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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 ...

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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....

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Luca Leoncini

Italian doctor, scientist, scholar, art historian and antiquarian. He graduated in 1741 from Bologna University in philosophy and medicine and between 1743 and 1744 translated J. B. Winslow’s treatise on anatomy, Exposition anatomique de la structure du corps humain. From 1744 he served as doctor to Ludwig VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (...

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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...

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English art historian, connoisseur and dealer. He went to the Continent in 1781 to study art and married Juliana Talbot, sister of Charles Talbot, 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, on 7 June 1784. In London after 1790 he established himself as an authority on painting. In ...

Article

British writer and dealer. He first trained as a painter and subsequently became an engraver, but an eye injury forced him to turn to art criticism, journalism and dealing. He settled in London before 1792 but travelled extensively throughout Britain, promoting and publicizing the arts. Carey was well-known in artistic circles and was friendly with John Raphael Smith, Francesco Bartolozzi and Benjamin West PRA; he was among the first (...

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

Amal Asfour

French painter, writer and dealer. He began his artistic training in Dunkirk, continuing it in Antwerp. In Paris, Descamps frequented the studios of Nicolas Lancret and Nicolas de Largillierre and drew at the Académie Royale. He later settled in Rouen and gathered around him a circle of pupils to whom he taught drawing. By ...

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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 (...

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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

German writer, diplomat, critic and agent, active in France. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor and a graduate of the Universität Leipzig. By 1749 he was in Paris, where he was engaged as a personal secretary and tutor to members of the German nobility. In Paris his friends ...

Article

Janet Southorn

Italian painter, writer and connoisseur. Orphaned at the age of 11, he trained for three years with the Veronese painter Biagio Falcieri (1628–1703). With the help of a member of the Bolognese Albergati family, he then moved to Bologna, where for the next seven years he studied with ...

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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 ...

Article

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 ...