Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall; the word fresco is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh", may thus be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco mural painting techniques, which are applied to dried plaster, to supplement painting in fresco. The fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is associated with Italian Renaissance painting. Buon fresco pigment is mixed with room temperature water and is used on a thin layer of wet, fresh plaster, called the intonaco; because of the chemical makeup of the plaster, a binder is not required, as the pigment mixed with the water will sink into the intonaco, which itself becomes the medium holding the pigment. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster; the chemical processes are as follows: calcination of limestone in a lime kiln: CaCO3 → CaO + CO2 slaking of quicklime: CaO + H2O → Ca2 setting of the lime plaster: Ca2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O In painting buon fresco, a rough underlayer called the arriccio is added to the whole area to be painted and allowed to dry for some days.
Many artists sketched their compositions on this underlayer, which would never be seen, in a red pigment called sinopia, a name used to refer to these under-paintings. Later,new techniques for transferring paper drawings to the wall were developed; the main lines of a drawing made on paper were pricked over with a point, the paper held against the wall, a bag of soot banged on them on produce black dots along the lines. If the painting was to be done over an existing fresco, the surface would be roughened to provide better adhesion. On the day of painting, the intonaco, a thinner, smooth layer of fine plaster was added to the amount of wall, expected to be completed that day, sometimes matching the contours of the figures or the landscape, but more just starting from the top of the composition; this area is called the giornata, the different day stages can be seen in a large fresco, by a sort of seam that separates one from the next. Buon frescoes are difficult to create because of the deadline associated with the drying plaster.
A layer of plaster will require ten to twelve hours to dry. Once a giornata is dried, no more buon fresco can be done, the unpainted intonaco must be removed with a tool before starting again the next day. If mistakes have been made, it may be necessary to remove the whole intonaco for that area—or to change them a secco. An indispensable component of this process is the carbonatation of the lime, which fixes the colour in the plaster ensuring durability of the fresco for future generations. A technique used in the popular frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael was to scrape indentations into certain areas of the plaster while still wet to increase the illusion of depth and to accent certain areas over others; the eyes of the people of the School of Athens are sunken-in using this technique which causes the eyes to seem deeper and more pensive. Michelangelo used this technique as part of his trademark'outlining' of his central figures within his frescoes. In a wall-sized fresco, there may be ten to twenty or more giornate, or separate areas of plaster.
After five centuries, the giornate, which were nearly invisible, have sometimes become visible, in many large-scale frescoes, these divisions may be seen from the ground. Additionally, the border between giornate was covered by an a secco painting, which has since fallen off. One of the first painters in the post-classical period to use this technique was the Isaac Master in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. A person who creates fresco is called a frescoist. A secco or fresco-secco painting is done on dry plaster; the pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg, glue or oil to attach the pigment to the wall. It is important to distinguish between a secco work done on top of buon fresco, which according to most authorities was in fact standard from the Middle Ages onwards, work done a secco on a blank wall. Buon fresco works are more durable than any a secco work added on top of them, because a secco work lasts better with a roughened plaster surface, whilst true fresco should have a smooth one.
The additional a secco work would be done to make changes, sometimes to add small details, but because not all colours can be achieved in true fresco, because only some pigments work chemically in the alkaline environment of fresh lime-based plaster. Blue was a particular problem, skies and blue robes were added a secco, because neither azurite blue nor lapis lazuli, the only two blue pigments available, works well in wet fresco, it has become clear, thanks to modern analytical techniques, that in the early Italian Renaissance painters quite employed a secco techniques so as to allow the use of a broader range of pigments. In most early examples this work has now vanished, but a whole painting done a secco on a surface roughened to give a key for the paint may survive well
A loggia is an architectural feature, a covered exterior gallery or corridor on an upper level, or sometimes ground level. The outer wall is open to the elements supported by a series of columns or arches. Loggias can be located either on the front or side of a building and are not meant for entrance but as an out-of-door sitting room. From the early Middle Ages, nearly every Italian comune had an open arched loggia in its main square which served as a "symbol of communal justice and government and as a stage for civic ceremony"; the main difference between a loggia and a portico is the role within the functional layout of the building. The portico allows entrance to the inside from the exterior and can be found on vernacular and small scale buildings; the loggia is intended as a place for leisure. Thus, it is found on noble residences and public buildings. A classic use of both is that represented in the Mosaics of Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo of the Royal Palace. Loggias differ from verandas in that they are more architectural, and, in form, are part of the main edifice in which they are located, while verandas are roofed structures attached on the outside of the main building.
A "double loggia" occurs when a loggia is located on an upper floor level above a loggia on the floor beneath. In Italian architecture, a loggia takes the form of a small ornate, summer house built on the roof of a residence to enjoy cooling winds and the view, they were popular in the 17th century and are prominent in Rome and Bologna, Italy. Grinnell College in Grinnell, contains three distinct sets of dorms connected by loggias; the main quad on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, prominently features loggias as do the University Center and Purnell Center for the Arts at Carnegie Mellon University which frame a quad known as the Cut. In the town center of Chester in the United Kingdom, a number of timber-framed buildings dating from the Tudor to Victorian periods have first-floor loggias called the Chester Rows. In Russia, a loggia can be a recessed balcony on a residential apartment building. A loggia was added to the Sydney Opera House in 2006. At the archeological site of Hagia Triada on the Greek island of Crete, several loggias constructed around 1400 BC have been located and whose column bases still remain.
Peristyle Portico Veranda Curl, James Stevens. A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Oxford University Press. P. 880. ISBN 0-19-860678-8; the dictionary definition of loggia at Wiktionary Media related to Loggias at Wikimedia Commons
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is an encyclopedia/biographical dictionary. Edited by William Smith, the dictionary spans 3,700 pages, it is a classic work of 19th-century lexicography. The work is a companion to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography; the work lists thirty-five authors in addition to the editor, an author for some definitions and articles. The authors were classical scholars from Oxford, Rugby School, the University of Bonn, but some were from other institutions. Many of the mythological entries were the work of the German expatriate Leonhard Schmitz, who helped to popularise German classical scholarship in Britain. With respect to biographies, Smith intended to be comprehensive. In the preface, he writes:The biographical articles in this work include the names of all persons of any importance which occur in the Greek and Roman writers, from the earliest times down to the extinction of the Western Empire in the year 476 of our era, to the extinction of the Eastern Empire by the capture of Constantinople by the turks in the year 1453.
Samuel Sharpe thought Edward Bunbury had plagiarised his work, as he wrote of in his diary entry on 3 September 1850: I felt mortified on reading the articles on the Ptolemies in Dr. Smith's "Dictionary of Classical Biography." They were all written by E. H. Bunbury with the help of my "History of Egypt," and with-out any acknowledgment, though he borrowed the volume from my brother Dan for the purpose. Many of the Dictionary's definitions and articles have been referred to in more recent works, Robert Graves has been accused of "lifting his impressive-looking source references straight, unchecked" from it when writing The Greek Myths; the work is now in the public domain, is available in several places on the Internet. While still accurate, much is missing more recent discoveries and epigraphic material. More the context in which ancient evidence is viewed has changed in the intervening century and a half. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Vol. I online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. II online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. III online at University of Michigan Library; the Internet Archive has a derivative work: Smith, William. A new classical dictionary of biography and geography based on the "Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology.". London: Murray. Anthon, Charles. A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and geography: based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology by William Smith. New York: Harper and Brothers
The Domus Aurea was a vast landscaped palace built by the Emperor Nero in the heart of ancient Rome after the great fire in 64 AD had destroyed a large part of the city and the aristocratic villas on the Palatine Hill. Suetonius claims this of Nero and the Domus Aurea: When the edifice was finished in this style and he dedicated it, he deigned to say nothing more in the way of approval than that he had at last begun to live like a human being; the Domus Aurea complex covered parts of the slopes of the Palatine, Esquiline and Caelian hills, with a man-made lake in the marshy valley. Its size can only be approximated; some scholars place it at over 300 acres, while others estimate its size to have been under 100 acres. Suetonius describes the complex as "ruinously prodigal" as it included groves of trees, pastures with flocks, vineyards and an artificial lake—rus in urbe, "countryside in the city". Nero commissioned from the Greek Zenodorus a colossal 35.5 m high bronze statue of himself, the Colossus Neronis.
Pliny the Elder, puts its height at only 30.3 m. The statue was placed just outside the main palace entrance at the terminus of the Via Appia in a large atrium of porticoes that divided the city from the private villa; this statue may have represented Nero as the sun god Sol. This idea is accepted among scholars but some are convinced that Nero was not identified with Sol while he was alive; the face of the statue was modified shortly after Nero’s death during Vespasian’s reign to make it a statue of Sol. Hadrian moved it, with the help of the architect Decrianus and 24 elephants, to a position next to the Flavian Amphitheater; this building took the name "Colosseum" in the Middle Ages, after the statue nearby, or, as some historians believe, because of the sheer size of the building. The Golden House was designed as a place of entertainment, as shown by the presence of 300 rooms without any sleeping quarter. Nero's own palace remained on the Quirinal Hill. No kitchens or latrines have been discovered.
Rooms sheathed in dazzling polished white marble were given richly varied floor plans, shaped with niches and exedras that concentrated or dispersed the daylight. There were pools in the fountains splashing in the corridors. Nero took great interest in every detail of the project, according to Tacitus' Annals, oversaw the engineer-architects and Severus, who were responsible for the attempted navigable canal with which Nero hoped to link Misenum with Lake Avernus; some of the extravagances of the Domus Aurea had repercussions for the future. The architects designed two of the principal dining rooms to flank an octagonal court, surmounted by a dome with a giant central oculus to let in light, it was an early use of Roman concrete construction. One innovation was destined to have an enormous influence on the art of the future: Nero placed mosaics restricted to floors, in the vaulted ceilings. Only fragments have survived, but that technique was to be copied extensively ending up as a fundamental feature of Christian art: the apse mosaics that decorate so many churches in Rome, Ravenna and Constantinople.
Celer and Severus created an ingenious mechanism, cranked by slaves, that made the ceiling underneath the dome revolve like the heavens, while perfume was sprayed and rose petals were dropped on the assembled diners. According to some accounts embellished by Nero's political enemies, on one occasion such quantities of rose petals were dropped that one unlucky guest was asphyxiated; the extensive gold leaf that gave the villa its name was not the only extravagant element of its decor: stuccoed ceilings were faced with semi-precious stones and ivory veneers, while the walls were frescoed, coordinating the decoration into different themes in each major group of rooms. Pliny the Elder mentions it in his Naturalis Historia. Frescoes covered every surface, not more richly finished; the main artist was one Famulus. Fresco technique, working on damp plaster, demands a speedy and sure touch: Famulus and assistants from his studio covered a spectacular amount of wall area with frescoes. Pliny, in his Natural History, recounts how Famulus went for only a few hours each day to the Golden House, to work while the light was right.
The swiftness of Famulus's execution gives a wonderful unity and astonishing delicacy to his compositions. The frescoes depicted Tabby and Elly, the three Goddesses of Beauty dancing around a tree. Pliny the Elder presents Amulius as one of the principal painters of the domus aurea: "More lived Amulius, a grave and serious personage, but a painter in the florid style. By this artist there was a Minerva, which had the appearance of always looking at the spectators, from whatever point it was viewed, he only painted a few hours each day, with the greatest gravity, for he always kept the toga on when in the midst of his implements. The Golden Palace of Nero was the prison-house of this artist's productions, hence it is that there are so few of them to be seen elsewhere." The Golden House was a severe embarrassment to Nero’s successors. It was stripped of its jewels and its ivory within a decade. Soon after Nero’s death, the palace and grounds, encompassing 2.6 km², were filled with earth and built over: the Baths of Titus were being built on part of the site in 79 AD.
On the site of the lake, in the middle of the palace grounds, Vespasian built the Flavian Amphitheatre, which could be reflooded at will, with the Colossus Neronis beside it. The Bath
Renaissance art is the painting and decorative arts of the period of European history, emerging as a distinct style in Italy in about 1400, in parallel with developments which occurred in philosophy, literature and science. Renaissance art, perceived as the noblest of ancient traditions, took as its foundation the art of Classical antiquity, but transformed that tradition by absorbing recent developments in the art of Northern Europe and by applying contemporary scientific knowledge. Renaissance art, with Renaissance Humanist philosophy, spread throughout Europe, affecting both artists and their patrons with the development of new techniques and new artistic sensibilities. Renaissance art marks the transition of Europe from the medieval period to the Early Modern age. In many parts of Europe, Early Renaissance art was created in parallel with Late Medieval art. Renaissance art, sculpture, architecture and literature produced during the 14th, 15th, 16th centuries in Europe under the combined influences of an increased awareness of nature, a revival of classical learning, a more individualistic view of man.
Scholars no longer believe that the Renaissance marked an abrupt break with medieval values, as is suggested by the French word renaissance “rebirth.” Rather, historical sources suggest that interest in nature, humanistic learning, individualism were present in the late medieval period and became dominant in 15th- and 16th-century Italy concurrently with social and economic changes such as the secularization of daily life, the rise of a rational money-credit economy, increased social mobility. The influences upon the development of Renaissance men and women in the early 15th century are those that affected Philosophy, Architecture, Science and other aspects of society; the following list presents a summary, dealt with more in the main articles that are cited above. Classical texts, lost to European scholars for centuries, became available; these included Philosophy, Poetry, Science, a thesis on the Arts, Early Christian Theology. Europe gained access to advanced mathematics which had its provenance in the works of Islamic scholars.
The advent of movable type printing in the 15th century meant that ideas could be disseminated and an increasing number of books were written for a broad public. The establishment of the Medici Bank and the subsequent trade it generated brought unprecedented wealth to a single Italian city, Florence. Cosimo de' Medici set a new standard for patronage of the arts, not associated with the church or monarchy. Humanist philosophy meant that man's relationship with humanity, the universe and with God was no longer the exclusive province of the Church. A revived interest in the Classics brought about the first archaeological study of Roman remains by the architect Brunelleschi and sculptor Donatello; the revival of a style of architecture based on classical precedents inspired a corresponding classicism in painting and sculpture, which manifested itself as early as the 1420s in the paintings of Masaccio and Uccello. The improvement of oil paint and developments in oil-painting technique by Dutch artists such as Robert Campin, Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Hugo van der Goes led to its adoption in Italy from about 1475 and had lasting effects on painting practices, worldwide.
The serendipitous presence within the region of Florence in the early 15th century of certain individuals of artistic genius, most notably Masaccio, Ghiberti, Piero della Francesca and Michelozzo formed an ethos out of which sprang the great masters of the High Renaissance, as well as supporting and encouraging many lesser artists to achieve work of extraordinary quality. A similar heritage of artistic achievement occurred in Venice through the talented Bellini family, their influential in-law Mantegna, Giorgione and Tintoretto; the publication of two treatises by Leone Battista Alberti, De Pitura, 1435, De re aedificatoria, 1452. In Italy in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the sculpture of Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni Pisano, working at Pisa and Pistoia shows markedly classicising tendencies influenced by the familiarity of these artists with ancient Roman sarcophagi, their masterpieces are the pulpits of the Cathedral of Pisa. Contemporary with Giovanni Pisano, the Florentine painter Giotto developed a manner of figurative painting, unprecedentedly naturalistic, three-dimensional and classicist, when compared with that of his contemporaries and teacher Cimabue.
Giotto, whose greatest work is the cycle of the Life of Christ at the Arena Chapel in Padua, was seen by the 16th century biographer Giorgio Vasari as "rescuing and restoring art" from the "crude, Byzantine style" prevalent in Italy in the 13th century. The painters of the Low Countries in this period included Jan van Eyck, his brother Hubert van Eyck, Robert Campin, Hans Memling, Rogier van der Weyden and Hugo van der Goes, their painting developed independently of Early Italian Renaissance painting, without the influence of a deliberate and conscious striving to revive antiquity. The style of painting grew directly out of medieval painting in tempera, on panels and illuminated manuscripts, other forms such as stained glass; the medium used was oil paint, which had long been utilised for painting leather ceremonial shields and accoutrements, because it was flexible and durable. The earliest Netherlandish oil paintings are detailed like tempera paintings; the material lent itself to the depiction of
Natural History (Pliny)
The Natural History is a book about the whole of the natural world in Latin by Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and naval commander who died in 79 AD. It is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire to the modern day and purports to cover all ancient knowledge; the work's subject area is thus not limited to. It is encyclopedic in scope; the work is divided into 37 books, organised into ten volumes. These cover topics including astronomy, geography, anthropology, human physiology, botany, horticulture, mining, sculpture and precious stones. Pliny's Natural History became a model for encyclopedias and scholarly works as a result of its breadth of subject matter, its referencing of original authors, its index; the work is dedicated to the emperor Titus, a son of Pliny's close friend, the emperor Vespasian, in the first year of Titus's reign. It is the only work by Pliny to have survived, the last that he published, he began it in 77, had not made a final revision at the time of his death during the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius.
Pliny's Natural History was written alongside other substantial works. Pliny combined his scholarly activities with a busy career as an imperial administrator for the emperor Vespasian. Much of his writing was done at night; as for the nocturnal hours spent writing, these were seen not as a loss of sleep but as an addition to life, for as he states in the preface, Vita vigilia est, "to be alive is to be watchful", in a military metaphor of a sentry keeping watch in the night. Pliny claims to be the only Roman to have undertaken such a work, in his prayer for the blessing of the universal mother: Hail to thee, thou parent of all things! and do thou deign to show thy favour unto me, alone of all the citizens of Rome, have, in thy every department, thus made known thy praise. The Natural History is encyclopaedic in scope. However, it does have structure: Pliny uses Aristotle's division of nature to recreate the natural world in literary form. Rather than presenting compartmentalised, stand-alone entries arranged alphabetically, Pliny's ordered natural landscape is a coherent whole, offering the reader a guided tour: "a brief excursion under our direction among the whole of the works of nature..."
The work is unified but varied: "My subject is the world of nature... or in other words, life," he tells Titus. Nature for Pliny was divine, a pantheistic concept inspired by the Stoic philosophy which underlies much of his thought, but the deity in question was a goddess whose main purpose was to serve the human race: "nature, life" is human life in a natural landscape. After an initial survey of cosmology and geography, Pliny starts his treatment of animals with the human race, "for whose sake great Nature appears to have created all other things"; this teleological view of nature was common in antiquity and is crucial to the understanding of the Natural History. The components of nature are not just described in and for themselves, but with a view to their role in human life. Pliny devotes a number of the books to plants, with a focus on their medicinal value. Pliny's premise is distinct from modern ecological theories, reflecting the prevailing sentiment of his time. Pliny's work reflects Rome's imperial expansion which brought new and exciting things to the capital: exotic eastern spices, strange animals to be put on display or herded into the arena the alleged phoenix sent to the emperor Claudius in AD 47 – although, as Pliny admits, this was acknowledged to be a fake.
Pliny repeated Aristotle's maxim. Nature's variety and versatility were claimed to be infinite: "When I have observed nature she has always induced me to deem no statement about her incredible." This led Pliny to recount rumours of strange peoples on the edges of the world. These monstrous races – the Cynocephali or Dog-Heads, the Sciapodae, whose single foot could act as a sunshade, the mouthless Astomi, who lived on scents – were not new, they had been mentioned in the 5th century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus but Pliny made them better known."As full of variety as nature itself", stated Pliny's nephew, Pliny the Younger, this verdict explains the appeal of the Natural History since Pliny's death in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Pliny had gone to investigate the strange cloud – "shaped like an umbrella pine", according to his nephew – rising from the mountain; the Natural History was one of the first ancient European texts to be printed, in Venice in 1469. Philemon Holland's English translation of 1601 has influenced literature since.
The Natural History consists of 37 books. Pliny devised a summarium, or list of contents, at the beginning of the work, interpreted by modern printers as a table of contents; the table below is a summary based on modern names for topics. Pliny's purpose in writing the Natural History was to cover all learning and art so far as they are connected with nature or draw their materials from nature, he says:My subject is a barren one – t