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Ravello  

Antonio Milone

Italian cathedral city in the province of Salerno, Campania. Ravello has been documented as an urban centre since the 10th century and as a bishopric since 1087. The centre, near the Toro quarter, is high up between the two rivers that separate the city from Scala and Minori. The city’s fortifications were damaged and the city itself was sacked by a Pisan assault in 1135 and in 1137. At the end of the 14th century, its inhabitants also clashed with the neighbouring city of Scala. In the 13th century a mercantile oligarchy with power throughout all of Sicily and close relations to the Crown took control of the city, celebrated in Boccaccio’s Decameron (II.4), and enriched it with numerous monuments and artworks.

The cathedral, dedicated to S Pantaleone, dates to 1087 but was extensively altered in the late 18th century. The cathedral has three naves and the façade has three portals—the central one has a bronze door (...

Article

Brian Austen

English spa town in Kent and centre of decorative woodware production. The chalybeate spring was discovered in 1606, but no major development took place until after 1680, when capital was raised in London to provide shops and amusement rooms. The items that Celia Fiennes, the travel writer, saw being sold on the Parade near the well in 1697 were probably those manufactured in London and sold by tradesmen who visited the town for the season, since there is believed to have been little local manufacturing until the early 18th century. The earliest Tunbridge wares were both turnery and cabinet wares, and some were painted or lacquered in a manner similar to contemporary woodwares produced at Spa in Belgium. Veneered wares decorated with marquetry or parquetry were produced by the late 18th century, and exotic woods used in cubic parquetry designs are distinctive of the period. Prints of Classical and topographical subjects were also extensively employed as decoration. By the late 1820s a technique of producing patterns from small triangular pieces of different-coloured wood had been introduced. From the early 1830s the characteristic tessellated mosaic developed in which such pictorial subjects as birds, butterflies, moths, views of buildings and various types of flower were produced....