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Illusionistic ceiling painting

Illusionistic ceiling painting, which includes the techniques of perspective di sotto in sù and quadratura, is the tradition in Renaissance and Rococo art in which trompe l'oeil, perspective tools such as foreshortening, other spatial effects are used to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on an otherwise two-dimensional or flat ceiling surface above the viewer. It is used to create the illusion an open sky, such as with the oculus in Andrea Mantegna's Camera degli Sposi, or the illusion of an architectural space such as the cupola, one of Andrea Pozzo's frescoes in Sant'Ignazio, Rome. Illusionistic ceiling painting belongs to the general class of illusionism in art, designed to create accurate representations of reality. Di sotto in sù, which means "seen from below" or "from below, upward" in Italian, developed in late quattrocento Italian Renaissance painting, notably in Andrea Mantegna's Camera degli Sposi in Mantua and in frescoes by Melozzo da Forlì. Italian terminology for this technique reflects the latter artist's influence and is called prospettiva melozziana.

Another notable use is by Antonio da Correggio in the Parma Cathedral, which foreshadows Baroque architecture grandeur. The technique uses foreshortened figures and an architectural vanishing point to create the perception of true space on a painted, most-often frescoed, ceiling above the viewer. Quadratura, a term, introduced in the seventeenth century and is normally used in English, became popular with Baroque artists. Although it can refer to the "opening up" of walls through architectural illusion, the term is most-commonly associated with Italian ceiling painting. Unlike other trompe-l'oeil techniques or precedent di sotto in sù ceiling decorations, which rely on intuitive artistic approaches to deception, quadratura is directly tied to seventeenth-century theories of perspective and the representation of architectural space. Due to its reliance on perspective theory, it more unites architecture and sculpture and gives a more overwhelming impression of illusionism than earlier examples.

The artist would paint a feigned architecture in perspective on a flat or barrel-vaulted ceiling in such a way that it seems to continue the existing architecture. The perspective of this illusion is centered towards one focal point; the steep foreshortening of the figures, the painted walls and pillars, creates an illusion of deep recession, heavenly sphere or an open sky. Paintings on ceilings could, for example, simulate statues in openings revealing the sky. Quadratura may employ other illusionistic painting techniques, such as anamorphosis. Examples of illusionistic painting include: Andrea Pozzo at Sant'Ignazio and the Jesuit Church, Vienna, he wrote the standard theoretical work of his artistic ideas in the two volumes of: Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum Andreae Putei a societate Jesu. Holy Cross Church in the town of Brzeg, Pietro da Cortona at the Palazzo Barberini, Gianbattista Tiepolo in the Ca' Rezzonico in Venice, Villa Pisani at Stra, the throne room at the Royal Palace of Madrid.

Other examples were by Paolo Veronese at Villa Rotonda in Vicenza and Baldassare Peruzzi in the Villa Farnesina of Rome. Italian Renaissance artists applied their confidence in handling perspective to projects for ceilings and overcame the problems of applying linear perspective to the concave surfaces of domes in order to dissolve the architecture and create illusions of limitless space. Painted and patterned ceilings were a Gothic tradition in Italy as elsewhere, but the first ceiling painted to feign open space was created by Andrea Mantegna, a master of perspective who went to Mantua as court painter to the Gonzaga, his masterpiece was a series of frescoes that culminated in 1474 in the Camera degli Sposi of the Ducal Palace. In these works, he carried the art of illusionistic perspective to new limits, he frescoed the walls with illusionistic scenes of court life, while the ceiling appeared as if it were an oculus open to the sky, with courtiers, a peacock, putti leaning over a balustrade, seen in foreshortened perspective from below.

This was the prototype of illusionistic ceiling painting, to become an important element of Italian Baroque art. Correggio at Parma took the illusionistic ceiling a step farther in his frescoes of Christ and the Apostles for the cupola at the San Giovanni Evangelista and in the Assumption of the Virgin in the dome of the Parma Cathedral, Correggio's most famous work. In a visual continuity between the architectural interior and its painted surfaces, Corregio's clouds and figures appear to inhabit the same architectural space in which the spectator stands. In Baroque Rome, the long-standing tradition of frescoed ceilings received a push from the grand projects in Palazzo Farnese under the guidance of Annibale Carracci and his team, but the figural subjects were still enclosed within multiple framed compartments, the perspective of subjects seen from below was not taken into consideration. From 1625 to 1627 Giovanni Lanfranco, a native of Parma who knew Correggio's dome, painted the enormous dome of the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle with an Assumption of the Virgin that overwhelmed contemporary spectators with its exuberant illusionistic effects and became one of the first High Baroque masterpieces.

Lanfranco's work in Rome and in Naples was fundamental to the development of illusionism in Italy. Pietro Berrettini, called Pietro da Cortona, developed the illusionistic ceiling fresco

Alexander Lvovich Davydov

Alexander Lvovich Davydov was a major-general of the Russian Empire, who served in the era of the Napoleonic Wars. Davydov was born to the prominent Russian noble family of the Davydovs, was the half-brother of the noted general Nikolay Raevsky, he started his military career around the age of 12, when he enlisted in the Lifeguard Preobrezhansky Regiment as a sergeant. However, he soon transferred to the Life Guard Horse Regiment, of which, in 1799, he became a cornet and several years on 7 June 1804, a colonel; some months in 1805, he fought at the Battle of Austerlitz and in the years 1807-09 he served in Poland and in Finland with the Grodno Hussar Regiment. However, on 23 January 1810 he took a discharge, due to poor health. In 1812, amidst the French invasion of Russia by Napoleon, Alexander Davydov returned to the army and served under Mikhail Miloradovich at the battles of Tarutino, Maloyaroslavets and lastly Krasny. For his efforts at Krasny, he received the Order of St. Vladimir. In the ensuing year, in 1813, he served at the battles of Lützen, Bautzen and lastly Kulm.

1814 would be his last year of military action, he served at the battles of Bar-sur-Aube, Arcis-sur-Aube, Fère-Champenoise and lastly Paris. On 16 June 1815, Alexander Davydov was promoted to the rank of major-general, with, as Prof. Alexander Mikaberidze adds, having "seniority" for this rank since 29 January 1814. "Давыдов Александр Львович". Polki.mirpeterburga.ru. Retrieved 11 December 2016. Mikaberidze, Alexander. Russian Officer Corps of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Savas Beatie. ISBN 978-1611210026. История кавалергандов и Кавалергардского Ея Величества полка, с 1724 по 1-е июля 1851 года. Санкт-Петербург, Военная типография, 1851 г. Pushkin, Alexander. Shaw, J. Thomas; the Letters of Alexander Pushkin, Volume 1. Indiana University Press

Endicott Island

Endicott Island is a 45-acre artificial island located in the U. S. state of 2.5 miles offshore and 15 miles from Prudhoe Bay of the Beaufort Sea. Endicott Island was built in 1987 by Alaska Interstate Construction and is used by BP and Hilcorp Alaska for petroleum production. Endicott Island has a permanent causeway connecting it to the mainland, unlike Northstar Island, too far out for any kind of causeway to be built. Endicott Island was the first continuously producing offshore oil field in the Arctic, producing around 20,000 barrels of oil per day. 423 million barrels had been produced as of March 2003. Processed oil is sent from Endicott Island through a 24-mile pipeline to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, thence to Valdez, Alaska. In 1998 and 1999, illegal waste dumping at Endicott Island resulted in combined fines of US$1,500,000 against BP and Doyon Drilling, with further settlements of $24,000,000. In September 1999, one of BP’s US subsidiaries, BP Exploration Alaska, agreed to resolve charges related to the illegal dumping of hazardous wastes on the Alaska North Slope, for $22 million.

The settlement included the maximum $500,000 criminal fine, $6.5 million in civil penalties, BP’s establishment of a $15 million environmental management system at all of BP facilities in the US and Gulf of Mexico that are engaged in oil exploration, drilling or production. The charges stemmed from the 1993 to 1995 dumping of hazardous wastes on Endicott Island by BP’s contractor Doyon Drilling; the firm illegally discharged waste oil, paint thinner and other toxic and hazardous substances by injecting them down the outer rim, or annuli, of the oil wells. BPXA failed to report the illegal injections when it learned of the conduct, in violation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act. "BP Exploration Pleads Guilty To Hazardous Substance Crime". U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1999-09-23. Retrieved 2006-06-18. RTK.net report on Endicott Island Prudhoe Bay, Alaska Aerial photos from the Prudhoe Bay area, July 2010