Joachim Beuckelaer was a Flemish painter specialising in market and kitchen scenes with elaborate displays of food and household equipment. He painted still lifes with no figures in the central scene, his development of the genre of market and kitchen scenes was influential on the development of still life art in Northern Europe as well as Italy. Details about the life of the artist are scarce. Beuckelaer was born in Antwerp into a family of painters, he was the son of the painter Mattheus Beuckeleer and the brother of Huybrecht Beuckeleer. His brother became a painter and the works of Huybrecht have been misattributed to Joachim, he learned to paint in the workshop of his uncle, Pieter Aertsen, who had married his aunt Kathelijne Beuckelaer. Aertsen was best known for genres. Beuckelaer became an independent master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1560. Beuckelaer remained active in Antwerp throughout his career and continued to develop themes pioneered in painting by Aertsen, but arguably surpassing his presumed master in skill.
The date of his death is not known with certainty but fell between 1570 and 1574. Beuckelaer specialised in market and kitchen scenes with elaborate displays of food and household equipment. During the 1560s during the early part of the decade, Beuckelaer painted some purely religious works, for which, unlike the kitchen and market scenes, drawings are known. In this period he made designs for stained glass. Beuckelaer's market scenes, like those of Aertsen incorporate biblical episodes in the background, his Four Elements series, acquired by the National Gallery, London in 2001, exemplifies this on a large scale. Water, for example, shows a fish market selling twelve kinds of fish, representing the twelve disciples of Jesus. Through an archway in the background Christ can be seen walking on the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection, making fish appear miraculously in empty nets. Both Aertsen and Beuckelaer developed images that detached the world of produce from the religious content of their earlier hybrid images.
These works depict either kitchens or markets and the persons associated with those activities, more women than men. The paintings by Beuckelaer show a greater profusion of foodstuffs in the market scenes, together with a more prominent foregrounding of female peasants immersed within these sales items. Beuckelaer produced several images of fish stalls with background religious scenes, but sometimes separated from any additional narrative or reference. In the year 1563 Beuckelaer was experimenting with more outspoken landscape settings in an innovative way, which left its marks with artists in Antwerp. One of the still lives without figures in the kitchen or market scene itself is the Kitchen scene with Christ at Emmaus is unique in his oeuvre. In this composition Beuckelaer painted a kitchen with numerous ingredients for a lavish meal: vegetables, nuts, poultry and a large cut of meat; the table linen and crockery are in view. In the background, Beuckelaer depicted the biblical story of Christ at Emmaus.
This story is pushed into the background while the secondary matter of the dinner preparations for Christ's visit at Emmaus has become the painting’s main subject. This and similar scenes are regarded as the forerunners of the still-lifes of the 17th century, in which the narrative elements vanished entirely, his still life of a carcass referred to as Slaughtered pig dated 1563 is the earliest dated example of this subject. Beuckelaer was employed painting the figures in the work of other artists such as Anthonis Mor and Cornelis van Dalem; the 17th century biographer Karel van Mander claimed that the artist was only able to sell his paintings at low prices, that they only became prized after his death. However, the large size of his works and the number of workshop variants produced has been taken as an indication of a degree of success at least towards the end of his life. Research into the technique underlying Beuckelaer's canvases has shown that he recycled his own compositions from one image to the next.
He employed patterns of clustered items through tracings to compose new pictures with apparent variety. This kind of technique allowed him to increase production efficiency and cut costs in time and effort, his work was influential. The Flemish still life and animal painter Frans Snyders developed his Baroque many market scenes by taking inspiration of the work of Aertsen]] and Beuckelaer. Northern Italian painters such as Vincenzo Campi and Jacopo Bassano were influenced by his work. Media related to Joachim Beuckelaer at Wikimedia Commons
The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The second-largest art museum in the world, it was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky; the museum celebrates the anniversary of its founding each year on 7 December, Saint Catherine's Day. It has been open to the public since 1852, its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya, the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are part of the museum; the museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property.
Since July 1992, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky. Of the six buildings in the main museum complex, five—namely the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, Hermitage Theatre—are open to the public; the entrance ticket for foreign tourists costs more than the fee paid by citizens of Russia and Belarus. However, entrance is free of charge the third Thursday of every month for all visitors, free daily for students and children; the museum is closed on Mondays. The entrance for individual visitors is located in the Winter Palace, accessible from the Courtyard. A hermitage is the dwelling of a recluse; the word derives from Old French hermit, ermit "hermit, recluse", from Late Latin eremita, from Greek eremites "people who live alone", in turn derived from ἐρημός, "desert". The building was given this name because of its exclusivity - in its early days, only few people were allowed to visit; the only building housing the collection was the "Small Hermitage".
Today, the Hermitage Museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment and its neighbourhoods. Apart from the Small Hermitage, the museum now includes the "Old Hermitage", the "New Hermitage", the "Hermitage Theatre", the "Winter Palace", the former main residence of the Russian tsars. In recent years, the Hermitage has expanded to the General Staff Building on the Palace Square facing the Winter Palace, the Menshikov Palace; the Western European Art collection includes European paintings and applied art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It is displayed, on the first and second floor of the four main buildings. Drawings and prints are displayed in temporary exhibitions. Since 1940, the Egyptian collection, dating back to 1852 and including the former Castiglione Collection, has occupied a large hall on the ground floor in the eastern part of the Winter Palace, it serves as a passage to the exhibition of Classical Antiquities. A modest collection of the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia, including a number of Assyrian reliefs from Babylon, Dur-Sharrukin and Nimrud, is located in the same part of the building.
The collection of classical antiquities occupies most of the ground floor of the Old and New Hermitage buildings. The interiors of the ground floor were designed by German architect Leo von Klenze in the Greek revival style in the early 1850s, using painted polished stucco and columns of natural marble and granite. One of the largest and most notable interiors of the first floor is the Hall of Twenty Columns, divided into three parts by two rows of grey monolithic columns of Serdobol granite, intended for the display of Graeco-Etruscan vases, its floor is made of a modern marble mosaic imitating ancient tradition, while the stucco walls and ceiling are covered in painting. The Room of the Great Vase in the western wing features the 2.57 m high Kolyvan Vase, weighing 19 t, made of jasper in 1843 and installed before the walls were erected. While the western wing was designed for exhibitions, the rooms on the ground floor in the eastern wing of the New Hermitage, now hosting exhibitions, were intended for libraries.
The floor of the Athena Room in the south-eastern corner of the building, one of the original libraries, is decorated with an authentic 4th-century mosaic excavated in an early Christian basilica in Chersonesos in 1854. The collection of classical antiquities features Greek artifacts from the third millennium – fifth century BC, ancient Greek pottery, items from the Greek cities of the North Pontic Greek colonies, Hellenistic sculpture and jewellery, including engraved gems and cameos, such as the famous Gonzaga Cameo, Italic art from the 9th to second century BC, Roman marble and bronze sculpture and applied art from the first century BC - fourth century AD, including copies of Classical and Hellenistic Greek sculptures. One of the highlights of the collection is the Tauride Venus, according to latest research, is an original Hellenistic Greek sculpture rather than a Roman copy as it was thought before. There are, only a few pieces of authentic Classical Greek sculpture and sepulchral monuments.
On the ground floor in the western wing of the Winter Palace the collections of prehistoric artifacts and the culture and art of the Caucasus are located, as well as the second treasure gallery. The prehistoric artifacts date from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age and were excavated all over Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire. Among them is a renowned collection of the art and culture
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is an art museum in Montreal, Canada. It is amongst the most prominent in Canada; the museum is located on the historic Golden Square Mile stretch of Sherbrooke Street. The MMFA is spread across five pavilions, occupies a total floor area of 53,095 square metres, 13,000 of which are exhibition space. With the 2016 inauguration of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, the museum campus was expected to become the eighteenth largest art museum in North America; the permanent collection included 44,000 works in 2013. The original "reading room" of the Art Association of Montreal was the precursor of the museum's current library, the oldest art library in Canada; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a member of the International Group of Organizers of Large-scale Exhibitions known as the Bizot Group, a forum which allows the leaders of the largest museums in the world to exchange works and exhibitions. The museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, Virtual Museum of Canada.
Founded in 1860 by Bishop Fulford, the Art Association of Montreal was created to "encourage the appreciation of fine arts among the people of the city". Since it did not have a permanent place to store acquisitions the Art Association was not able to acquire works to display nor to seek works from collectors. During the following twenty years, the organization had an itinerant existence during which its shows and expositions were held in various Montreal venues. In 1877, the Art Association received an exceptional gift from a Montreal businessman, he gave the core of his art collection consisting of 4 bronzes. In addition he donated to the Montreal institution a building site on the north-east corner of Phillips Square and further the sum of money of $8,000; this latter gift was on condition. On the 26 May 1879, the Governor General of Canada, Sir John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, inaugurated the Art Gallery of the Art Association of Montreal, the first building in the history of Canada to be constructed for the purpose of housing an art collection.
The Art Gallery at Phillips Square, designed by the Hopkins and Wily architecture firm, comprised an exhibition room, another smaller room reserved for graphic works as well as a lecture hall and an embryonic art school. The museum was enlarged in 1893 by founding member G. Drummond's nephew, Andrew Thomas Taylor, with decorative carving by sculptor Henry Beaumont; the Art Association held an annual show of works created by its members as well as a Spring Salon devoted to the works of living Canadian Artists. The gift made by Benaiah Gibb was a watershed event in the founding of the museum's collection; the generous gift engaged a keen interest in the public and, because of it, the donations multiplied. Too cramped at its original location, the Art Association considered the idea of moving from Phillips Square to the Golden Square Mile, where the most of the city's financial elite lived at the time, they settled on the site of the abandoned Holton House, on Sherbrooke Street West, for the construction of the new museum.
Senator Robert Mackay, the owner of the property, was convinced to sell the house for a good price. A committee responsible for the construction of the museum was formed consisting of James Ross, Richard B. Angus, Vincent Meredith, Louis-Joseph Forget and David Morrice. Most members of this committee offered a considerable amount of their own money for the construction of the museum; this included a large donation by businessman James Ross. The Phillip's Square location was demolished in 1912, is now a Burger King. A limited architectural design competition was conducted to select an architect among three architectural firms that were invited to apply; the museum committee selected the project proposed by brothers Edward Maxwell and William Sutherland Maxwell. Trained in the Beaux-Arts tradition, they proposed a building that catered to French taste of the time: sober and majestic. Work began in the summer of 1910 and finished in the fall of 1912. On December 9, 1912, the Governor General of Canada, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, inaugurated the new Museum of the Art Association of Montreal on Sherbrooke Street West in front of 3,000 people present for the occasion.
In 1949, the Art Association of Montreal was renamed as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, more representative of the institution's mandate. In 1972, the MMFA became a semi-public institution funded by government funds. An expansion of the museum was undertaken during the 1970s culminating in 1976, with the opening of the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion. Designed by architect Fred Lebensold the building backs directly onto the back of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion; the building's architecture is modernist, made of concrete structures located along du Musée Avenue and in contrast with the classical architecture of the first pavilion. It was controversial at the time, despite innovations like the ceiling box for a track lighting and large open interior; the pavilion houses nearly 900 decorative design objects. Most objects come from were donated by Liliane and David M. Stewart, hence the name of the pavilion; the collection includes furniture, silverware, textiles and works of industrial design.
These objects were made of a variety materials, reflecting their origins in different countries and time periods. The appointment of Bernard Lamarre in 1982 as president of the board of directors, revitalized the museum after several difficult years. In the
Tower of Babel
The Tower of Babel as told in Genesis 11:1–9 is an origin myth meant to explain why the world's peoples speak different languages. According to the story, a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of Shinar. There they agree to build a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, scatters them around the world; some modern scholars have associated the Tower of Babel with known structures, notably the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to the Mesopotamian god Marduk by Nabopolassar, the king of Babylonia circa 610 BCE. The Etemenanki was nearly 91 metres in height. Alexander the Great ordered it to be demolished circa 331 BCE in preparation for a reconstruction that his death forestalled. A Sumerian story with some similar elements is told in the Lord of Aratta. 1 And the whole earth was of one language, of one speech.2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar.
And they had brick for stone, slime had they for morter.4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel. The phrase "Tower of Babel" does not appear in the Bible; the original derivation of the name Babel is uncertain. The native, Akkadian name of the city was Bāb-ilim, meaning "gate of God". However, that form and interpretation itself are now thought to be the result of an Akkadian folk etymology applied to an earlier form of the name, Babilla, of unknown meaning and non-Semitic origin. According to the Bible, the city received the name "Babel" from the Hebrew verb בָּלַ֥ל, meaning to jumble or to confuse; the narrative of the tower of Babel is an explanation of a phenomenon. Etiologies are narratives that explain the origin of a custom, geographical feature, name, or other phenomenon; the story of the Tower of Babel explains the origins of the multiplicity of languages. God was concerned that humans had blasphemed by building the tower to avoid a second flood so God brought into existence multiple languages.:51 Thus, humans were divided into linguistic groups, unable to understand one another.
The story's theme of competition between God and humans appears elsewhere in Genesis, in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The 1st-century Jewish interpretation found in Flavius Josephus explains the construction of the tower as a hubristic act of defiance against God ordered by the arrogant tyrant Nimrod. There have, been some contemporary challenges to this classical interpretation, with emphasis placed on the explicit motive of cultural and linguistic homogeneity mentioned in the narrative; this reading of the text sees God's actions not as a punishment for pride, but as an etiology of cultural differences, presenting Babel as the cradle of civilization. Tradition attributes the whole of the Pentateuch to Moses; this hypothesis proposes four sources: J, E, P and D. Of these hypothetical sources, proponents suggest that this narrative comes from the J or Yahwist source; the etiological nature of the narrative is considered typical of J. In addition, the intentional word play regarding the city of Babel, the noise of the people's "babbling" is found in the Hebrew words as as in English, is considered typical of the Yahwist source.:51 There is a Sumerian myth similar to that of the Tower of Babel, called Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, where Enmerkar of Uruk is building a massive ziggurat in Eridu and demands a tribute of precious materials from Aratta for its construction, at one point reciting an incantation imploring the god Enki to restore the linguistic unity of the inhabited regions—named as Shubur, Sumer, Uri-ki, the Martu land, "the whole universe, the well-guarded people—may they all address Enlil together in a single language."In addition, a further Assyrian myth, dating from the 8th century BC during the Neo-Assyrian Empire bears a number of similarities to the written Biblical story.
Various traditions similar to that of the tower of Babel are found in Central America. Some writers connected the Great Pyramid of Cholula to the Tower of Babel; the Dominican friar Diego Durán reported hearing an account about the pyramid from a hundred-year-old priest at Cholula, shortly after the conquest of Mexico. He wrote that he was told when the light of the sun first appeared upon the land, giants appeared and set off in search of the sun. Not finding it, they bu
Abraham Ortelius was a Brabantian cartographer and geographer, conventionally recognized as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Ortelius is considered one of the founders of the Netherlandish school of cartography and one of the most notable figures of the school in its golden age; the publication of his atlas in 1570 is considered as the official beginning of the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography. He is believed to be the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions; the Google Doodle of May 20, 2018, recognised Ortelius's endeavours the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Ortelius was born in the city of Antwerp, in the Habsburg Netherlands; the Orthellius family were from Augsburg, a Free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1535, the family had fallen under suspicion of Protestantism. Following the death of Ortelius's father, his uncle Jacobus van Meteren returned from religious exile in England to take care of Ortelius.
Abraham remained close to his cousin Emanuel van Meteren who would move to London. In 1575 he was appointed geographer to the king of Spain, Philip II, on the recommendation of Arias Montanus, who vouched for his orthodoxy, he traveled extensively in Europe, is known to have traveled throughout the Seventeen Provinces. Beginning as a map-engraver, in 1547 he entered the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke as an illuminator of maps, he supplemented his income trading in books and maps, his journeys included yearly visits to the Frankfurt book and print fair where he met Gerardus Mercator in 1554. In 1560, when travelling with Mercator to Trier and Poitiers, he seems to have been attracted by Mercator's influence, towards the career of a scientific geographer, he died in Antwerp. In 1564 he published his first map, Typus Orbis Terrarum, an eight-leaved wall map of the world, on which he identified the Regio Patalis with Locach as a northward extension of the Terra Australis, reaching as far as New Guinea.
This map subsequently appeared in reduced form in the Terrarum. He published a two-sheet map of Egypt in 1565, a plan of the Brittenburg castle on the coast of the Netherlands in 1568, an eight-sheet map of Asia in 1567, a six-sheet map of Spain before the appearance of his atlas. In England Ortelius's contacts included William Camden, Richard Hakluyt, Thomas Penny, puritan controversialist William Charke, Humphrey Llwyd, who would contribute the map of England and Wales to Ortelius's 1573 edition of the Theatrum. In 1578 he laid the basis of a critical treatment of ancient geography by his Synonymia geographica. In 1596 he received a presentation from Antwerp city, his death on 28 June 1598, his burial in the church of St. Michael's Abbey, were marked by public mourning; the inscription on his tombstone reads: Quietis cultor sine lite, prole. On 20 May 1570, Gilles Coppens de Diest at Antwerp issued Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the "first modern atlas". Three Latin editions of this appeared before the end of 1572.
Most of the maps were admittedly reproductions, many discrepancies of delineation or nomenclature occur. Errors, of course, both in general conceptions and in detail, its immediate precursor and prototype was a collection of thirty-eight maps of European lands, of Asia, Africa and Egypt, gathered together by the wealth and enterprise, through the agents, of Ortelius's friend and patron, Gillis Hooftman, lord of Cleydael and Aertselaer: most of these were printed in Rome, eight or nine only in the Southern Netherlands. In 1573, Ortelius published seventeen supplementary maps under the title Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum. Four more Additamenta were to follow, the last one appearing in 1597, he had a keen interest and formed a fine collection of coins and antiques, this resulted in the book Deorum dearumque capita... ex Museo Ortelii ("Heads of the gods and goddesses... from the Ortelius Museum". The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum inspired a six volume work entitled Civitates orbis terrarum edited by Georg Braun and illustrated by Frans Hogenberg with the assistance of Ortelius himself, who v
Duchy of Brabant
The Duchy of Brabant was a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183. It developed from the Landgraviate of Brabant and formed the heart of the historic Low Countries, part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1430 and of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1482, until it was partitioned after the Dutch revolt. Present-day North Brabant was adjudicated to the Generality Lands of the Dutch Republic according to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, while the reduced duchy remained part of the Southern Netherlands until it was conquered by French Revolutionary forces in 1794. Today all the duchy's former territories, apart from exclaves, are in Belgium except for the Dutch province of North Brabant; the Duchy of Brabant was divided into four parts, each with its own capital. The four capitals were Leuven, Antwerp and's-Hertogenbosch. Before's-Hertogenbosch was founded, Tienen was the fourth capital, its territory consisted of the three modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant and Antwerp, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch province of North Brabant.
Its most important cities were Brussels, Leuven, Breda,'s-Hertogenbosch and Mechelen. The modern flag of Belgium takes its colors from Brabant's coat of arms: a lion or armed and langued gules as a primary heraldic charge on a black field. First used by Count Lambert I of Louvain, the lion is documented in a 1306 town's seal of Kerpen, together with the red lion of Limburg. Up to the present, the Brabant lion features as the primary charge on the coats of arms of both Flemish and Walloon Brabant, of the Dutch province of North Brabant; the region's name is first recorded as the Carolingian shire pagus Bracbatensis, located between the rivers Scheldt and Dijle, from braec "marshy" and bant "region". Upon the 843 Treaty of Verdun it was part of Lotharingia within short-lived Middle Francia, was ceded to East Francia according to the 880 Treaty of Ribemont. In earlier Roman times, the Nervii, a Belgic tribe, lived in the same area, they were incorporated into the Roman province of Belgica, considered to have both Celtic and Germanic cultural links.
At the end of the Roman period the region was conquered by the Germanic Franks. In 959 the East Frankish king Otto I of Germany elevated Count Godfrey of Jülich to the rank of duke of Lower Lorraine. In 962 the duchy became an integral part of the Holy Roman Empire, where Godfrey's successors of the ducal Ardennes-Verdun dynasty ruled over the Gau of Brabant. Here, the counts of Leuven rose to power, when about 1000 Count Lambert I the Bearded married Gerberga, the daughter of Duke Charles of Lower Lorraine, acquired the County of Brussels. About 1024 southernmost Brabant fell to Count Reginar V of Mons, Imperial lands up to the Schelde river in the west came under the rule of the French Counts Baldwin V of Flanders by 1059. Upon the death of Count Palatine Herman II of Lotharingia in 1085, Emperor Henry IV assigned his fief between the Dender and Zenne rivers as the Landgraviate of Brabant to Count Henry III of Leuven and Brussels. About one hundred years in 1183/1184, Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa formally established the Duchy of Brabant and created the hereditary title of duke of Brabant in favour of Henry I of Brabant, son of Count Godfrey III of Leuven.
Although the original county was still quite small - and limited to the territory between the Dender and Zenne rivers, situated to the west of Brussels - from the 13th century onwards its name came to apply to the entire territory under control of the dukes. In 1190, after the death of Godfrey III, Henry I became Duke of Lower Lotharingia. By that time the title had lost most of its territorial authority. According to protocol, all his successors were thereafter called Dukes of Brabant and Lower Lotharingia. After the Battle of Worringen in 1288, the dukes of Brabant acquired the Duchy of Limburg and the lands of Overmaas. In 1354 Duke John III of Brabant granted a Joyous Entry to the citizens of Brabant. In 1430 the Duchies of Lower Lotharingia and Limburg were inherited by Philip the Good of Burgundy and became part of the Burgundian Netherlands. In 1477 the Duchy of Brabant became part of the House of Habsburg as part of the dowry of Mary of Burgundy. At that time the Duchy extended from Luttre, south of Nivelles to's Hertogenbosch, with Leuven as the capital city.
The subsequent history of Brabant is part of the history of the Habsburg Seventeen Provinces. The Eighty Years' War brought the northern parts under military control of the northern insurgents. After the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the United Provinces' independence was confirmed and northern Brabant was formally ceded to the United Provinces as Staats-Brabant, a federally governed territory and part of the Dutch Republic; the southern part remained in Spanish Habsburg hands as a part of the Southern Netherlands. It was transferred to the Austrian branch of the Habsburg monarchy in 1714. Brabant was included in the unrecognised United States of Belgium, which existed from January to December 1790 during short-lived revolt against Emperor Joseph II, until imperial troops regained the Austrian Netherlands for Leopold II who had succeeded his brother; the area was overrun during the French Revolution in 1794, formally annexed by France in 1795. The duchy of Brabant was dissolved and the territory was reorganised in the départements of Deux-Nèthes and Dyle.
After the defeat of Bonaparte in 1815, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines, it has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus's Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the high altar of the Basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter's since the Early Christian period, there has been a church on this site since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.
Construction of the present basilica, which would replace Old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626. St. Peter's is famous for its liturgical functions; the Pope presides at a number of liturgies throughout the year, drawing audiences of 15,000 to over 80,000 people, either within the Basilica or the adjoining St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's has many historical associations, with the Early Christian Church, the Papacy, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-reformation and numerous artists Michelangelo; as a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. St. Peter's is one of the four churches in the world that hold the rank of Major Basilica, all four of which are in Rome. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not a cathedral. St. Peter's is a church built in the Renaissance style located in the Vatican City west of the River Tiber and near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian's Mausoleum, its central dome dominates the skyline of Rome.
The basilica is approached via St. Peter's Square, a forecourt in two sections, both surrounded by tall colonnades; the first space is the second trapezoid. The façade of the basilica, with a giant order of columns, stretches across the end of the square and is approached by steps on which stand two 5.55 metres statues of the 1st-century apostles to Rome, Saints Peter and Paul. The basilica is cruciform in shape, with an elongated nave in the Latin cross form but the early designs were for a centrally planned structure and this is still in evidence in the architecture; the central space is dominated both externally and internally by one of the largest domes in the world. The entrance is through entrance hall, which stretches across the building. One of the decorated bronze doors leading from the narthex is the Holy Door, only opened during jubilees; the interior is of vast dimensions. One author wrote: "Only does it dawn upon us – as we watch people draw near to this or that monument, strangely they appear to shrink.
This in its turn overwhelms us."The nave which leads to the central dome is in three bays, with piers supporting a barrel-vault, the highest of any church. The nave is framed by wide aisles. There are chapels surrounding the dome. Moving around the basilica in a clockwise direction they are: The Baptistery, the Chapel of the Presentation of the Virgin, the larger Choir Chapel, the altar of the Transfiguration, the Clementine Chapel with the altar of Saint Gregory, the Sacristy Entrance, the Altar of the Lie, the left transept with altars to the Crucifixion of Saint Peter, Saint Joseph and Saint Thomas, the altar of the Sacred Heart, the Chapel of the Madonna of Column, the altar of Saint Peter and the Paralytic, the apse with the Chair of Saint Peter, the altar of Saint Peter raising Tabitha, the altar of St. Petronilla, the altar of the Archangel Michael, the altar of the Navicella, the right transept with altars of Saint Erasmus, Saints Processo and Martiniano, Saint Wenceslas, the altar of St. Jerome, the altar of Saint Basil, the Gregorian Chapel with the altar of the Madonna of Succour, the larger Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, the Chapel of Saint Sebastian and the Chapel of the Pietà.
At the heart of the basilica, beneath the high altar, is the Confessio or Chapel of the Confession, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led to his martyrdom. Two curving marble staircases lead to this underground chapel at the level of the Constantinian church and above the purported burial place of Saint Peter; the entire interior of St. Peter's is lavishly decorated with marble, architectural sculpture and gilding; the basilica contains a large number of tombs of popes and other notable people, many of which are considered outstanding artworks. There are a number of sculptures in niches and chapels, including Michelangelo's Pietà; the central feature is a baldachin, or canopy over the Papal Altar, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The apse culminates in a sculptural ensemble by Bernini, containing the symbolic Chair of Saint Peter. One observer wrote: "St Peter's Basilica is the reason why Rome is still the center of the civilized world. For religious and architectural reasons it by itself justifies a journey to Rome, its interior offers a palimpsest of artistic styles at the