arab. sathī or musattah) astrolabe employing a stereographic projection of the heavens. Spherical (kūrī) astrolabes were invented in antiquity, and a linear (khattī) astrolabe was invented by the Persian astronomer al-Muzaffar ibn Muzaffar al-Tusi (d c. 1213), but no examples of these types are known to have survived. Celestial globes (e.g. 1085–6; Florence, Mus. Stor. Sci.) and armillary spheres were made in the Islamic world, but as these models of the heavens have no provision for the solution of problems of spherical astronomy or for the calculation of trigonometric functions, they are not true astrolabes. Flat astrolabes employing non-stereographic projections are described in astronomical texts, but none seems to have been built....

Article

Baqir  

[Bāqir; Muhammad Baqir; Muḥammad Bāqir]

(fl c. 1800–30).

Persian painter in enamels. All of his known work was made for the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834). Like ‛Ali, he signed his work with the title ghulām khānazād (‘slave born in the household’), signifying ‘artist in the royal service’. Baqir painted a fine gold bowl and cover, saucer and spoon, which is enamelled with astrological figures and a poetic dedication to Fath ‛Ali Shah (priv. col., see Robinson, 1991, fig.). Several other objects enamelled by Baqir, such as an oval snuff-box with a portrait of the seated King and a teapot with busts of Fath ‛Ali Shah and floral swags and a dedication to the King, are part of the Iranian crown jewels (Tehran, Bank Markazi, Crown Jewels Col.). His style is similar to that of ‛Ali and is notable for its delicate execution and brilliant colour (see Islamic art, §VIII, 3). Baqir is probably the Muhammad Baqir who, together with ...

Article

[Mehmed-i Bosna]

(fl Istanbul, 1588–1605).

Ottoman Turkish goldsmith. As one of the craftsmen attached to the Ottoman court, he produced a number of elaborate pieces that are either signed by him or can be attributed to him on stylistic grounds. The latter group includes the crown presented by Sultan Ahmed I to his vassal Stephen Bocskay of Transylvania in ...

Article

Helmut Börsch-Supan

In 

Article

Helmut Börsch-Supan

In 

Article

Censer  

John N. Lupia

[thurible; Lat. incensarium, thuribulum, thymiamaterium]

Footed brazier, chafing-dish, or portable grate for burning incense or coals to produce aromatic fumes for liturgical and secular purposes. Censers commonly have two to four rings on the outside of the bowl, with chains or rods attached for holding and swinging. There is frequently a pierced lid or cover, attached by rings, through which the chains or rods pass. Typically the finial or knob of the lid has a separate chain attached.

Censers were produced from c. 700 bc. In the Greek and Roman worlds they were frequently made of precious metals such as gold and silver and functioned as votive gifts; a great number are recorded in temple inventories. (In Rome, bronze turibula were also common.) Censers were used mainly for burning incense as an offering to deities, frequently in conjunction with animal sacrifices, and at funerals. Other uses were secular: incense was believed to have pharmacopic and therapeutic powers and was used to sweeten the air. Censers were also used in court festivals and processions in Rome. Imperial court processions had acolytes carrying torches and candles before the Roman consuls; attendants accompanied the acolytes bearing censers in the form of pans with hot burning coals for rekindling torches and candles when they blew out....

Article

Chalice  

Peter Springer

[Lat. calix: ‘drinking vessel’]

Liturgical implement in which the eucharistic wine is offered, consecrated and distributed to communicants. Other names for it are scyphus, crater, proculum and fons. In the Early Christian period the same materials were used for the eucharistic chalice as for secular drinking vessels: glass, rock crystal, hardstones and wood, horn and ivory, but especially precious and base metals. This diversity reflects the lack of restrictions governing the materials to be used for its manufacture until the Carolingian period. Thus most surviving chalices from pre-Carolingian and Carolingian times—even such a splendid example as the Tassilo Chalice (c. 769–88; Kremsmünster, Stiftskirche, Schatzkam.)—were still made from gilt-copper. From the late 8th century, however, synodal decrees repeatedly forbade the use of materials such as glass, wood, copper, bronze, ivory, horn and pewter. The chalice was instead to be made at least from silver, with the inside of the bowl gilded. (The same injunctions were applicable to the ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

American metalwork company established in Philadelphia in 1810 by Christian Cornelius, a silversmith who had emigrated from the Netherlands in 1783. He soon turned to the casting of bronze, and by 1825 he had become a lamp manufacturer. The company passed to Cornelius’s son Robert (1809–93), under whose management it became an important lighting business. The company made lamps and chandeliers, often finished in gold lacquer; it also made candlesticks, including the earliest documented American brass candlestick. The best known product of the company was the ...

Article

Fibula  

Niamh Whitfield

[Lat.: ‘brooch’]

Metal dress-pin that not only was used as a clothes’ fastener, but also acted as a sign of an individual’s allegiance, wealth, and status (see fig.). Brooches are common finds in pre-Christian graves of the Germanic peoples and Vikings, enabling inferences to be drawn about their uses, the garments to which they were attached, and migration patterns. For the later Middle Ages, comparable information can be gleaned not only from the objects but also figural representations, wills, and inventories.

Many brooches from the early Middle Ages descend from Roman fibulae of different types. These include the penannular brooches from Ireland and Britain, fastened by a pin slotted through a gap in a ring; disc-brooches, fastened by a pin on the back, and worn especially by Germanic women; and the various elongated Germanic bow brooches, which seem to be adaptations of the cross-bow fibulae worn by Roman officials in Late Antiquity (...

Article

(b Ilmenau, Thuringia, May 21, 1731; d Erfurt, Oct 18, 1794).

German painter. He received his training from his father, Johann Christian Heintze, who was originally a gunsmith before becoming court painter in the tiny principality of Saxony-Hildburghausen. In 1772 Heinsius was appointed court painter in Weimar, which became one of the centres of intellectual life in Germany at this period. There he painted portraits, for example of Charles Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Weimar and of poets of the ‘Musenhof’ such as Johann Wilhelm Gleim and Johann Karl Musäus. However, he did not receive particular recognition with these works. A period of leave in Hamburg (1781–4) was more successful and artistically fruitful. He returned to Weimar and produced a number of portraits, for example Anna Amalia, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, of great maturity.

Heinsius’ awkward, choleric temperament and his lack of education did not help to make him popular at a time when the artist–scholar was in demand. His financial position was somewhat improved by an appointment as artist at the Freie Zeichen Schule at Weimar. He was a simple craftsman who had turned his hand to portraits; these had an unvarnished truthfulness that did not flatter the sitter. His conception of art owed much to the ideals of the Baroque, his portraits lacking pathos and sentimentality and showing no trace of classical idealization. However, due to their naturalism, his portraits are of great documentary value. His brother, ...

Article

Jutland  

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Mainland peninsula of modern-day Denmark and one of the three provinces (Jutland, Zealand and Skåne, southern Sweden) that constituted medieval Denmark. The conversion of the Danes to Christianity initiated a reorganization of the economic, social and legal structures of Denmark that would change the shape of Jutland dramatically between the 11th and 14th centuries. Under Knut the Great, King of Denmark and England (reg 1019–35), Jutland acquired a stable diocesan system (1060) that enabled a systematic collection of tithes and the growth of religious institutions between 1050 and 1250. During this period, agricultural practices changed as manor houses and landed estates were established, producing wealth for the ruling families. Under Valdemar I (reg 1157–82) and Knut VI (reg 1182–1202), Jutland witnessed a great building activity; on Jutland more than 700 stone churches were constructed, some replacing earlier wooden churches, each needing liturgical furnishings. Workshops, such as that of the renowned sculptor Horder and many others, were actively engaged in carving stone baptismal fonts (e.g. Malt, Skodborg, Ut, Stenild), capitals, reliefs (Vestervig, Aalborg) and tympana (Gjøl, Ørsted, Stjaer, Skibet), wooden cult figures, Jutland’s golden altars (Lisbjerg, Sahl, Stadil, Tamdrup) and wall paintings. Evidence of the earliest wall paintings in Jutland, ...

Article

Helmut Börsch-Supan

German family of artists. Christian Wilhelm Kolbe (c. 1715–1800) lived in Berlin where he made embroideries worked in gold thread; his brother Johann Diederich Kolbe (d 1786) was a goldsmith. Christian Wilhelm’s wife came from a Huguenot family, and their two sons Christian Friedrich Kolbe (b 1758), who was an embroiderer working in gold thread, and (1) Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (i) grew up in an atmosphere steeped in French culture. Carl Wilhelm’s son was (2) Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (ii), the most important representative of the Romantic history painting movement in Berlin, and a relation by marriage to Daniel Chodowiecki, who influenced his career. Johann Diederich’s son, Heinrich Christian Kolbe (1771–1836), was a painter in Düsseldorf, whose realistic portraits were executed in a Neo-classical style that he alone employed after the appointment of Wilhelm Schadow as Director of the Staatliche Kunstakademie in 1826...

Article

Name given to the 76 specially commissioned devotional paintings given, one each May, from 1630 to 1708 by the goldsmiths’ corporation of Paris to the cathedral of Notre-Dame (none was commissioned in 1683 or 1684). The paintings were approximately 3.50×2.75 m in size and usually drew their subjects from the Acts of the Apostles. The commissions were awarded to established artists or, occasionally, to younger painters, indicating their rising reputation. Until the ‘Mays’ were dispersed during the French Revolution they were hung on the arcades of the choir and nave of the cathedral. A number are untraced, but eight have been returned to the side chapels of Notre-Dame, including works by Jacques Blanchard (Descent of the Holy Ghost, 1634); Sébastien Bourdon (Crucifixion of St Peter, 1634) and Charles Le Brun (Stoning of St Stephen, 1651). Another eleven, including Bon Boullogne’s Jesus Healing the Sick...

Article

Hermann Maué

(b c. 1645; d Copenhagen, Jan 1, 1702).

Danish medallist, die-cutter and wax sculptor of German or Dutch origin. He probably learnt the trade of die-cutting in Copenhagen, where from 1667 onwards he worked for King Frederick III and King Christian V. In 1674 he moved to Stockholm and received a licence to produce medals, among which were several of Charles XI of Sweden and Queen Ulrike Eleonore. From 1674 to 1684 he was employed as a die-cutter at the Swedish Royal Mint, at the same time working as a goldsmith. In 1681 he accepted an invitation to the Mint in Paris, where he was given the title of Médailleur du Roi de France: he brought with him coining presses of his own invention. Meybusch returned to Stockholm in 1690 but moved back in that same year to Copenhagen, where in 1692 he received a post at the Danish court.

Forrer; Thieme–Becker L. O. Lagerquist and E. Nathorst-Böös...

Article

Glenny Alfsen

(b Kongsberg, July 3, 1820; d Christiania [now Oslo], May 5, 1886).

Norwegian sculptor. He worked first as an apprentice goldsmith in Christiania, and then studied under Herman Wilhelm Bissen from 1840 to 1851 at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen. Here he adopted a conservative, late classical style, inspired by the art and literature of Denmark’s golden age. He lived in Rome between 1851 and 1860 and became familiar with the works of Classical and Renaissance masters. This experience increased his self-doubt, and he later became harshly self-critical. A font reflecting his admiration for Berthel Thorvaldsen is Middelthun’s only great work from this period (plaster, 1859; marble, 1865; Oslo, Trefoldighetskirken). He returned to Norway in 1860 and executed a series of busts, which established him as Norway’s leading portrait sculptor. His bust of the poet Johan Sebastian Welhaven (plaster, 1861; Oslo, Ubib.; marble, 1865; Oslo, N.G.), one of the most important examples of Norwegian portrait sculpture, is herm-like in form and, with its sense of classical balance and harmony, embodies the poet’s ideals. Middelthun’s later head-and-shoulders bust of the composer ...