Page:EB1911 - Volume 06.djvu/395

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CINTRA—CIPRIANI

The Cinque Ports from the earliest times claimed to be exempt from the jurisdiction of the admiral of England. Their early charters do not, like those of Bristol and other seaports, express this exemption in terms. It seems to have been derived from the general words of the charters which preserve their liberties and privileges.

The lord warden’s claim to prize was raised in, but not finally decided by, the high court of admiralty in the “Ooster Ems,” 1 C. Rob. 284, 1783.

See S. Jeake, Charters of the Cinque Ports (1728); Boys, Sandwich and Cinque Ports; Knocker, Grand Court of Shepway (1862); M, Burrows, Cinque Ports (1895); F. M. Hueffer, Cinque Ports (1900); Indices of the Great White and Black Books of the Cinque Ports (1905).


CINTRA, a town of central Portugal, in the district of Lisbon, formerly included in the province of Estramadura; 17 m. W.N.W. of Lisbon by the Lisbon-Caçem-Cintra railway, and 6 m. N. by E. of Cape da Roca, the westernmost promontory of the European mainland. Pop. (1900) 5914. Cintra is magnificently situated on the northern slope of the Serra da Cintra, a rugged mountain mass, largely overgrown with pines, eucalyptus, cork and other forest trees, above which the principal summits rise in a succession of bare and jagged grey peaks; the highest being Cruz Alta (1772 ft.), marked by an ancient stone cross, and commanding a wonderful view southward over Lisbon and the Tagus estuary, and north-westward over the Atlantic and the plateau of Mafra. Few European towns possess equal advantages of position and climate; and every educated Portuguese is familiar with the verses in which the beauty of Cintra is celebrated by Byron in Childe Harold (1812), and by Camoens in the national epic Os Lusiadas (1572). One of the highest points of the Serra is surmounted by the Palacio da Pena, a fantastic imitation of a medieval fortress, built on the site of a Hieronymite convent by the prince consort Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg (d. 1885); while an adjacent part of the range is occupied by the Castello des Mouros, an extensive Moorish fortification, containing a small ruined mosque and a very curious set of ancient cisterns. The lower slopes of the Serra are covered with the gardens and villas of the wealthier inhabitants of Lisbon, who migrate hither in spring and stay until late autumn.

In the town itself the most conspicuous building is a 14th–15th-century royal palace, partly Moorish, partly debased Gothic in style, and remarkable for the two immense conical chimneys which rise like towers in the midst. The 18th-century Palacio de Seteaes, built in the French style then popular in Portugal, is said to derive its name (“Seven Ahs”) from a sevenfold echo; here, on the 22nd of August 1808, was signed the convention of Cintra, by which the British and Portuguese allowed the French army to evacuate the kingdom without molestation. Beside the road which leads for 3½ m. W. to the village of Collares, celebrated for its wine, is the Penha Verde, an interesting country house and chapel, founded by João de Castro (1500–1548), fourth viceroy of the Indies. De Castro also founded the convent of Santa Cruz, better known as the Convento de Cortiça or Cork convent, which stands at the western extremity of the Serra, and owes its name to the cork panels which formerly lined its walls. Beyond the Penha Verde, on the Collares road, are the palace and park of Montserrate. The palace was originally built by William Beckford, the novelist and traveller (1761–1844), and was purchased in 1856 by Sir Francis Cook, an Englishman who afterwards obtained the Portuguese title viscount of Montserrate. The palace, which contains a valuable library, is built of pure white stone, in Moorish style; its walls are elaborately sculptured. The park, with its tropical luxuriance of vegetation and its variety of lake, forest and mountain scenery, is by far the finest example of landscape gardening in the Iberian Peninsula, and probably among the finest in the world. Its high-lying lawns, which overlook the Atlantic, are as perfect as any in England, and there is one ravine containing a whole wood of giant tree-ferns from New Zealand. Other rare plants have been systematically collected and brought to Montserrate from all parts of the world by Sir Francis Cook, and afterwards by his successor, Sir Frederick Cook, the second viscount. The Praia das Maçãs, or “beach of apples,” in the centre of a rich fruit-bearing valley, is a favourite sea-bathing station, connected with Cintra by an extension of the electric tramway which runs through the town.


CIPHER, or Cypher (from Arab, şifr, void), the symbol 0, nought, or zero; and so a name for symbolic or secret writing (see Cryptography), or even for shorthand (q.v.), and also in elementary education for doing simple sums (“ciphering”).


CIPPUS (Lat. for a “post” or “stake”), in architecture, a low pedestal, either round or rectangular, set up by the Romans for various purposes such as military or mile stones, boundary posts, &c. The inscriptions on some in the British Museum show that they were occasionally funeral memorials.


CIPRIANI, GIOVANNI BATTISTA (1727–1785), Italian painter and engraver, Pistoiese by descent, was born in Florence in 1727. His first lessons were given him by an Englishman, Ignatius Heckford or Hugford, and under his second master, Antonio Domenico Gabbiani, he became a very clever draughtsman. He was in Rome from 1750 to 1753, where he became acquainted with Sir William Chambers, the architect, and Joseph Wilton, the sculptor, whom he accompanied to England in August 1755. He had already painted two pictures for the abbey of San Michele in Pelago, Pistoia, which had brought him reputation, and on his arrival in England he was patronized by Lord Tilney, the duke of Richmond and other noblemen. His acquaintance with Sir William Chambers no doubt helped him on, for when Chambers designed the Albany in London for Lord Holland, Cipriani painted a ceiling for him. He also painted part of a ceiling in Buckingham Palace, and a room with poetical subjects at Standlynch in Wiltshire. Some of his best and most permanent work was, however, done at Somerset House, built by his friend Chambers, upon which he lavished infinite pains. He not only prepared the decorations for the interior of the north block, but, says Joseph Baretti in his Guide through the Royal Academy (1780), “the whole of the carvings in the various fronts of Somerset Place—excepting Bacon’s bronze figures—were carved from finished drawings made by Cipriani.” These designs include the five masks forming the keystones to the arches on the courtyard side of the vestibule, and the two above the doors leading into the wings of the north block, all of which are believed to have been carved by Nollekens. The grotesque groups flanking the main doorways on three sides of the quadrangle and the central doorway on the terrace appear also to have been designed by Cipriani. The apartments in Sir William Chambers’s stately palace that were assigned to the Royal Academy, into which it moved in 1780, owed much to Cipriani’s graceful, if mannered, pencil. The central panel of the library ceiling was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, but the four compartments in the coves, representing Allegory, Fable, Nature and History, were Cipriani’s. These paintings still remain at Somerset House, together with the emblematic painted ceiling, also his work, of what was once the library of the Royal Society. It was natural that Cipriani should thus devote himself to adorning the apartments of the academy, since he was an original member (1768) of that body, for which he designed the diploma so well engraved by Bartolozzi. In recognition of his services in this respect the members presented him in 1769 with a silver cup with a commemorative inscription. He was much employed by the publishers, for whom he made drawings in pen and ink, sometimes coloured. His friend Bartolozzi engraved most of them. Drawings by him are in both the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum. His best autograph engravings are “The Death of Cleopatra,” after Benvenuto Cellini; “The Descent of the Holy Ghost,” after Gabbiani; and portraits for Hollis’s memoirs, 1780. He painted allegorical designs for George III.’s state coach—which is still in use—in 1782, and repaired Verrio’s paintings at Windsor and Rubens’s ceiling in the Banqueting House at Whitehall. If his pictures were often weak, his decorative treatment of children was usually exceedingly happy. Some of his most pleasing work was that which, directly or indirectly, he executed for the decoration of furniture. He designed many groups of nymphs and amorini and medallion subjects to form