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Luciana Arbace

Italian centre of ceramic production. The town, situated near Savona in Liguria, was a flourishing centre of maiolica production during the Renaissance. It was, however, only during the 17th and 18th centuries that a distinctive style developed. Important families in the pottery business included the Grosso, Chiodo, Corrado, Salomone, Pescio, Seitone, Seirullo, Levantino and Siccardi, all of whom produced large quantities of polychrome plates (e.g. by the Corrado, mid-17th century; Nino Ferrari priv. col., see Morazzoni, pl. 43), albarelli and vases, which were sometimes inspired by silverware and contemporary delftware. In some cases, yellow and an olive green were used on a turquoise ground. Wares were decorated in a calligraphic style with an emphasis on naturalistic motifs including such animals as leverets; this style later evolved into Baroque forms painted with soft, loose brushstrokes.

In the 1920s the Futurist potter Tullio Mazzotti (1899–1971), who took the name Tullio d’Albisola, revived Albisola’s reputation as a pottery centre. The town continued to produce pottery throughout the 20th century, especially the blue-and-white pottery known as Antico Savona. The Museo della Ceramica Manlio Trucco houses a collection of Albisola pottery from every period....

Article

J. Krčálová

[Ger. Butschowitz]

Moravian town 30 km east of Brno, Czech Republic. It is renowned for the Renaissance palace of Jan Šembera Černohorský z Boskovice (1543–97). The original design, Italian in character, is thought to have been by Jacopo Strada and to date from 1567. It was altered in 1579 at the owner’s wish by the master builder Pietro Gabri. The main courtyard was enlarged at the expense of one of the wings, which was transformed into a series of superimposed arcaded galleries, matching the courtyard elevation of two of the remaining three wings. The palace thus lost its original symmetrical layout but gained a three-storey arcaded courtyard of lightness and elegance, Mannerist in style. The palace was also given two lateral courtyards and an extensive Italian garden on its main axis. The whole was bounded by a moat and by a wall with two pairs of gates and with corner bastions that simulate a defensive function, in a typically Mannerist way. When the construction was finished (...

Article

Cremona  

Stefano Della Torre

Italian city in Lombardy, capital of the province of Cremona. Situated on the River Po about 80 km south-east of Milan, the city (population c. 85,000) is famous for its medieval and Renaissance buildings and also for a school of painting that flourished there in the 16th century. The original Gallic settlement at Cremona became a Roman colony in 218 bc, its commercial and strategic importance assured by its position on the Po. The city’s prosperity in antiquity is attested by many fine surviving artefacts (Cremona, Mus. Civ. Ala Ponzone), and the street pattern in the town centre, around the Piazza del Comune, still retains the grid layout of the original Roman nucleus. During the Byzantine period the city expanded to the north, around the present Piazza Garibaldi, to accommodate a military garrison. The city re-emerged in 1098 as one of the Lombard city states, acquiring a circuit of walls that remained unaltered until the 19th century....

Article

Ferrara  

Thomas Tuohy, Candace J. Adelson, Christine Verzar and Kristen Lippincott

Italian city in Emilia-Romagna, situated on the delta of the River Po. It was the centre of a flourishing court under the Este family from the 13th century to the 16th (see Este family). A noted example of early Renaissance urban planning, it was also the centre of a distinctive school of painting and of tapestry-weaving. The city, which now has c. 155,000 inhabitants, is divided into two distinct sections, medieval to the south and Renaissance to the north.

Thomas Tuohy

Ferrara lies on the left bank of a subsidiary channel running south from the Po, known as the Po di Ferrara, at the point where this divides into the Po di Volano and the Po di Primaro. The city originated on the right bank within this divide, centred on the cathedral of S Giorgio, built in the 7th century ad (altered). In 986 Ferrara was placed under the rule of Tedaldo, Count of Modena and Canossa (...

Article

Fulda  

David Parsons and Walter Spiegl

Town in Hessen, Germany, the site of a former Benedictine monastery and of the shrine of St Boniface, apostle to the Germans. The abbey church, which became a cathedral in 1752, was a prime architectural example of the Carolingian renaissance before its rebuilding in the 18th century. The monastic complex included the surviving funerary chapel, dedicated to St Michael. The monastery was secularized in 1803. The town was also a notable centre for the production of faience in the 18th century.

David Parsons

The monastery was founded in 744 by Sturm, a Bavarian disciple of the Anglo-Saxon missionaries, under the direction of St Boniface. The site was chosen for its remoteness from the warlike and still ‘pagan’ Saxons and was described as being ‘in the wilderness’, although Sturm gave his bishop an encouraging report on its potential fertility and the adequacy of the water supply. Excavations have shown that the site had previously been surrounded by a rampart and ditch, enclosing some apparently domestic buildings of late or post-Roman date on a different alignment from that adopted for the monastery (...

Article

Pienza  

Anabel Thomas

Italian city in Tuscany, 50 km south of Siena. The small hamlet of Corsignano (birthplace of Pius II; see Piccolomini family, §1) was transformed into the beautiful city of Pienza during one of the most intense periods of urban renewal in Renaissance Italy. The newly elected Pope made a return visit there in February 1459 and found it peopled by individuals who were ‘bowed down by old age and illness’. He determined to ‘build there a new church and a palace … to leave as lasting as possible a memorial of his birth’. In June 1462 Pius requested the senate in Rome to rename the town Pienza (a name deriving from his own) and to raise it to the level of a city state. During the mid-15th century the town was officially in the possession of the Sienese, but with its elevation and change of name it effectively came under the rule of Rome....

Article

Paolo Carpeggiani

Model city in the Po Valley in North Italy. Lying 31 km south-west of Mantua, it was the capital of the small duchy of Vespasiano Gonzaga, the last prince of a cadet branch of the family that ruled Mantua. It was laid out in the 16th century on a modified grid-plan and planned largely by Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga as a monument to himself. In 1554 Vespasiano began to fortify the town. In this project, completed in 1579, Gerolamo Cattaneo (c. 1500–c. 1558) and Giovan Pietro Bottaccio (fl 1558–84) served as military engineers. The old castle, which was all that survived of the original medieval settlement, became the citadel of a complex defensive system designed according to the most advanced principles of military architecture: polygonal perimeter, steeply sloping brick walls reinforced inside by earth embankments, and protruding wedge-shaped bastions.

In its basic plan Sabbioneta is almost unchanged today. Two gates lead into the town: the Porta della Vittoria (...

Article

Javier Rivera and José Manuel Cruz Valdovinos

Spanish city and administrative capital of the province of Castile and León. It is situated in north central Spain, at the confluence of the River Pisuerga with the Esgueva. It flourished during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, when it was an important centre for work in gold and silver.

Valladolid was founded in the mid-8th century bc by the Vaccii, a Celtic–Iberian people from Soto de la Medinilla. From the 1st century ad the area was occupied by the Romans, who established such villas as the Villa de Prado, reconstructed in the 4th century (mosaics and remains in Valladolid, Mus. Arqueol.). There is evidence of Germanic settlements from the 5th century, and some Visigothic groups remained after the Muslim invasion. In 1072 the site was given to Conde Pedro Ansúrez (d 1119) by Alfonso VI, King of León and Castile (reg 1065–1109). The Villa Condal consisted of a palace, a bridge over the River Pisuerga, a hospital, the church of Maria la Antigua, and the collegiate church of S Maria la Mayor (11th–12th century; Romanesque remains ...

Article

Jerzy Kowalczyk

Town in eastern Poland some 80 km south-east of Lublin. Founded in 1580 by Zamoyski family §(1) as his residence and the headquarters of his domains, and entailed from 1589, the town is a rare and fine example of surviving Polish Renaissance urban planning. It was designed for c. 3000 inhabitants, and its layout has affinities with the ideal cities described in the treatises of Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Pietro Cataneo. The principal buildings (palace, fortifications, arsenal, collegiate church, gates, town hall and burgher houses) were designed and built by Bernardo Morando within 20 years. The town and the palace (1578–86; altered in the 1820s) both lay within the 600×400 m area of the fortifications, but were originally divided by walls with a gateway and bastides on the town side. The gridded layout was dominated by the palace, with a tower and external staircase, from which the main street led eastwards through the town centre. The square between the palace and town was bounded on the south by a collegiate church (...