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Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches....

Article

Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò

Italian historian, collector and writer. His special interests were the literature of Tuscany during the 14th and 15th centuries, medieval and contemporary art, sacred archaeology and ecclesiastical history. As a scholar of art he brought out (in 1730) a new edition of Raffaele Borghini...

Article

Danielle Rice

French amateur engraver, antiquarian, patron and writer. Born into an old aristocratic family, he enjoyed all of the privileges of his class, including a large private income, free time, access to artists and collectors, and mobility. He entered the army and distinguished himself in battle at an early age. In ...

Article

Nigel Glendinning

Spanish writer and collector. His early association with Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos was clearly of mutual benefit: Jovellanos learnt a great deal about art and collecting from Ceán, who was helped in his career as a minor civil servant by Jovellanos. As an amateur painter, Ceán acquired basic skills from ...

Article

Catherine Monbeig Goguel

Italian art historian and collector. He was the son of the Florentine poet Odoardo Gabburri and of Virginia del Becuto. After receiving a good education in music, literature and languages, he studied painting under Onorio Marinari (1627–1715). In 1697 Gabburri married Camilla Bonacossi (...

Article

Pascal Griener

French sculptor and writer. He worked for a goldsmith in Paris before devoting himself to sculpture, in which he was self-taught. Thanks to an allowance from an uncle who had adopted him, he was able to study sculpture in Italy in the early 1780s; there he struck up a friendship with Jacques-Louis David. On his return he was approved (...

Article

Janet Southorn

Italian businessman, collector and writer. He initially trained for the priesthood but rejected this career and instead married Vittoria Gandellini, the daughter of a merchant whose name and business he subsequently inherited. Business links with Germany, and especially with Augsburg, gave him the opportunity to pursue his interest in engraving. Over the years he acquired a notable collection and became a fine connoisseur of prints. He read extensively on the history of printmaking, including the writings of the 17th-century German artist and writer ...

Article

Andrea M. Kluxen

German diplomat, theorist, collector and etcher. The brother of the poet Friedrich von Hagedorn (1708–54), from 1735 he served in the Saxon diplomatic service. Travelling through Germany and Austria, he met and corresponded with several artists and art theorists, including Johann Joachim Winckelmann, J. G. Sulzer and Salomon Gessner. His collection of paintings and drawings—primarily Dutch and German 17th- and 18th-century work, especially landscapes—became famous, and his advice on art matters was widely appreciated. In ...

Article

Petra Schniewind-Michel

German art scholar and collector. At school in Lübeck he became acquainted with the ideas of Leibniz and Christian Wolff; from 1724 he studied law and literature in Leipzig. There he developed an interest in the Enlightenment thinking of Johann Christoph Gottsched and in art, particularly the many private collections. In ...

Article

David Rodgers

English writer, connoisseur and collector (see fig.). He was the son of a clergyman from a wealthy dynasty of iron-masters. His father died in 1764, and shortly afterwards he inherited a considerable estate from his uncle, which ensured his financial independence. He was a sickly child and was educated at home, becoming well versed in Classical history, Latin and Greek. In ...

Article

Stéphane Loire

French writer. Little is known about his life; he described himself as a painter and sculptor, but none of his works has survived. He is now remembered only as the author of the Cabinet des singularitez d’architecture, peinture, sculpture et graveure (Paris, 1699–1700). This work, which was dedicated to Jules Hardouin Mansart, the Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi, relies heavily on the publications of André Félibien and Roger de Piles, and on the works of various Classical and foreign authors. It was intended to be a complete history of art, combining history, biographical detail and information on technique. The most original sections of Le Comte’s work are his catalogues of the works of the engravers Jean Marot, Robert Nanteuil, Claude Mellan, Antonio Tempesta, Jacques Callot and Stefano della Bella; it was, in fact, the earliest published ...

Article

Valeria Farinati

Italian politician, patron and theorist. He came from a noble family and received a traditional and formal education from his uncle Andrea Memmo (1670–1754), which was later augmented by encounters with major intellectual figures of the age. Memmo was particularly influenced by the teaching of the monk ...

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Giovanna Perini

Italian writer, dilettante, collector, amateur painter and engraver. Oretti is best known for his 14 volumes of Bolognese art, Notizie de’ professori del disegno, cioè pittori, scultori ed architetti bolognesi e de’ forestieri di sua scuola. Although still in manuscript form (Baglioni’s attempts to publish the volumes in Venice in ...

Article

Philip Sohm

Italian lawyer, economist, collector and writer. His activity as a collector is known primarily from an inventory of his collection listing 281 paintings, mostly from the mid-17th to the early 18th centuries and ranging from works by the followers of Caravaggio to the late ones of ...

Article

Robert Enggass

Italian collector and writer. He assembled a large and important collection of prints and drawings dating from the 15th century to his own time. He consequently developed an interest in the lives of the artists whose graphic work he had collected. In 1714–15 he commissioned a series of portrait drawings, which were to have been made into prints to accompany the text of the lives of no less than 225 artists that he wrote between ...

Article

Dutch timber merchant, collector, printmaker, print publisher, draughtsman and art theorist. He was one of the most important Dutch dilettanti of the 18th century. His interest in art began at an early age, and from the age of 12 he was taught drawing by Norbert van Bloemen (...

Article

Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

German courtier, composer, collector and writer. He served from 1761 in the army of Frederick-Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, and subsequently occupied various positions at the Saxon court. As Directeur des Plaisirs he was in charge of the orchestra and theatre at Dresden. He was also a member of various learned societies, including the Akademie der Künste und mechanischen Wissenschaften in Berlin. As a courtier enjoying the special favour of the elector, Racknitz wielded great influence in promoting musical and artistic life in Dresden. His own activities included musical composition and the natural sciences, but he was especially interested in mineralogy and mechanics, and he established a renowned collection of minerals and plants. In addition to this he published several books on the history of civilization and art. Early works are concerned with general themes, but in his later years he was particularly interested in painting in Saxony. In his varied interests, Racknitz viewed questions from a practical as well as a theoretical point of view. He was thus a typical representative of the versatile late Enlightenment and the ‘age of Goethe’....

Article

British, 18th century, male.

Born 16 July 1723, in Plympton (Devon); died 23 February 1792, in London.

Painter, draughtsman, art theorist, art critic, collector. History painting, allegorical subjects, mythological subjects, portraits fancy pictures.

Royal Academy of Arts.

Joshua Reynolds was educated at Plympton Grammar School in Devon, where his clergyman father, Samuel Reynolds, was a master. It was intended that Joshua would study medicine, but eventually he moved to London in 1740 to work for the then fashionable (and conventional) portraitist Thomas Hudson....

Article

David Mannings

English painter, collector and writer. The foremost portrait painter in England in the 18th century, he transformed early Georgian portraiture by greatly enlarging its range. His poses, frequently based on the Old Masters or antique sculpture, were intended to invoke classical values and to enhance the dignity of his sitters. His rich colour, strong lighting and free handling of paint greatly influenced the generation of Thomas Lawrence and Henry Raeburn. His history and fancy pictures explored dramatic and emotional themes that became increasingly popular with both artists and collectors in the Romantic period. As first president of the Royal Academy in London, he did more than anyone to raise the status of art and artists in Britain. His ...