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Agano  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese region in Buzen Province (now part of Fukuoka Prefect.), northern Kyushu, where stonewares were manufactured at various sites from c. 1600 (see also Japan, §IX, 3, (i), (d)).

The first potter to make Agano ware was the Korean master Chon’gye (Jap. Sonkai; 1576–1654). Deported to Kyushu during one of the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597, he entered the service of Hosokawa Tadaoki (1563–1645), the newly appointed governor of Buzen. On the completion of Tadaoki’s fortress at Kokura (now Kitakyushu), Chon’gye built the Saienba kiln, probably within the castle precincts. A site thought to be Saienba was found beneath Myōkōji, the temple that replaced the castle in 1679, and excavations took place between 1979 and 1983. Sherds of both tea ceremony and everyday wares have been found there; they have transparent glazes made with a wood-ash flux, opaque glazes made with a straw-ash flux or brown-black glazes pigmented with iron oxide. Inscriptions on surviving pieces and entries in contemporary diaries indicate that these early products were also called Buzen or Kokura ware. After a few years the Saienba kiln closed, and ...

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Marianne Barrucand

[‛Alawī; Filālī]

Islamic dynasty and rulers of Morocco since 1631. Like their predecessors the Sa‛dis, the ‛Alawis are sharīfs (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad), and both dynasties are sometimes classed together as the ‘Sharifs of Morocco’. From a base in the Tafilalt region of south-east Morocco, the ‛Alawi family was able to overcome the centrifugal forces exerted by the Berber tribes who had destroyed the Sa‛di state in the first half of the 17th century. To restore political authority and territorial integrity, Mawlay Isma‛il (reg 1672–1727) added a new black slave corps to the traditional tribal army. Although royal power was weak during the 19th century and the early 20th, when the French and Spanish established protectorates, the ‛Alawis’ power was fully restored after independence from the French in 1956.

‛Alawi building activities (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)) were concentrated in the four cities that have served as their capitals: Fez and Marrakesh at various times from ...

Article

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....

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Fr. point d’Alençon]

Type of lace produced in France. In 1675 a group of 30 Venetian lacemakers was settled in the Norman town of Alençon by Jean-Baptiste Colbert (Louis XIV’s minister of finance). The Venetians instructed local needlewomen in point de Venise, but by the 1690s the distinctive local style known as point d’Alençon had emerged (see alsoLace §2, (iii), §2(iii)). Needlewomen adopted the net ground technique, and invented a series of new stitches.

Lace production was halted at the Revolution because of its association with the ancien régime, but revived under Napoleon (reg 1804–14) and again under the Second Empire. Lace is still produced in Alençon, supported by the Atelier National du Point d’Alençon founded in 1976, and there are good collections of Alençon lace in the Musée de la Dentelle au Point d’Alençon and the Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle.

The term point d’Alençon now denotes a style as well as a place of origin. The style is characterized by a uniform mesh (called the ...

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Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches.

Historically, the patrons who commissioned Old Masters placed a premium on subject-matter rather than originality, and popular narratives were requested by multiple patrons, creating conditions in which the demand for copies could flourish (see Copy). Popular compositions were often reproduced many times: by the master himself, an apprentice in his workshop, or even a later follower or imitator. A master trained his apprentices to approximate his manner as closely as possible, and sold the finished work under his own name. In some cases a master would paint the most important part of a work (such as the faces of the central figures) before delegating the rest to apprentices. Through the 19th century, pupils at prestigious institutions were taught by making copies of works by acknowledged masters. Many pieces, particularly drawings (which for much of their history were working tools, rather than art objects), were unsigned. Damaged or incomplete works of art were subjected to extensive restoration or reworking by later artists, a process that can cloud the question of attribution....

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Molly K. Dorkin

An expert with a specialization in a distinct category of fine or decorative arts or other collectables at an auction house, responsible for researching Attributions and setting pre-sale estimates. Specialized auctions of works of art were recorded in Amsterdam as early as 1608, when they emerged as a subcategory of after-death estate sales. It remains unclear whether or not items were appraised for value by dedicated appraisers, forerunners of modern-day auction house specialists, in order to set estimates prior to the sales.

The Auction as a sale process reached England from Holland in 1676, and the first auction of paintings in London took place in 1682. It was widely accepted that the paintings offered at auctions were luxury goods rather than masterpieces, and the ‘specialists’ in charge of sales bestowed attributions with a generous hand. By the end of the 17th century more educated and discerning specialists had begun to emerge, including Edward Davis and Parry Walton (...

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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 ...

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Bazaar  

Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered.

Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Type of lace made since the 17th century at Binche, near Brussels and Valenciennes, both of whose laces it resembles. It is a heavy lace with decorative grounds, and was used for bedspreads and as a costume trimming. The name has since become the generic term for the type of lace once made at Binche....

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Bizen  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese centre of ceramics production. High-fired ceramic wares were manufactured from the end of the 12th century in and around the village of Inbe, Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefect.). This region had been a centre for manufacturing Sue-style stonewares and Haji-style earthenwares from the 6th century ad (see Japan, §IX, 2, (ii), (a)). At the end of the Heian period (794–1185) the potters moved from the old Sue-ware sites around Osafune village to Inbe, just to the north. In response to increased agricultural development, the new kilns manufactured kitchen mortars (suribachi), narrow-necked jars (tsubo) and wide-necked jars (kame). During the 13th century the wares show less of the grey-black surfaces typical of the old Sue tradition and more of the purple-reddish colour characteristic of Bizen. In the 14th century Bizen-ware production sites shifted from the higher slopes to the foot of the mountains. Kilns expanded in capacity, ranging up to 40 m in length. Vast quantities of Bizen wares, particularly kitchen mortars, were exported via the Inland Sea to Kyushu, Shikoku and numerous points in western Honshu, establishing Bizen as the pre-eminent ceramics centre in western Japan. By the 15th century the Bizen repertory had expanded to include agricultural wares in graded sizes; wares then featured combed decoration and such functional additions as lugs and pouring spouts. Plastic–forming was assisted by the introduction of a fusible clay found 2–4 m under paddy-fields. This clay, which fires to an almost metallic hardness, is still in use today....

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Delia Kottmann

Italian village in Lazio, north of Rome, known for its church. The church of SS Anastasius and Nonnosus is all that remains of the 6th-century Benedictine monastery, which submitted to Cluny in ad 940. Apart from some re-used fragments, the architecture is Romanesque, with a Cosmati pavement in opus sectile as well as an ambo and ciborium. The church is famous for its wall paintings from the first quarter of the 12th century. The apse and its adjacent walls, showing the 24 elders, are influenced by Romano–Christian motifs. Christ in the middle of the conch is flanked by Peter and Paul in a Traditio legis depiction, with a procession of lambs below. Underneath, Maria Regina has to be reconstructed in the middle, between two conserved angels followed by female saints in a Byzantine manner. No Romano–Christian iconography seems to have influenced the vast apocalyptic cycle painted on the side walls of the transept. A band of prophets runs beneath the roof on all the walls of the transept. An inscription in the apse indicates three Roman painters....

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