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“A style of classical ornament, so called, in the 13th century from its having been rediscovered in the excavations made in the baths of Titus and other ancient Roman buildings, the Italian word grotto applying to any subterranean chamber. This light, fantastic style was much in favor during the Renaissance. It abounds in all kinds of transformations, from the animal to the vegetable, and mingles all the natural kingdoms in the most fanciful and picturesque confusion.” — Chambers, 1881


William & Robert Chambers Encyclopaedia - A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge for the People (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1881)


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