Giovanna da Bologna, a Fleming by birth, was active in Rome and Florence, where he made fountains, equestrian monuments, allegorical figures, crucifixes, statuettes, groups of figures, animals, and many other objects. He founded a school of sculptors who were influenced by his work for many years. Many other bronze sculptors were active in the 16th and 17th centuries, notably in Venice, which was a particularly fruitful area for bronze casting, and at a school in Padua led by Andrea Riccio Briosco.
Italian bronze casters worked abroad as well as in their homeland, working on commission for foreign potentates, mainly in France and England. In the 16th century, beautifully made bronze pieces, which were very much more than functional objects, played an important part in the art of the bronze caster. For instance, sumptuous mortars were designed and made by artists whose names have been handed down to posterity , such as Cavadini, Lenotti, Juliano da Navi, Alessandro Leopardi , Antonio Viteni, and Crescimbeni da Perugia. Unlike their Italian counterparts, 15th-century bronze artists in Germany and the Low Countries were still under the spell of Gothic art , and ecclesiastical implements predominated.
The Dinant workshops, in the Meuse district, continued to dominate production until well past the middle of the 15th century, just as they had since the days of Charlemagne. But when Philip III the Good, duke of Burgundy, laid siege to the town in , then took it by storm and eventually completely destroyed it, the bronze casters who survived moved elsewhere, settling mainly in the Low Countries. There was another centre of the bronze trade in Lower Saxony, since the mines in the Harz Mountains produced a generous supply of copper and calamine. The chief bronze-working towns in this area were Hildesheim, Goslar, and Minden.
In the 16th century, a period when trade and commerce were developing very rapidly in Germany, the bronze-casting trade was no longer compelled to function close to the place where the raw material was extracted. They made bowls and dishes with various types of relief decoration on the bottom. In the late Gothic period, religious themes were very popular for this decoration and were more common than secular images. During the Renaissance, beginning in about , the design changed; instead of deep bowls there were large, flat dishes with decoration that consists of purely ornamental motifs or friezes as well as scenes and figures.
The reason for this decline may have been the emergence of what is known as display pewter see below Pewter , which, from about onward, swept the wealthy bourgeoisie market. Until the Gothic era, bronze chandeliers were made solely for the churches; it was not until the 15th century that people began to consider lighting their homes by means of a central source of light hanging from the ceiling.
In the Low Countries, one of the centres of the art of bronze casting, a type of chandelier was developed at this time that remained standard for many years. It is a type of hoop with a shaft, made up of a molded vertical centrepiece and a series of curving branches bearing drip trays and spikes. The arms, or branches, are decorated with tracery, foliage scrolls, and other motifs characteristic of the late Gothic style.
In the middle of the 16th century, the central shaft took on the shape of a spherical baluster, with a large sphere jutting out just below the point where the curving arms branch off. This design continued to predominate in the Baroque period and is found as late as the 18th century. Because chandeliers of this type were most common in the Low Countries, one can assume that they originated there and were produced in large numbers and that they spread to England and Germany. Besides these chandeliers—which until the 19th century were exclusive to court circles, the aristocracy , and the upper ranks of the bourgeoisie—there were also candlesticks.
Their design was a later development of that used for altar candlesticks. The principle of a disk-shaped foot and a baluster shaft with a spike on top remained standard from the Middle Ages well into the 19th century, though the design of the individual components was affected by the styles current in any particular period. In Dinant and Flanders in the 15th century, for instance, the shaft began to be fashioned into the shape of a human figure. This style also became popular in Germany. Whereas bronze sculpture reached its peak in Italy in the 15th century, monumental bronze figures were still rare in northern Europe at this time.
Thus, the full-length equestrian statue of St. Engraved tombstones and entire tombs based on earlier traditions continued to be made until the late Gothic era the beginning of the 16th century , as did tabernacles and lecterns. The intellectual content of the Renaissance and the styles it engendered entered the world of the northern sculptors in the second decade of the 16th century.
Small-scale bronze sculpture was particularly popular at this time, though some workshops were still casting monumental bronzes as late as the 18th century. Casting in bronze reached high perfection in England during the Middle Ages. The most remarkable of the sanctuary rings, or knockers, that exist at Norwich and elsewhere is that on the north door of the nave of Durham cathedral, from the first half of the 12th century.
The Gloucester candlestick see photograph , in the Victoria and Albert Museum , London, displays the power and imagination of the designer as well as an extraordinary manipulative skill on the part of the founder. According to its inscription, this candlestick , which stands about two feet 60 centimetres high and is cast in bell metal and gilded, was made for Abbot Peter the cathedral was originally an abbey church , who ruled early in the 12th century. While the outline is carefully preserved, the ornament consists of a mass of figures of monsters, birds, and men, mixed and intertwined to the verge of confusion.
As a piece of casting, it is a triumph of technique. There remain in England 10 effigies cast in bronze over a period of two centuries — , among them some of the finest examples of figure work and metal casting to be found in Europe. In several instances, particulars for the contracts of the tombs survive, together with the names of the artists who designed and made them. They are the work of William Torel , goldsmith of London; and it is evident that they are the first English attempt to produce large figures in metal.
Torel cast his large figures by the same process lost-wax he had employed for small shrines and images. Monumental brasses were exceedingly numerous in England, where some 4, still exist. From the 13th through the 16th centuries, in France, northern Germany, Belgium, and particularly England, it became the vogue to set into the stone slab covering a floor tomb a brass plate engraved with the figure of the deceased. The art began in Flanders and Germany, and many of the English brasses were of foreign origin; in some cases, brass sheets were imported and engraved by English artists.
The manufacture of unornamented brass plates centred chiefly at Cologne. Traces can still be seen in many brasses of the colours that originally enlivened them. In France, bronze was common from the late 16th century through the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and it is still popular with French sculptors today. Eighteenth-century artists made use of ormolu , or fire gilding, for bronze articles such as candlesticks, brackets, and mounts for furniture. This tradition continued in France and, to a lesser extent, in the areas under French influence, until the Empire period in the early 19th century.
Subdued classical designs executed in simple brass or in bronze, generally ungilded, are typical of the period following the reign of Napoleon. The second quarter of the 19th century and, with it, the onset of industrialization, brought about a decline in bronze casting, as it did in all spheres of craftsmanship.
The age of steel production now began. At the end of the 19th century, during the Art Nouveau period, attempts were made to revive the craft of casting bronze articles; but these did not have any lasting success. Bronze continued to be used by a few individual sculptors, however, throughout the 19th century and into the present day. Gold and silver and their natural or artificial mixture, called electrum or white gold, were worked in ancient Greece and Italy for personal ornaments, vessels, arrows and weapons, coinage, and inlaid and plated decoration of baser metals.
Aegean lands were rich in precious metals. The considerable deposits of treasure found in the earliest prehistoric strata on the site of Troy are not likely to be later than bc. Packed in a large silver cup were gold ornaments consisting of elaborate diadems or pectorals, six bracelets, 60 earrings or hair rings, and nearly 9, beads. Trojan vases have bold and simple forms, mostly without ornament; but some are lightly fluted.
Many are wrought from single sheets of metal. The characteristic handle is a heavy rolled loop, soldered or riveted to the body. Bases are sometimes round or pointed, sometimes fitted with separate collars but more often slightly cupped to make a low ring foot. One oddly shaped vessel in gold is an oval bowl or cup with a broad lip at each end and two large roll handles in the middle.
The oval body has Sumerian affinities. The scarcity of precious metals points to lack of wealth as prime cause of the artistic backwardness of these regions. Silver seems to have been more plentiful in the Greek islands; but only a few simple vessels, headbands, pins, and rings survive. Silver seals and ornaments of the same age are not uncommon. An elegant silver cup from Gournia belongs to the next epoch Middle Minoan I, c. Numerous imitations of its conical and carinated ridged form in clay and of its metallic sheen in glazed and painted decoration prove that such vessels were common. Minoan plate and jewelry are amply represented in the wealth of mainland tombs at Mycenae and Vaphio.
The vases from Mycenae are made indifferently of silver, gold, and bronze; but drinking cups, small phials, and boxes are generally made only of gold; and jugs are made of silver. Much funeral furniture is gold, notably masks that hid the faces or adorned the coffins of the dead. It has been thought that small gold disks, found in prodigious quantities in one grave , were nailed on wooden coffins; but they may have been sewn on clothes. They are impressed with geometrical designs based on circular and spiral figures, stars and rosettes, and natural forms such as leaves, butterflies, and octopods.
Smaller bossed disks bearing similar patterns may be button covers. Models of shrines and other amulets are also made of gold. The gold here and in other Mycenaean plating is not laid on the silver but on inserted copper strips. Gold cups from Mycenae are of two main types: plain curved or carinated forms related to the silverware and pottery of Troy and embossed conical vessels of the Minoan tradition. The embossed ornament consists of vertical and horizontal bands of rosettes and spiral coils and of floral, foliate, marine, and animal figures.
The designs are beaten through the walls and are consequently visible on the insides of most of the vessels; but the finest examples of their class, two gold cups from the Vaphio tomb near Sparta, have a plain gold lining that overlaps the embossed sides at the lip. The reliefs on the Vaphio cups represent men handling wild and domesticated cattle among trees in a rocky landscape.
Steatite vases carved with similar pictorial reliefs were evidently made to imitate embossed gold. The handles show the typical Minoan form: two horizontal plates riveted to the body at one end and joined at the other by a vertical cylinder. Cretan and mainland tombs have produced many examples of weapons adorned with gold. Modest ornaments are gold caps on the rivets that join hilt and blade, but the whole hilt is often cased in gold.
An example from Mycenae has a cylindrical grip of openwork gold flowers with lapis lazuli in their petals and crystal filling between them; the guard is formed by dragons, similarly inlaid. The most splendid Mycenaean blades are bronze inlaid with gold, electrum, silver, and niello. Here again the work is done on inserted copper plates. This kind of flat inlay seems to have been originally Egyptian; it occurs on daggers from the tomb of Queen Aah-Hotep, which are contemporary with the Mycenaean c.
Moreover, it is significant that two of the Mycenaean designs have Egyptian subjects cats hunting ducks among papyrus clumps beside a river in which fish are swimming , though their style is purely Minoan. Another blade bears Minoan warriors fighting lions and lions chasing deer.
A dagger from Thira has inlaid ax heads; one from Argos, dolphins; and fragments from the Vaphio tomb show men swimming among flying fish. These are masterpieces of Minoan craftsmanship. The Persians have been skillful metalworkers since the Achaemenid period — bc , when they were already acquainted with various techniques such as chasing, embossing, casting, and setting with precious stones. During the Parthian period bc — ad , silverwork and goldwork was strongly influenced by Hellenistic predilection for richly decorated bowls and dishes. Drinking vessels stem cups and cups with handles , ewers, oval dishes, platters, and bowls are the dominant forms; hunting scenes, drinking scenes, and animals are represented in high relief.
The patterns were cut out of solid silver or made separately in sheets and then soldered to the vessel. The period of transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age , when Aegean external relations were violently interrupted, was not favourable either to wealth or art; and the only considerable pieces of plate that have come from Greece are embossed and engraved silver bowls made by Phoenicians. Most of them bear elaborate pictorial designs of Egyptian or Assyrian character and are evidently foreign to Greece; but some simpler types, decorated with rows of animals in relief or wrought in the shape of conventional flower bowls, can hardly be distinguished from the first Hellenic products.
A severe and elegant silver bowl in the Metropolitan Museum of Art represents the flower type in its finest style. It is cast and chased and probably belongs to the 5th century bc. Silver vases and toilet articles have been found beside the more common bronze in Etruscan tombs; for example, a chased powder box of the 4th century bc in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bronze reliefs of an archaic chariot in the same collection have their opulent counterparts in some hammered silver and electrum fragments in London, Munich, and Perugia.
The electrum details are attached with rivets. About the 4th century bc , the fashion of ornamenting silver vessels with relief was revived; and this type of work, elaborated in the Hellenistic Age and particularly at Antioch and Alexandria, remained the usual mode of decoration for silver articles until the end of the Roman Empire.
The scholar Pliny the Elder 1st century ad names Greek silversmiths whose work was valued highly at Rome and laments the disappearance of the art in his own day. He must refer only to its quality, for Roman silverware has been abundantly preserved. Many rich hoards in modern collections were buried by design during the calamitous last centuries of the ancient world; and the most sumptuous, the Boscoreale treasure mostly in the Louvre , was accidentally saved by the same volcanic catastrophe that destroyed Herculaneum and killed Pliny in ad A slightly smaller hoard found at Hildesheim now in Berlin also belongs to the early empire.
The acquisition and appreciation of silver plate was a sort of cult in Rome. Technical names for various kinds of reliefs were in common use emblemata, sigilla, crustae ; weights were recorded and compared and ostentatiously exaggerated. Large quantities of bullion came to Rome with the spoils of Greece and Asia in the 2nd century bc ; and Pliny says that even in republican times there were more than silver dishes of a hundredweight apiece in the city. Weights of vessels are often marked on their bases.
Cups and jugs of Augustan style are usually covered with ornament in high relief. The subjects are very diverse: historical, mythological, and mystic scenes, formal and naturalistic designs of flowers and foliage, graceful studies of animals and birds. Some cups and jugs have conventional fluting, petals, or gadroons ornamental bands embellished with continuous patterns ; Bacchic masks; and embossed or engraved wreaths, gilt or inlaid with niello.
Silver and niello inlay was commonly applied to bronze plates. A singular type of silver bowl patera clipeata has a central ornament in high relief or even in the round; the ornament frequently contains a portrait bust. In time the ornament was restricted; and later Roman plate is plain with narrow border friezes, small central medallions, and handles embossed in low relief. It measures 10 inches across and weighs 46 ounces. The central medallion and its surrounding frieze contain scenes of a drinking contest between Bacchus and Hercules; between the frieze and the edge of the bowl is a row of 16 gold coins, each framed in a foliate wreath.
The coins range from Hadrian to Caracalla. In the same collection are several examples of very large silver plates clipei or missoria , in which the whole field is embossed with mythological or historical subjects. The largest called the Shield of Scipio is 28 inches in diameter and weighs ounces. The earliest Christian silverwork closely resembles the pagan work of the period in its naturalistic grace, ornament, and use of the traditional techniques of embossing and chasing. Even the subject matter is sometimes classical: the late 4th-century marriage casket of Projecta and Secondus, part of the Esquiline treasure found at Rome British Museum , is decorated with pagan scenes; and only the inscription shows that it was made for a Christian marriage.
Secular plate was also decorated with religious subjects—for example, dishes depicting the life of David Cyprus Treasure, Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, and Metropolitan Museum ; both dishes and vessels were produced with pagan subjects—for example, the Concesti amphora and the Silenus Dish both in the Hermitage, Leningrad. The figure style is often harder and flatter than previously, characterized by strictly frontal positions and symmetry. The techniques of chasing and embossing still predominated, but abstract patterns and Christian symbols inlaid in niello were used increasingly.
It is not known which cities were important centres of production; but the Eastern capital, Constantinople, must have been foremost among them. Of work in gold of the earliest Christian period, only personal jewelry has survived; but from the 6th and 7th centuries onward other pieces are also extant. Among the most important of the latter are votive crowns and crosses offered to churches in Spain and Italy by royal patrons. Major works in silver and gold were also produced in the northern Hiberno-Saxon school and in the service of the Celtic Church; work in precious metal, such as the buckle on the Moylough belt reliquary and the Ardagh Chalice in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, displays a masterly synthesis of the northern arts and humanist Mediterranean tradition.
The bulk of work in precious metals that survives from the Middle Ages is ecclesiastical: golden altars, like that of S. Ambrogio in Milan c. Emmeram c. Patronage throughout this period was mainly in the hands of the emperors and great princes of the church; and the form of liturgical plate and reliquaries, altar crosses, and the like underwent no fundamental change; Ottonian work of the later 10th and 11th centuries can be distinguished from that of the 9th only in the development of style. For example, the larger, more massive figures, with their strict pattern of folds, on the golden altar c.
In the 12th century the church supplanted secular rulers as the chief patron of the arts, and the work was carried out in the larger monasteries. Under the direction of such great churchmen as Henry, bishop of Winchester, and Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, near Paris, a new emphasis was given to subject matter and symbolism. Craftsmen were no longer anonymous; work by Roger of Helmarshausen, Reiner of Huy, Godefroid de Claire de Huy , Nicholas of Verdun , and others can be identified; and the parts they played as leaders of the great centres of metalwork on the Rhine and the Meuse are recognizable.
Gold and silver continued to be used as rich settings for enamels; as the framework of portable altars, or small devotional diptychs or triptychs; for embossed figure work in reliquary shrines; and for liturgical plate. The masterpieces of the period are great house-shaped shrines made to contain the relics of saints; for example, the shrine of St. Heribert at Deutz c. In the latter, the figures are almost freestanding, and in their fine, rhythmic draperies and naturalistic movement they approach the new Gothic style.
The increasing wealth of the royal courts, of the aristocracy, and, later, of the merchants led to the establishment of secular workshops in the great cities and the foundation of confraternities, or guilds, of goldsmiths and silversmiths, the first being that of Paris in As in architecture, monumental sculpture, and ivory carving , the lead held by Germany and the Low Countries during the Romanesque period now passed to France.
Architectural forms continued to be the basis of design in precious metal; the silver shrine of St. In England, the few pieces that survived the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century follow the same architectural pattern. In Italy, despite the undercurrent of classical taste, the Gothic style predominated in the 14th century, especially at Siena; it was also probably in Italy around that basse-taille enamel—a technique in which intaglio relief carving in the metal below its surface is filled with translucent enamel—originated, whence it spread rapidly through the upper Rhine region to France and England.
The Parisian school of enamellers predominated in the latter half of the 14th century. There was also an increased output of secular silver because of the rise of the middle classes; the English mazers wooden drinking bowls with silver mounts and the silver spoons with a large variety of finials are examples of this more modest plate. Numerous large reliquaries and altar plate of all kinds were still produced.
At the end of the Middle Ages the style of these pieces and of secular plate developed more distinctive national characteristics, strongly influenced by architectural style: in England, by the geometric patterns of the Perpendicular; in Germany, by heavy and bizarre themes of almost Baroque exuberance; and in France, by the fragile elegance of the Flamboyant. Goldsmiths often worked from very free interpretations of the antique made by artists in other media. Many of these designs but very few of the actual pieces have survived; the most famous is an enamelled gold saltcellar Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna made for Francis I by the celebrated Florentine Benvenuto Cellini.
In the second half of the 16th century many gifted Italian and immigrant goldsmiths worked at the court of Cosimo I , grand duke of Tuscany, specializing in vessels of hardstone mounted in enamelled and jewelled gold; their work is well represented in the Museo degli Argenti in the Pitti Palace, Florence, and in the Kunsthistorisches Museum; similar work was done by the Sarachi family in Milan. Among the most sumptuous pieces are a sardonyx a type of onyx and gold ewer, the gold St.
The massive plate of the Ordre du Saint-Esprit Louvre , dating from —82, is of quite individual character; and an enamelled gold helmet and shield of Charles IX —74 in the Louvre have no parallel either for quality or opulence. In other parts of Europe, goldsmiths clung to Gothic forms until well into the first half of the century, especially in the provincial towns.
Using precious metal from the New World, goldsmiths such as Enrique and Juan de Arfe produced vast containers for the Host known as custodia. The Flemish masters showed particular sympathy for the Mannerist style, derived from Italy but transformed by such native engravers as Cornelis Bos and Cornelis Floris. By about , Dutch goldsmiths had begun to rival the Flemish; the van Vianen family of Utrecht won international renown, especially Adam, who excelled at embossing, and his brother Paulus, who worked in Italy, Munich, and in the workshop of Rudolph II at Prague.
Many German princes, especially the dukes of Bavaria, maintained their own court workshops. Production was on a vast scale, and great quantities survive. England is rich in 16th-century secular silver, but church plate was mostly destroyed during the Reformation. The Renaissance style, introduced by the painter Hans Holbein the Younger, who designed vessels for the court, follows that of the Low Countries and Germany. After midcentury, bold Dutch floral ornament—usually embossed in thin metal, as though the pieces were for display rather than use—was characteristic and influential.
France, however, undoubtedly led fashion with its state workshops at the Gobelins , the refined French acanthus ornament contrasting sharply with the coarser Dutch designs. Since Louis XIV melted the royal plate to pay his troops, no French work of this period remains; but its quality is demonstrated in the work of the Huguenot silversmiths who left France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in Mostly provincials, they brought new standards of taste and craftsmanship wherever they settled—particularly in England, where the foremost names of the late 17th and earlier 18th centuries were of French origin: Pierre Harache, Pierre Platel, David Willaume, Simon Pantin, Paul de Lamerie , Paul Crespin, to mention but a few.
Silver furniture , a feature of the state rooms at Versailles, became fashionable among kings and noblemen. It was constructed of silver plates attached to a wooden frame; and each suite contained a dressing table , a looking glass, and a pair of candlestands. In Scandinavia, particularly Sweden, goldsmiths evolved forms of beakers and tankards showing strong German influence. The few extant Italian pieces suggest that the goldsmiths worked their material with the skill of sculptors. Early 18th-century English work combined functional simplicity with grace of form, while the work of Dutch and German goldsmiths is in a similar style but of less pleasing proportions.
The preeminence of the English work, however, is due to the destruction of all but a fraction of French silver of the same period; for what survives is outstanding in originality of design and fineness of finish. The superiority of French work lay in its excellence of design and the high quality of the cast and chased work.
Where other goldsmiths worked in embossed metal , the French modelled and cast their ornament and then applied it—a technique that consumed much more of the precious material. In France, provincial goldsmiths competed successfully with those of the capital; but in England all the best artists went to London. English silver in the 18th-century classical style of Robert and James Adam is of unequal merit owing to the use of industrial methods by some large producers. In France, Robert Auguste created pieces of great refinement in the Neoclassical style, which was copied in Turin and in Rome, for example, by L.
A notable workshop was founded in Madrid in by D. In both the northern and southern Netherlands, local production followed French precept, but more individuality survived in Germany. In Augsburg, excellent table silver was produced, but more important were the pictorial panels embossed in the highest relief by members of the Thelot family and the silver furniture made by the Billers and the Drentwetts.
At Dresden, Augustus II the Strong established under Johann Melchior Dinglinger a court workshop that produced jewels and enamelled goldwork unequalled since the Renaissance; and the gold snuffboxes made by Johann Christian Neuber rivalled those of the Parisian goldsmiths. Silversmithing in the New World in the colonial period is more or less derivative from Europe and England. North American colonial silver is distinguished for its simplicity and graceful forms, copied or adapted from English silver of the period.
On the other hand, the colonial silver of Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, while European in concept, shows a blending of Iberian designs and forms, with indigenous influences that trace back to pre-Hispanic times. Most of these relics survive in churches as sacramental vessels; but there are some notable private collections. The Napoleonic adventure brought French fashions back into prominence, and the Empire style was widely followed on the Continent. In England the Regency goldsmiths, of whom Paul Storr was the foremost, created their own more robust version of the Empire style.
Perhaps the most impressive monument of the period is a service made in Lisbon between and and presented to the Duke of Wellington for his liberation of Portugal now in Apsley House, London. By midcentury most of the earlier styles had been revived fleetingly and a recognizable Victorian style evolved, based on details drawn from diverse sources. Craftsmanship was at its best, but the design of domestic silver was derivative and selective, while that of presentation pieces strove too consciously for naturalistic effect. In the latter half-century the craft became an industry and the goldsmith a factory worker.
At the end of the 19th century, standards deteriorated, and a second pioneering movement started—the craft revival associated with William Morris and the Art Nouveau style see below Modern , which led to the production of original pieces, some of highly mannered design. In England the most interesting work was done by the sculptor Sir Alfred Gilbert , who, following the lead of William Burges , the architect and designer, combined silver with ivory and semiprecious stones in romantic confections.
The structure of trade, following the drastic social changes that have taken place since , is similar in all industrial countries. A few artist-craftsmen maintain independent studio workshops, producing commercially unprofitable but artistically significant work. Many of them also teach in art schools or work part-time in factories as industrial designers. Factories using modern equipment—for example, stamping , pressing, spinning , casting, and mechanical polishing—account for nearly all the financial turnover but seldom break new ground artistically.
Retail shops buy stock almost entirely from the factories and wholesalers and usually sell it anonymously. Thus, the evolution of style is impeded by the cost of new machinery; by the natural caution of wholesalers and retailers; by the buying public, which prefers precious ornaments to be timeless; and by the consideration that buying is an investment for value rather than for beauty. In consequence, the most lively designs are often those for costume jewelry; and the best modern work usually has been on a tiny scale, making little impact on the trade.
In its pure form, tin is far from suitable for making into implements because it is too brittle for casting successfully and is not easy to melt down. For this reason it has always been alloyed with certain other metals, mainly lead, in the proportion of , or copper, alloyed about , to make what is known as pewter. In medieval Germany, the municipal authorities and the guilds laid down permissible ratios to be used for tin alloys. The authorities also kept an eye on the pewterers and their products to make sure that regulations were adhered to.
These regulations do not seem to have been followed very closely in practice, for pieces surviving from the period before rarely have the regulation marks. In the second half of the 16th century, however, which was the golden age of pewter, almost all work began to be clearly marked. This means that modern collectors have a good chance of being able to identify their pieces.
Pewter ware is cast in molds. It is not suitable for chasing or stamping. From the 16th century, when pewter ware began to be decorated with relief work, molds made of brass or copper were used instead. Relief decoration can be applied by two different methods. The pewterer could either chisel the relief decoration consisting of little scenes, figures, or decorative motifs into the copper mold in intaglio , which enabled him to make the details as three-dimensional as he wished; or he could etch it in, which involved covering the plain copper mold with wax, scratching the decoration into it, and then allowing caustic acid to act on it.
Pewter utensils exclusively plates and dishes at this time were cast in molds prepared in this manner. It was very seldom that decorative motifs were etched straight onto the pewter surface. Another type of decoration is engraving, which involves cutting decorative motifs, figures, or inscriptions with a burin into the surface of pewter objects.
The most expensive and aesthetically important pieces of engraved pewter were produced in the late Gothic period, about In the 16th and 17th centuries, engraving was common for guild articles; and in the 18th century engraved mottoes, names, dates, and motifs taken from popular art were widely used. The type of strokes used fall into three categories: long, engraved lines; dots set close together to form a pattern; and a technique known in German as Flecheln , in which the straight line made by the burin is broken up into a series of long or short zigzag strokes.
The last method makes the design look fuller and broader and also makes it stand out more sharply. This type of decoration first appeared in the 16th century and was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. After they had been cast and then turned on a lathe , many pewter articles, especially plates and dishes, were hammered. The idea was to smooth over the surface of the object and strengthen the material by means of a series of light and regular blows.
Sometimes pewterers punched their wares with decorative motifs stamped close together to form a sort of frieze. This technique is known as tooling and is commonly found on bronze and silver articles. Occasionally, pewter pieces were embellished by the addition of brass fittings, such as handles, knobs, spouts, or scroll panels. But pewter ware has rarely been gilded, partly because it is difficult to make a layer of gilding adhere to the surface, partly because there seems little point in covering a material that is attractive in itself with a metal that is ostensibly more precious.
This is also why pewter ware has rarely been painted. A type of pewter inlay is found on what are known as Lichtenhain tankards. They have wooden staves running down them, and their sides are inlaid with decorative motifs and figures made of thin sheets of engraved pewter.
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In the early 18th century, furniture was also occasionally inlaid with pewter. On the whole, excavations have unearthed little pewter ware dating from antiquity, not only because it has tended to perish over the years but presumably also because it was not nearly as common as glass, bronze, silver, or clay. Excavations on the Esqueline Hill and finds from the Tiber River have produced some small pewter statuettes of divinities that may well be votive offerings.
Miniature versions of household articles such as amphorae, oil lamps, and pieces of furniture were found in graves. A number of pewter ampullae flasks with a globular body and two handles with inscriptions or highly stylized images or symbols date from the Early Christian period.
They were sold to pilgrims and were used to hold water from the Jordan River , consecrated water, or oil. Similar pouch-shaped ampullae reappeared in France in the 14th and 15th centuries; but unlike the early Christian examples, they are ornamented with abstract motifs rather than figure decoration. Besides the ampullae, hundreds and thousands of pilgrim badges were sold to devout visitors to places of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.
These little plaques and agraffes hat badges were generally miniature versions of religious images worshipped at the place where they were on sale. A number of these Italian, English, French, and German pilgrim badges, dating from the 13th to the 16th century, have survived. Instead of jewelry made of gold, silver, or precious stones, the less wealthy people of the Middle Ages wore pewter badges sewn onto their clothes or hats. The badges often took the form of amulets.
Because pewter was highly prized in all periods, damaged or old-fashioned utensils were melted down over and over again to make new ones. Thus, the earliest surviving functional objects and vessels made of pewter date from the Gothic era, though a few written sources refer to pewter being used earlier than this. Most of these documents are concerned with the question of whether communion chalices should be made of anything other than gold or silver. Pewter Communion chalices were permitted in certain periods and prohibited in others, and the church never managed to draw up an absolute ruling that applied to all religious communities.
Some of the finest and most important pewter pieces ever cast were made in Silesia in about Large guild flagons of a characteristic polygonal design, only 11 of them have been preserved. Their facetted surfaces are engraved with figures of saints surrounded by interlaced foliage scrolls, arches, arcades, and other late Gothic decorative motifs. Hidden among these motifs, one sometimes finds secular scenes, some of which are downright lewd. Pewterers in the neighbouring districts of Moravia and Bohemia also made guild flagons; but theirs were cylindrical, with raised horizontal bands.
The areas between the bands were generally decorated with friezelike inscriptions made up of Gothic or Gothic-style characters. The 15th century saw the emergence of a jug set on a slender stem, easily recognizable by its disk-shaped base, surmounted by another slender stem; the main body of the vessel is generally spherical and has a long, thin neck. The municipal authorities often possessed a set of six or 12 flagons of this kind.
They came back into fashion in the 17th century and were very widely used, as they had been at the beginning of the 15th century. Unfortunately, only a very few have survived from the earlier periods. Another early type of vessel belongs to a group known as Hanseatic tankards. These tankards have a heavy-looking, potbellied body set on a shallow circular base and a slightly convex lid. They were used in the coastal regions of Germany—that is, along the North Sea and Baltic coasts—and also in the Low Countries and Scandinavia.
These regions comprise the area dominated by the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages, hence the name of the tankards. Other regions of Europe were evolving their own special types of vessels for beer and wine, which, with a few modifications, remained standard for centuries. Thus, it is a very simple matter to distinguish between baluster jugs from London and pichets from Paris or between wine flagons from Switzerland and those made in the Low Countries, Burgundy, the Main regions of Franconia, southern Germany, and the Rhineland. The type of a baluster jug made in the region around Frankfurt-am-Oder and in Brandenburg in northeastern Germany is particularly elegant and distinguished looking.
The few jugs of this type that have survived date from about In all of the districts bordering the Rhine, vessels with flat lenticular the shape of a double-convex lens bodies are relatively common. They were used as canteens—sometimes as tankards, in which case they had a base that acted as a stand. The Baroque era saw the production of many different types of drinking and pouring vessels, often made of pewter.
The guilds, for instance, commissioned drinking vessels in the shape of larger than life-size versions of the tools of their trade or their coats of arms. Another type of vessel was called the Welcome, a drinking vessel that was handed around as a form of greeting or when a toast was being drunk. The body of these vessels was generally cylindrical or potbellied, with a lid and a short shaft set on a circular base.
Far fewer plain everyday plates have survived from the 15th and 16th centuries than drinking vessels and containers of the same period. The earliest pewter plates and bowls to have survived in any quantity date from the 17th century. In the last half of the 16th century two places in Europe evolved quite independently, though simultaneously, a new technique for casting pewter. In the beginning the technique used was not the same in both towns.
This suggests that the two towns were not influenced by each other in any way. The first master pewterer documented to have made relief pieces in Lyon is Roland Greffet, between and One can assume that it was he who invented this type of work. A school producing tankards and dishes with relief decoration soon grew up in Lyon.
The most common decorative motif was an arabesque, which was used in a variety of ways and can be thought of as the leitmotif for the work of this group of artists. His most famous piece is the Temperantia Dish , which takes its name from the allegorical figure of Temperance or Temperantia that appears in the centre of it. It dates from — The earliest piece made by Nicholas Horchhaimer, bearing the date , is a dish cast in an etched mold with an allegorical figure representing Fame, or Fama , in the centre and historical scenes or incidents from classical mythology around the edge.
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Other large dishes made by Horchhaimer and his contemporary Albrecht Preissensin are again decorated with themes from classical antiquity or sometimes with biblical scenes; for smaller plates they kept to abstract decoration. The Mannerist allegories that had been in favour completely disappeared, to be replaced by scenes from the Old and New Testaments, equestrian portraits of the German emperors with the electors round the edge, and luxuriant floral decorations.
These plates are no more than about seven inches 18 centimetres in diameter and are generally flat and disk-shaped. The molds were no longer made by the pewterers themselves but by professional mold cutters, who occasionally added their own monograms. Since molds were often sold by one workshop to another and then to another, one sometimes finds plates cast in the same mold but with different touches.
Small decorative plates of this type were so popular that they continued to be made as late as the 18th century. A few master pewterers in Saxony did execute relief decoration, however, mainly on jugs; they adapted their motifs from lead or bronze plaquettes made in southern Germany. Plates bearing the arms of Switzerland were also produced by Swiss pewterers in the 17th century. They have scenes taken from the history of Switzerland. The golden age of relief pewter, which had begun about , ended in the third quarter of the 17th century.
During this period, individual craftsmen had elevated pewter from its humble status as a material from which functional articles were made to one in which brilliant artistic feats could be performed. Relief pewter pieces were solely works of art, nonfunctional objects valued as showpieces. Pewter dishes made in Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries have chased, etched, engraved, or chiselled decoration and lean heavily on artists working in brass or bronze for their designs. An independent pewter trade does not seem to have existed in Italy on anything like a large scale until the 18th century.
Besides a very large number of different types of jugs, each region specializing in its own characteristic design, there were plates and dishes used at table and also basins and bowls, drinking mugs, and screw-top flasks. Yet pewter was already feeling the draught of competition by the end of the 17th century. In this time pewter began to be superseded by products of other branches of the decorative arts. Its first rival, faience ware, was initially no more than an inferior substitute for porcelain; but because the factories that were soon springing up everywhere were able to produce very large quantities of faience, they inflicted heavy damage on the pewter trade.
Faced with this situation, the pewterers switched to imitating the designs used by the silversmiths, in the hope of gaining favor in the more ambitious middle class circles. By about the middle of the 18th century, an ever-widening variety of articles was being made: the pewterers were able to supply anything from a spoon to a whole dinner service, including mustard pots, sauceboats, and spoons for serving punch.
But this period of prosperity was short-lived. By the third quarter of the 18th century, pewter was rivalled both by porcelain , which could now be produced relatively cheaply by several factories in Europe, and by the even cheaper English earthenware that flooded markets on the Continent. This new development sealed the fate of the pewter trade. Towns that once had 20 or 30 busy and successful workshops had no more than one or two by the beginning of the 19th century.
Although in Germany the demand for pewter seems to have increased for a few years after the Napoleonic era, particularly in country districts, by the middle of the 19th century industrialization finally put an end to a trade that had flourished for centuries. In the second half of the century, when stylistic imitations were all the rage, pewter vessels were produced in the Neo-Baroque, Neo-Rococo, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, and other styles that followed the many historicizing trends that emerged.
Yet these pieces were made more often by mechanized metalworking factories than by pewterers. The Art Nouveau style that became fashionable at the end of the 19th century brought about a revival of pewter production; and individual firms succeeded in making original, well-designed pieces that are often of considerable aesthetic importance. The firm of Kayser in Oppum near Krefeld played a leading part in this revival. But the outbreak of World War I spelled the end of Art Nouveau—whose heady run of success had anyway been short-lived—and with it the end of old pewter.
Ironwork is fashioned either by forging or casting. Wrought iron is the type of ironwork that is forged on an anvil. There are no fabrication similarities to cast iron , which is poured in a molten state into prepared sand molds. Wrought iron is fibrous in structure and light gray in colour. It can be hammered, twisted, or stretched when hot or cold. The more it is hammered, the more brittle and hard it becomes; but it can be brought back to its original state by annealing heating and then cooling slowly.
It will not shatter when dropped. From earliest times, the smith has had a forge to heat the iron, an adjacent water tank in which to cool it, an anvil on which to form it, in addition to a wide assortment of hammers and tools. The most important tool is the anvil. The English type, generally used for forging wrought iron, has a flat top surface, which is used as a solid base for hammering the heated iron into shape, for welding , for splitting, or for incising decorative chisel marks in the hot iron. One end of the anvil is shaped like a pointed cone and is used for forming curved surfaces.
The other blunt end, or heel, has one or two square or rectangular holes on top, into which fit various tools. The wrought-iron craftsman should not be expected to repeat with meticulous exactitude one intricate component after another. In fact, wrought iron by a master craftsman is esteemed for the variations that naturally occur. The individual components of a wrought-iron design are often plain or twisted rods, with or without chisel-mark incisions.
They are frequently composed as a series of straight, parallel members or in combination with scrolls, or as a repeat design of some geometric shape such as the quatrefoil. Where two curved members are tangent, they are characteristically secured together by bands or collars, rather than by welding.
Where two straight bars intersect, it is accredited craftsmanship to make the vertical bar pierce or thread the horizontal member. Grilles consisting of two series of parallel small-diameter rods, one series at right angles to the other, were sometimes interlaced or woven. The general configuration of the modelling is obtained by beating the back of the sheet; the final details are embossed on the front face. The finer the scale and detail, the more work must be done when the iron is cold.
The most difficult way of decorating iron is to carve it. This involves fashioning figurative or decorative motifs out of the metal ingot with especially strengthened tools, using the material in the same way that the sculptor handles wood or stone. Only very precious iron articles are carved, such as coats of arms or pieces that are specifically designed to be displayed as works of art. Cast iron is melted in a furnace or cupola, stoked with alternate layers of coking iron, then poured into prepared sand molds. After the cast iron cools in the mold, the sand is cleaned off, and the work is virtually complete.
Its shape is fixed, and while a casting can be slightly trued up by the judicious use of a hammer, it is in no sense as workable as wrought iron.
Thus, ornamental features in cast iron cannot be chased and polished as in cast bronze. If the ornamental cast-iron details are not replicas of the original pattern, the only recourse is to make a new casting. Because it is brittle, cast iron is almost certain to shatter if dropped. Since it is cast in a mold, certain forms are more suitable to cast iron than to wrought iron. For example, if repetitive balusters, or columns, or panels with low-relief ornamentation are desired, cast iron is the most suitable material.
The earliest recorded iron artifacts are some beads, dating from about bc or earlier, found at Jirzah in Egypt. They are made from meteoric iron, as are a number of other objects of only slightly later date that have been found both in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The earliest known examples of the use of smelted iron are fragments of a dagger blade in a bronze hilt, dating from the 28th century bc , found at Tall al-Asmar modern Eshnunna , in Mesopotamia, and some pieces of iron from Tell Chagar Bazar, in the same area, of approximately the same date.
There is, however, no evidence of any extensive use of iron in either Egypt or Mesopotamia before the end of the 2nd millennium bc. In Asia Minor, on the other hand, iron was probably used regularly from at least as early as bc ; and it seems likely that the first true iron industry was established there in the second half of the 2nd millennium bc.
From the ancient Near East the knowledge of iron working was transmitted to Greece and the Aegean, probably at the beginning of the 1st millennium bc , whence it spread gradually to the rest of Europe. By the 6th century bc , it had been widely disseminated over central and western Europe. Iron was at first apparently regarded as a precious, semi-magical material, presumably because of its rarity and its connection with meteorites.
But once it had become common, as a result of increased knowledge of the technique of smelting ore , it seems to have been used, at least in Europe, almost exclusively for objects of utility. A few Belgic firedogs and at least one amphora, skillfully forged in iron, with decorative terminals in the form of animal heads, are known; but the practice of forging iron into decorative shapes does not seem to have become general until the Middle Ages.
Galuppi excelled in opera buffa and collab. Opera thrived again after the opening of the Teatro La Fenice in with a work by Paisiello. No Venetian sch. Several Verdi operas were commissioned for La Fenice, notably La traviata , In the 20th cent.
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It has also staged the Venetian Malipiero's operas. These operas were given at the annual fest. Stravinsky also comp. The fascination of Venice for composers is epitomized by Britten's opera Death in Venice and it was in Venice that the dying composer wrote some of his 3rd str. And not the least of Venice's claims to musical fame is that Richard Wagner died there on 13 Feb. Built on islands, separated by narrow canals, in the Lagoon of Venice, and joined by causeway to the mainland.
Settled in the 5th century, it was a vassal of the Byzantine Empire until the 10th century. After defeating Genoa in , Venice became the leading European sea-power, trading with the Mediterranean and Asia. It declined in the 16th century, and was ceded to Austria in , becoming part of Italy in Venice has many churches, palaces, and historic buildings, and is one of Europe 's major attractions, drawing more than 2 million tourists a year.
Tourism imposes a massive strain on a city already suffering from erosion, subsidence, and pollution. Industries: glass-blowing, textiles, petrochemicals. Venice a city in NE Italy, situated on a lagoon of the Adriatic and built on numerous islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. It was a powerful republic in the Middle Ages and from the 13th to the 16th centuries a leading sea power, controlling trade to the Levant and ruling parts of the eastern Mediterranean.
Although some individual Jews had passed through Venice in the Middle Ages , legislation enacted in allowing moneylending in the city for the following five years marked the start. However, at the end of the ten years, they had to leave, and officially no Jew could stay in Venice for longer than 15 days at a time, with exceptions made only for merchants arriving by sea and for doctors; also henceforth all Jews coming to the city were required to wear on their outer clothing a yellow circle, changed in to a yellow head-covering to make evasion more difficult.
The authorized continuous residence of Jews in the city of Venice and the emergence of its Jewish community was a 16 th -century development not initially planned by the Venetian government. Its restrictive policy toward the residence of Jews in Venice in the 15 th century was not extended either to the Venetian overseas possessions or to the Venetian territory on the Italian mainland, and the charter issued in to Jewish moneylenders in Mestre permitted them to come to Venice in case of war.
Consequently, in , as during the War of the League of Cambrai , the enemies of Venice overran the Venetian mainland, Jewish moneylenders and other Jews residing in Mestre, as well as in Padua and elsewhere, fled to Venice. The Venetian government soon realized that allowing them to stay was doubly beneficial, for they could provide the hard-pressed treasury with annual payments while their moneylending in the city itself was convenient for the needy urban poor.
Consequently, in the government granted the Jewish moneylender Anselmo del Banco Asher Meshullam from Mestre and his associates a charter permitting them to lend money in Venice. Then, two years later, the Jews obtained permission to operate stores selling strazzaria , literally rags, but, by extension, secondhand clothing and other used items such as household goods and furnishings, which were sought by a large part of the population, especially foreign diplomats and visitors to the city and even the government itself for state occasions, prior to the Industrial Revolution when less-expensive mass-produced items first became available.
Many Venetians, especially clerics, objected to the residence of Jews all over the city, so in the Senate decided, despite the objections of the Jews, as a compromise mediating between the new freedom of residence all over the city and the previous state of exclusion, to segregate them. Accordingly, all Jews residing in the city and all who were to come in the future were required to move to the island known as the Ghetto Nuovo the New Ghetto , which was walled up and provided with two gates that for most of the time that the ghetto existed were locked all night, from one hour after sunset in the summer and two hours after sunset in the winter, when it got dark earlier, until dawn.
Initially, the site adjacent to the island of the Ghetto Nuovo had served as the location of the Venetian municipal copper foundry, il ghetto from the verb gettare , in the sense of to pour or caste metal, while the Ghetto Nuovo to which the Jews were relegated in had been used for dumping waste material from the copper foundry.
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Accordingly it was referred to as "the terrain of the ghetto" il terreno del ghetto and then eventually the Ghetto Nuovo, while the area of the actual foundry became known as the Ghetto Vecchio the Old Ghetto. But since the foundry was unable to process a sufficient quantity of metal, its activity came to be consolidated in the Arsenal, and in the government auctioned off the foundry and adjacent island, both of which became residential areas.
Although a few compulsory, segregated, and enclosed Jewish quarters had existed in Europe prior to , the best-known and longest lasting of which was that of Frankfurt am Main established in , they were never called ghettos because that word came to be associated with Jewish quarters only after the Venetian development of Thus, the oftencountered statement that the first ghetto was established in Venice in is correct in a technical, linguistic sense but misleading in a wider context.
The establishment of the ghetto, however, did not assure the continued residence of the Jews in Venice, for that privilege was based on a charter granted by the Venetian government to the Jews in Upon its expiration in , very extensive discussions took place in the Senate, as numerous proposals, including the expulsion of the Jews from Venice, were advanced, but eventually a new five-year charter was approved and subsequently renewed for generations.
Overall, the attitude of the Venetian government toward the Jews was highly ambivalent. While the majority of the senators allowed utilitarian socio-economic considerations to be foremost in their decision-making, thereby in retrospect making the residence of the Jews in the city continuous from on, there was a constant undercurrent of hostility that could find its expression at the time of the charter renewal. An examination of the actual terms of the charters reveals that over the years, clauses were added to further regulate the status of the Jews. Most important was the change in attitude toward moneylending.
Increasingly, the Venetian government viewed Jewish moneylenders as a source of cheap credit for the urban poor rather than of revenue for the state treasury, and accordingly, it lowered the interest rates and correspondingly reduced the required annual payments of the Jews. Finally, in , it eliminated the annual payment, but the Jews were required to make loans of up to three ducats each at five percent per annum interest to any borrower with a suitable pledge.
Since the native Jews of Venice, whom the government referred to as Tedeschi i. Thus the nature of Jewish moneylending completely changed from a voluntary profit-making activity engaged in by a few wealthy individuals to a compulsory responsibility imposed on the Jewish community which passed it on to individual Jews who had the resources to fund the pawnshops, and then subsidized them with a premium over the five percent interest that they could legally charge on their loans.
In , some visiting Ottoman Jewish merchants, known as Levantine Jews, complained to the Venetian government that they did not have sufficient space in the ghetto. Legislation of that year designed to make trading in Venice more attractive to foreign merchants, primarily by lowering customs duties on certain imports, pointed out that these Jewish merchants were importing the greater part of the merchandise coming from the Ottoman Balkans and ordered that their complaint be investigated. Upon confirmation of its validity, they were assigned the area of the Ghetto Vecchio, which was ordered walled up with only one gate at each end, one of which opened up to a bridge to the Ghetto Nuovo.
The existence of a Jewish community in Venice and the growing presence of Levantine Jewish merchants in the city after made it more attractive for judaizing Iberian New Christians to come to Venice, where many reverted to Judaism and either stayed or went on elsewhere, primarily to the Ottoman Empire. Although the Venetian government was always doctrinally Catholic and concerned with the religious faith of its inhabitants, it usually did not concern itself with the origin and background of those New Christians who upon arriving in Venice went directly to the ghetto and there assumed Judaism and henceforth lived unambiguously as Jews.
On the other hand, officially it did not tolerate New Christians who lived outside the ghetto and passed themselves off ostensibly as Christians while nevertheless still secretly judaizing, both because their conduct was an affront to Christianity and also because it was feared that they might lead more simple Christians astray.
Yet despite the legislation of , the pressure of the papal nuncio, and the presence of the Venetian Inquisition — revived in in order to deal with the growth of Protestant heresy rather than with Crypto-Jews as had been the case with the Inquisition on the Iberian peninsula although once established it concerned itself with all manifestations of heresy, including cases of Crypto-Judaism — Venice continued to serve judaizing New Christians as both a place of settlement as well a major point of transit.
He submitted to the Venetian government numerous proposals and projects intended primarily to restore the declining maritime commerce of Venice and augment its diminishing customs revenue while simultaneously benefiting Jewish merchants and, above all, obtaining for them privileges in Venice. Finally, in , Rodriga's persistence was rewarded, as the Venetian government, recognizing the need to take some action in view of the serious decline in Venetian maritime commerce, concluded that inviting Jewish merchants to the city constituted the least serious possible modification of its long-standing commercial protectionist policy and accordingly the least objectionable way of attempting to alleviate the situation.
Consequently, it issued a charter allowing both New Christian merchants from the Iberian Peninsula who were called Ponentine — i. These Jewish merchants were so successful that their charter was subsequently renewed for successive year periods, and when in they assured the Venetian government that additional merchants would come to Venice if granted adequate living space, it assigned the newcomers an area containing 20 dwellings across the canal from the Ghetto Nuovo, in a direction almost opposite to the Ghetto Vecchio, that almost immediately became known as the Ghetto Nuovissimo, i.
In light of the spread of the use of the term "ghetto" to refer to compulsory and segregated Jewish quarters on the Italian peninsula in the wake of the harsh papal bull of known as Cum Nimis Absurdum , it is understandable that this third compulsory Jewish quarter in Venice was referred to as a ghetto. While the last two designations had been in use prior to the residence of the Jews in those locations and owed their origin to the former presence of a foundry in that area, the Ghetto Nuovissimo had never been associated with a foundry. Rather, it was called the Ghetto Nuovissimo because it was the site of the newest compulsory, segregated, and enclosed Jewish quarter.
Thus, the term ghetto had come full circle in the city of its origin: from an original specific usage as a foundry in Venice to a generic usage in other cities designating a compulsory, segregated, and enclosed Jewish quarter with no relation to a foundry, and then to that generic usage also in Venice. The number of Jews residing in Venice apparently reached around 2, roughly 1. Especially in the 16 th and 17 th centuries, the number of dwellings available in the ghetto was very often insufficient, so they were constantly subdivided into smaller units while stories were added to the existing buildings, thereby starting a virtually constant process of alteration and modification.
The Venetian government enforced the regulations regarding residence in the ghetto and the requirement to remain there after the hour established for the closing of its gates. Only Jewish doctors treating Christian patients and Jewish merchants who had to attend to their business enjoyed routine permission to be outside the ghetto after hours, while additionally on occasion individual Jews, including representatives of the Jewish community who had to negotiate charter renewals with the government, singers and dancers who performed in the homes of Christians, especially at carnival time, and others who had special needs and skills were granted the privilege, often only until a specified hour of the night.
Only extremely rarely indeed was permission granted — usually to doctors — to reside outside the ghetto. Along with residence in the ghetto, the requirement that the Jews wear a special head-covering, initially yellow, which for some undetermined reason became red although Levantine Jews continued to wear yellow, constituted a very significant part of the Venetian socio-religious policy of segregating the Jews. Reflecting the heterogeneous ethnic backgrounds of the Jews of Venice, several synagogues were established in the ghetto.
Five were generally considered to be major synagogues. Only the cemetery, initially established in , of necessity was located outside the ghetto on the Lido. The Scuola Ponentina acquired an additional significance as its by-laws served as a model for the Sephardi community of Amsterdam, whose procedures in turn were utilized by the Sephardi Jewish communities of London and of the English colonies of New York , Philadelphia, and Montreal in the New World. The rabbis of Venice constituted overall a distinguished cadre that provided leadership for their day and a few outstanding figures of more than local significance.
In the course of his presentation, Luzzatto displayed considerable insight into the economic and commercial situation, combined with a thorough acquaintance with classical Graeco-Roman literature and an awareness of contemporary intellectual trends, especially in philosophical and political thought, as well as new scientific discoveries in mathematics and astronomy, as he argued that the presence of Jewish merchants and moneylenders was very useful indeed for the Venetian economy and therefore the Jews should not be expelled.
Additionally, Venice served as a significant center for the development, transformation, and popularization of the Lurianic Kabbalah from Safed as Rabbi Menachem Azariah mi Fano began to publicly expound it, and eventually it was transmitted from Venice to Eastern Europe. Additionally significant in Venice was the presence of Jewish doctors, many of whom had been attracted by the educational experience offered by the nearby medical school of Padua. The attendance of Jewish students there was especially significant since it was generally regarded as the best medical school in Europe, with the humanities integrated into the scientific curriculum, and provided one of the richest opportunities for Jews to familiarize themselves with the best of European intellectual and cultural achievements.
Jewish students from all over Italy as well as central and eastern Europe came to Padua, and many returned to serve in their communities and elsewhere. Especially noteworthy was the Jewish doctor David dei Pomis —c. Understandably 16 th -century Venice, with available capital, technical proficiency, good paper, a skilled labor force, and constituting a convenient location for exporting emerged as a major center of printing not only in Italian, Latin, and Greek but also Hebrew, Judeo-Italian, Ladino Judeo-Spanish , and Yiddish Judeo-German.
Indeed, the Venetian printing press made a very extensive and lasting contribution to Jewish learning and culture through its assuming a major role in the early history of Hebrew printing and publishing. One of the outstanding publishers of Hebrew books in Renaissance Italy, and indeed of all times, was Daniel Bomberg, a Christian from Antwerp who, with the help of numerous editors, typesetters, and proofreaders, mostly either Jews or converts from Judaism to Christianity, printed around Hebrew books.
Of prime significance for Jewish religious life and culture is his complete edition of the Babylonian Talmud —23 with the commentary of Rashi and the Tosafot, whose format and pagination has been followed in virtually all subsequent editions up to the present, and also his edition of the rabbinic Bible Mikra'ot Gedolot —18; —25 2 , with the Aramaic translation and traditional rabbinic commentaries, which also became the standard model for most subsequent editions, as well as other major works, including the Palestinian Talmud.
After Bomberg, the more important subsequent printers of Hebrew books included the Christians Marco Antonio Giustiniani, whose activity overlapped the last years of Bomberg, and Alvise Bragadini. Their competition in rival editions of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah led to a papal decree of condemning the Talmud and ordering it burned. Consequently, on October 21, , Hebrew books were burned in Piazza San Marco, to the great loss of the Jewish community and the Christian printers alike.
Subsequently, in the early s, Hebrew printers in Venice resumed their activities, printing books by Jewish authors from all over who sought out the resources of the city on the lagoons, from which the books were exported throughout Europe and the Mediterranean world, although from on, Jews were officially not allowed to be publishers or printers.
Indeed, it has been estimated that of 3, Hebrew books known to have been printed in Europe prior to , almost a third 1, were printed in Venice. Eventually, during the course of the 17 th century, the quantity and quality of Venetian Hebrew imprints declined and other centers of Hebrew printing gradually emerged. By the 18 th century, Venice as a whole had declined economically, certainly in a relative if not absolute sense, and with it also the financial condition of the Jewish community as a corporate entity, even though an impoverished community did not mean that all of its individual members were impoverished.
For the rest of the century, the Inquisitorato, together with the Senate and other relevant magistracies, constantly worked out detailed regulations in attempts to promote the smooth functioning of the pawnshops, to arrange for the repayment of the substantial debts of the Jewish community owed both to Venetian Christians and to the Jewish communities of Amsterdam, The Hague, and London, and generally to restore its solvency, eventually closely supervising all aspects of its everyday financial affairs.
In the separate charters of the Tedeschi Jews and of the Levantine and Ponentine Jews ended as one unified year charter was issued for all Jews residing in the Venetian state. In a sense, such a charter was long overdue, since the charters of the Tedeschi Jews, which antedated those of the Levantine and Ponentine Jewish merchants, contained general provisions which were also applied to the merchants. Yet, the once distinct economic activities and responsibilities of the two groups of Jews had merged over the years, as for well over a century the merchants had been subjected to payments to the pawnshops of the Tedeschi Jews, while since the Tedeschi Jews had been eligible to engage in maritime trade with the Levant.
The ghetto gates were spontaneously torn down and the special restricted status of the Jews of Venice came to an end. After Napoleon ceded Venice to Austria by the Treaty of Campo Formio later in , some restrictions were reinstituted but not the requirement to reside within the ghetto. After Napoleon defeated Austria in , Venice became a part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and the rights of the Jews were again restored, only to be partially revoked when after the fall of Napoleon, Venice was reassigned to Austria by the Congress of Vienna in They were briefly restored during the revived Republic that emerged during the revolution of —49, led by Daniel Manin, of Jewish descent, and with two Jewish ministers.
Only after Venice became a part of the emerging Kingdom of Italy in were the Jews granted complete emancipation. In the following decades, the Jewish community decreased in numbers as a result of emigration and intermarriage, numbering around 2, in Between the issuing of the racial laws in September and the summer of , the Jewish community of Venice experienced a difficult period of exclusion and racial discrimination, first under the leadership of Aldo Finzi, who had been appointed by the government, and then, after June 16, , under the presidency of Professor Giuseppe Jona.
The German occupation of Mestre and Venice on September 9 and 10, , however, signaled the beginning of the actual Shoah in the region. On September 17, Professor Jona committed suicide rather than deliver the membership list of the Jewish community to the Germans. Some Jews were able to escape to Switzerland or to the Allied-occupied south of Italy.
Some young people joined the armed resistance, especially the Garibaldi Brigade Nannini. Most of the others were rounded up by Italian police and Fascist militia and held in special assembly points such as the prison of Santa Maria Maggiore, the women's prison on the island of Giudecca, and the Liceo M. From there, they were sent to Fossoli until July , and after that to a camp at Bolzano or to the prison of Risiera di San Sabba in Trieste.
Nearly all were deported from those camps to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Most arrests and deportations of Jews in Venice occurred between the major roundup on December 5, , and the late summer of , but incidents continued at a slower pace until the end of the war. Particularly hateful was the arrest of 21 patients at the Casa di Ricovero Israelitica on August 17, Among the victims there was the elderly Rabbi Adolfo Ottolenghi, who chose to share the fate of his fellow Jews. All of these victims were deported, most of them to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Nazi-Fascist persecution of Jews in Venice lasted 18 months, during which time, despite the dangers, Jewish life in the former ghetto and religious services at the synagogue continued.
There was also some help from non-Jews and from the Church. Some Venetian Jews were captured and deported during this period. A commemorative plaque at the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo records their names forever. Near the plaque is a monument to the Shoah by the sculptor Arbit Blatas. At the time of the liberation in there were 1, Jews in the community. In the early 21 st century Venice had an active Jewish community of around members, with services still conducted in its beautiful synagogues and a Jewish museum established in the ghetto.
Zorattini, Processi del S. Uffizio di Venezia contro ebrei e giudaizzanti , 14 vols. Carletto, Il Ghetto veneziano nel settecento attraverso i catastici ; L. Cohen, with introductory essays by T. Rabb and M. Cohen, H. Adelman and N. Davis, and historical notes by H. Adelman and B. Ravid ; D. Concina, U. Camerino, and D. Cozzi, Giustizia Contaminata ; U. Fortis, The Ghetto on the Lagoon rev. Davis and B. Ravid eds. Segre ed. Sereni, Gli anni della persecuzione razziale a Venezia: appunti per una storia , in Venezia ebraica , ed.
Paladini and M. Reberschak ; G. Luzzato and E. Perillo eds. Memorie storie apprendimenti ; M. Sarfatti, Gli ebrei nell'Italia fascista ; idem, Le leggi antiebraiche spiegate agli italiani di oggi It became known for its distinctive form of government, stable society, and brilliant cultural achievements. When political turmoil and foreign invasions swept across the Italian peninsula during the s and s, Venice was the only state that remained independent. The Venetian Empire. Venice was settled in the s and s by refugees from the Italian mainland.
They built communities on mudflats and sandbanks in a lagoon off Italy's northeastern coast. By these communities had united to form a city ruled by an elected official called a doge and councils of merchants. Venetian traders sold fish and salt to towns along the coast and, later, to ports around the Mediterranean Sea. As its commerce expanded, Venice became locked in rivalry with Genoa, another Italian trading city. The two went to war in — The Venetian admirals emerged victorious, and the city continued to dominate commerce in the Mediterranean.
Catalog Record: The Lion of St. Mark : a story of Venice in | HathiTrust Digital Library
After triumphing over Genoa, the Venetians expanded into northeastern Italy. Venice angered other members of the Italian League with its efforts to expand its territory and its trade routes. Despite the forces joined against them, the Venetians resisted the takeover, and Venice emerged with its city and empire intact. By Venice was the only Italian city-state to remain a great and independent power. At first, Venice negotiated with the Ottomans to continue trading.
Then, in the Venetians joined other European states to defeat the Ottoman navy in the Battle of Lepanto. European voyages to the Americas, along with growing demand for products such as sugar and tobacco, shifted the center of trade from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Venice was both a city and a nation. The head of state, the doge, was elected through an elaborate series of committees designed to prevent any particular group from controlling the office.
Every year the doge led official processions and performed ceremonies, such as casting a ring into the lagoon to symbolize Venice's marriage to the sea. Venice's upper class kept a tight rein on the doge's powers through three councils—the Great Council, the Senate, and the Council of Ten—and many lesser councils. The Great Council consisted of the adult male members of the nobility. In membership on the Great Council was limited to the prosperous merchant families that made up the Venetian nobility.
The Great Council elected most officials, including the doge, and made laws. The Senate, a smaller council, supervised ambassadors and city officials and managed the growth of the empire. The Council of Ten was responsible for state security. It became increasingly important in the late s, and by the s some considered its members the real rulers of Venice. The Venetian government also included many lesser councils and committees. Only nobles could hold government office, but educated members of the middle class could serve as government secretaries.
This group gained considerable status and was regarded as second only to the nobles. The nobility shaped civic life in Venice.
Some nobles devoted themselves to political careers, leaving commerce to other family members. The wealthiest noble families built grand palaces and supported the arts. Within the citizen class, those born in Venice had the highest status. Although citizens could not hold political office, they could freely pursue wealth.
The scuole commissioned artists to decorate their meeting halls and appeared in civic processions. They also took the lead in aiding the poor, providing money for orphans, widows, and others in need. Venice had numerous professional and neighborhood organizations. The workers at Venice's immense shipbuilding center also joined guilds. Venice's neighborhood associations centered on the parish churches. Within each parish, special ceremonies strengthened neighborhood ties. The Venetian government fought crime by closely supervising residents and promptly punishing wrongdoers. Criminals were fined, banished from the city, or executed.
Justice was not uniform, however. Crimes against nobles were often punished with extra harshness, while crimes committed by nobles received light punishment. Venice's many foreign residents formed organizations of their own. In the Greek and Slav communities, the churches served as both spiritual and social centers. German and Turkish merchants lived near the Rialto, the city's commercial center.
After the Jews of Venice had to live within a closed, gated neighborhood called the ghetto, the first such confinement of Jews to a segregated neighborhood. Within the ghetto they followed their own laws and customs. Religion and Culture. Religion played a major role in Venetian life. The primarily Roman Catholic city was filled with churches and had many priests, friars, and nuns. Mark, the city's patron saint. The Venetian Senate, not the pope, appointed the bishops and other major clergy of the city's mainland territories. Venice itself had no bishop.
The city's highest-ranking religious officials were the clergy at the church of San Marco, which was attached to the doge's palace. Individuals who wanted to obtain the writings of reformist thinkers such as Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus could do so easily in Venice. The nobles who governed Venice dominated its intellectual life. Most young nobles attended the nearby University of Padua. They discussed many popular subjects, but rarely addressed ideas such as political liberty, which might have threatened the ruling class.
Foreign humanists who came to Venice seeking employment could teach or could work in the city's printing industry. By the city had become Europe's major publishing center. Free-spirited and sophisticated, Venice was a magnet for writers of all sorts. In the s many women writers lived and worked in Venice, including the humanist Cassandra Fedele and the poets Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franco. Venice produced many important artists during the Renaissance, including Titian, Tintoretto, and the members of the Bellini Family.
In addition, the city was itself widely regarded as a work of art, shimmering on the waters of the lagoon, adorned with hundreds of churches and palaces. Artists from all over Europe visited Venice to paint the magical cityscape. See also Art in Italy ; Italy. Islamic empire founded by Ottoman Turks in the s that reached the height of its power in the s; it eventually included large areas of eastern Europe, the Middle East , and northern Africa. In civic ceremonies, letters, and art, Venetians promoted an image that historians call "the myth of Venice.
Citizens called Venice La Serenissima the most serene—untroubled—republic.
The Lion of Saint Mark: A Story of Venice in the Fourteenth Century
The myth was mostly true. Although Venice had crime, greed, and corruption, it did not have social conflicts, and its citizens did not try to overthrow the government. Renaissance expert in the humanities the languages, literature, history, and speech and writing techniques of ancient Greece and Rome. On the eve of the French Revolution , as the capital of an independent Republic, Venice still ruled over an extensive territory stretching along the Adriatic coast into Dalmatia, and deep into Lombardy. Venice had long before lost its position as the Mediterranean's dominant commercial center, falling victim to the rise of the Atlantic economy, and due to an inability to compete with bigger states.
Indeed, by the mid-eighteenth century, the Habsburg free port of Trieste had begun to emerge as a rival even within the Adriatic. Nevertheless, Venice—still ruled by a narrow patrician oligarchy—was by no means the decadent and marginalized state often portrayed by contemporaries and subsequent historians alike.
It remained a significant trading center, could deploy a sizeable fleet, and, in cultural terms, could still produce figures of the caliber of the playwright Carlo Goldoni — and the sculptor Antonio Canova — The collapse of the Republic of Saint Mark in was not the consequence, as has frequently been suggested, of the cowardice and corruption of Venice's patrician class, but a direct result of changes in international relations brought about by the French Revolution.
During the second half of the eighteenth century, the Venetian government had recognized that the only possible means of surviving in the face of expansionist neighbors was to adopt a policy of neutrality. In the spring of , Napoleon invaded the Republic's mainland territories, establishing Jacobin satellite municipalities in many of the cities hitherto under its rule.
Napoleon used a popular anti-French rising in Verona and resistance to French incursion into the lagoon as a pretext to occupy Venice itself. Faced with a French ultimatum, and anxious to avoid bloodshed or French reprisals, the last Doge, Ludovico Manin r. Napoleon briefly set up a Jacobin municipal republic in the city, but almost immediately entered secret negotiations with the Austrians. In October , these resulted in the Treaty of Campoformido. By this treaty, Venice and most of its former mainland territories to the east of the river Mincio were transferred to Habsburg rule in exchange for territorial concessions elsewhere.
Austrian troops arrived in Venice in January The city remained under the relatively benign rule of the Habsburgs until January , when, by the Treaty of Pressburg, Napoleon now crowned Emperor annexed the city and its remaining territory to his satellite Kingdom of Italy. Until its liberation by Austrian forces in the spring of , Venice languished under Napoleonic rule.
Reduced to the status of a provincial capital, and with its remnants of trade destroyed because of Anglo-French naval rivalry and economic warfare, the plight of the Venetians under Napoleon was further exacerbated by heavy conscription, rapacious taxation, and the systematic plundering of Venice's art. Although the newly created Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia was technically separate from the rest of the empire, in practice most key decisions were made in Vienna. Such centralized rule was unpopular among Venetians.
There was also disappointment that much of the machinery and personnel of the Napoleonic system was retained. Venice continued to suffer from a heavy tax burden and conscription, and many Venetians were angered by the large numbers of "foreigners" both German-speakers and Lombards who dominated the higher ranks of the civil service. Nevertheless, government expenditure rose massively under Austrian rule, and the reign of Francis I saw a gradual increase in the numbers of Venetians playing a role in the administration. A major source of resentment remained the apparently preferential treatment given to Trieste, although in Venice was granted the same free port status as its rival.
Another fillip to the Venetian economy came in the form of causeway linking the city with the main-land, completed in Despite such measures, Venice was characterized by poverty and unemployment. Surprisingly, until the later s there was very little active opposition to Habsburg rule. The one attempted rising—a naval mutiny led by the Bandiera brothers, Attilio — and Emilio — —failed spectacularly. In the Napoleonic and Restoration periods, Venice's greatest artist was the sculptor Canova, whose exquisite marbles were valued throughout Europe.
In literary terms, the city was famous for the work of Ugo Foscolo — , who flirted with the Napoleonic regime but went into exile in Literary reactions to Venice were far from consistent, but few writers engaged with its current political and economic state; they preferred instead to explore a mythologized version of its past, and used the modern city as a trope for decay.
This was echoed in representations by painters such as Joseph Mallord William Turner — and Richard Parkes Bonington — whose sketches showed contemporary Venice, but whose finished works tended to populate it with figures from much earlier periods. To the extent that foreign travelers did address the contemporary situation, they were generally critical of Austrian rule. One notable exception to this was John Ruskin — , who loathed contemporary Venetians and bizarrely located the start of Venice's decline in However, the general trend was reflected in the description of the city offered by Charles Dickens — in his Pictures from Italy : in contrast with the gritty realism of the rest of the book, his chapter on Venice is entitled "An Italian Dream.
The passive nature of Venice completely changed in Grievances had been growing since the late s, as Venetians became increasingly intolerant of the bureaucratic and unresponsive nature of Austrian rule, of high taxation used to service the imperial debt, and of heavy-handed censorship. Matters were aggravated by the rule of the mentally weak Ferdinand I r. During and , the people of Venice and its mainland increasingly criticized Austrian rule. The most eloquent opponent of the regime was Daniele Manin — , who had risen to prominence during debates over the construction of a railway line between Venice and Milan.
His persistent—although initially far from radical—attacks on Habsburg misrule landed him briefly in prison; on his release he assumed the role of champion of Venetian interests against alleged Austrian oppression. Revolution in France, the fall of Prince Clemens von Metternich — in the face of popular demonstrations in Vienna, increasing agitation in Hungary, and unrest elsewhere in Italy—including insurrection in Milan, which led to the retreat of the Austrian commander Count Joseph Radetzky — —generated panic among the authorities in Venice, and the governor, Aloys Palffy, evacuated the city.
A provisional regime was swiftly established under the direction of Manin, who declared the establishment of a Republic of Saint Mark. The threat from Austria encouraged the population of the mainland to seek closer links with Milan and Sardinia-Piedmont, tying Manin's policy more closely to that of Piedmontese King, Charles Albert r.
However, defeat of. Charles Albert by Habsburg forces at Custoza July forced the Venetians to rely on their own resources to safeguard their newly won independence. Although the rest of the peninsula experienced risings in and , the Venetian revolution endured longer than any other, eventually succumbing to military blockade and cholera.
In the aftermath of revolution, Venice was subjected to the stern administration of the elderly Radetzky, before a milder regime was introduced under Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg — in Nevertheless, relations between Vienna and the local population had been badly damaged, and many Venetians increasingly looked toward Italian unity as a means to escape from Austrian rule. This stance was strengthened when Manin publicly renounced his former republican sympathies and called on Italians to support unification under the Piedmontese monarchy. The creation of the new Kingdom of Italy in led to intermittent calls for the seizure of Venetia.
In , the Austrians rebuffed an Italian offer to purchase the region. Acquisition of Venetia finally took place in , when the Italians fought against Austria in alliance with Prussia. Despite defeats on land and sea by the Austrians, the Italians were still able to gain Venice and its mainland provinces, thanks to Prussian victory and the diplomatic involvement of Napoleon III. Legitimacy was given to the annexation by an overwhelmingly positive vote in a plebiscite, which was nevertheless marred by rigging and intimidation.
Neither Venice nor the Venetian mainland initially benefited from Italian unity. As a port Venice continued to decline in the face of competition from other maritime cities in the peninsula. The opening of the Suez Canal in and Venice's selection as chief port of the India Mail in did act as a slight stimulus to trade, which was increasingly located in the west of the city near the railway rather than around Saint Mark's Square. Venetians, however, remained generally indifferent or hostile to their new status as Italians, a fact reflected in their unwillingness to stand as parliamentary candidates in the s.
Economic problems persisted in the late nineteenth century, and, until the s, Venetia witnessed some of Italy's highest rates of emigration, albeit usually to European destinations rather than to the New World. Yet, despite the poverty of the region, Venice gradually reconciled itself to Italian rule in the decades before World War I. This in part reflected a gradually improving economy, helped by the growth of industry in the s including the establishment of the Stucky grain mill and pasta factory on the Giudecca and construction of warships in the Arsenale , and, more significantly, by the massive expansion of tourism.