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(b Stockholm, Jan 3, 1716; d Stockholm, Feb 26, 1796).

Swedish architect. His father, Göran Josuae Adelcrantz (1668–1739), was a pupil and associate of Nicodemus Tessin (ii) and had studied in France and Italy before assisting in the building of the Kungliga Slott in Stockholm. He became City Architect of Stockholm and created the splendid Baroque cupola (1724–44) on Jean De la Vallée’s Katarinakyrka, but he had been pushed aside during the political crisis that followed the death of Charles XII in 1718. He advised his son not to become an architect but nevertheless let him attend the drawing school at the palace. After his father’s death, Adelcrantz went abroad for architectural study in Paris and Italy, returning in 1743 to assist Carl Hårleman in the interior work on the Kungliga Slott. In 1757 he became Superintendent and in 1767 President of the Royal Academy of Arts, which he reorganized by instituting schools of drawing and painting, sculpture and architecture. He was made a baron in ...


(b Rome, 1699; d Turin, Dec 9, 1767).

Italian architect. Descended from an impoverished ducal family of Asti, Piedmont, Alfieri spent his first 16 years in Rome. A papal stipend enabled him to study law at the Collegio dei Nobili in Turin, after which he settled as a lawyer in Asti. Even as a successful architect in public office, he continued to make use of his legal knowledge, and in Asti and later Turin he served as mayor intermittently. Alfieri was extraordinarily versatile, with no single personal style. He worked simultaneously in three separate styles: Roman high and late Baroque; French Rococo (for decoration); and early classicism. His attitude to these styles was functional rather than historical, and his choice of which one to use usually depended on the nature of the project and the wishes of his client. Thus Alfieri built Catholic churches in Roman Baroque and Protestant churches in a puristic classicism. Piedmontese State commissions were executed in the severe manner of the Turin State style as practised by Amadeo di Castellamonte and Filippo Juvarra before him. For the royal court and the aristocracy French Rococo was appropriate. Façades of palaces were decorated in the idiom of a restrained Baroque classicism, like that which Gianlorenzo Bernini and Carlo Fontana had developed in Rome. Whatever the style, Alfieri worked with facility and elegance, blending disparate elements into ingenious, harmonious creations. He was not a great innovator, but his work anticipates in certain respects the purpose-built functional architecture of the 20th century. With his flexible use of existing architectural vocabulary, he was a first-class architect of the second rank....


G. Komelova


(b St Petersburg, 1729; d Moscow, 1802).

Russian painter and teacher. He came from a family of serfs, belonging to the Counts Sheremetev, that produced several painters and architects. In about 1746–7 he was a pupil of Georg Christoph Grooth (1716–49), who painted portraits of the Sheremetev family. With Grooth, Argunov worked on the decoration of the court church at Tsarskoye Selo (now Pushkin). A full-length icon of St John of Damascus (1749; Pushkin, Pal.–Mus.), in Rococo style, is distinguished by its secular, decorative character. The Dying Cleopatra (1750; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) is typical of Rococo decorative painting of the mid-18th century, with its striking combination of light, soft tones. Argunov subsequently painted in a quite different style, mainly producing portraits, of which about 60 are known. Among the first of these are pendant portraits of Ivan Lobanov-Rostovsky and his wife (1750 and 1754; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), in which the sitters are idealized, as in ceremonial court portraits. The colour schemes of the two portraits are complementary, a device Argunov was to favour, and the feel of materials is admirably rendered. A certain flatness and stiffness in the figures recalls the old tradition of ...


Robert Neuman

(fl 1702; d Oct 13, 1741).

French architect and designer. The son of a master carpenter employed by the Service des Bâtiments du Roi at various French royal residences, from 1702 to 1708 Aubert worked as a draughtsman under Jules Hardouin Mansart. He became the favourite architect of the princely Bourbon-Condé family with the remodelling of the château of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés (1709–10), near Paris. For Louis-Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Condé (1692–1740), the grandson of Louis XIV, Aubert carried out several projects at the château of Chantilly (Oise). The magnificent stables (designed 1719, built 1721–35; show the influence of Hardouin Mansart in Aubert’s extensive use of arcades, the discreet presence of the classical orders, and the rich sculptural decoration, all elements drawn from the Grandes et Petites Ecuries of the Palace of Versailles. Aubert’s most distinctive stylistic trait, emphatic horizontal channelling of rusticated wall surfaces, made its first appearance on the one-storey elevation of the stable wing facing the meadow....


(b in or near Kufstein, Tyrol, ?June 16, 1712; d Augsburg, before Sept 7, 1761).

German draughtsman and painter. Kilian, his earliest biographer, stated that after training as a blacksmith with his father, he learnt the art of glass painting in Salzburg. Following travels through Austria, Hungary and Italy, Baumgartner was authorized in late 1733 to live in Augsburg, on condition that he only worked as a glass painter.

Only a few examples of Baumgartner’s own glass paintings have survived; however, he must have meanwhile worked intensively on drawings for copperplate engraving. There are hundreds of these drawings; they were made with extreme care, often on tinted paper and often on a very large scale, for publishers in Augsburg such as Klauber, Engelbrecht and Kilian. Designs in oil on canvas for engravings, such as Moses Ordering the Killing of the Midianite Women (1760; Augsburg, Schaezlerpal.), were a particular speciality of Baumgartner. By far the largest series numerically is for a calendar of saints, the ...


(b Türkheim, bapt April 15, 1688; d Augsburg, April 2, 1762).

German painter, teacher, draughtsman and printmaker. His frescoes and altarpieces and his teaching established him as the dominant figure in the art life of Augsburg in the earlier 18th century. He came from a family of well-known Swabian sculptors, cabinetmakers and painters, with whom he probably initially trained. The Bavarian Duke Maximilian Philip paid for him to study (1702–8) with the Munich court painter Johann Andreas Wolff, after which he was summoned by the Elector of the Palatinate to decorate the court church of St Hubertus in Düsseldorf (1708–9; destr.). In 1710 or 1712 Bergmüller frescoed the church of Kreuzpullach, near Wolfratshausen. In his request for permission to marry and for mastership in Augsburg in 1712, he referred to an otherwise undocumented stay in the Netherlands. He settled permanently in the Imperial Free City in 1713 and attended its Reichstädtische Kunstakademie from 1715. From this time he rose to become the most influential painter and teacher in Augsburg, with apprentices coming from beyond the city, including ...


Simon Lee

(b Paris, Jan 1668; d Paris, April 11, 1736).

French painter and draughtsman. In 1678 he was apprenticed to Guy-Louis Vernansal (1648–1729); he later became a pupil of Jean Jouvenet and in 1684–5 of Bon Boullogne. By 1684 he was enrolled at the Académie Royale, Paris, and a year later won the Prix de Rome with his Construction of Noah’s Ark (untraced). He probably arrived in Rome towards the end of 1685, and he stayed until the winter of 1688–9. While in Italy he studied the work of Raphael and the Carracci family, as well as showing an interest in Correggio. He also led a student protest against the teaching régime of the Académie de France in Rome. After some months in Lyon he returned to Paris in 1689 and began to work on minor commissions, including drawings of the statues in the park at Versailles (Paris, Bib. N.). The influence of the Boullogne brothers is evident in his small-scale paintings of this time, such as ...


(b Ancona, c. 1710; d Bologna, Jan 2, 1777).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He was a pupil of Vittorio Bigari, whose Rococo style he reinterpreted in a highly personal manner. Bertuzzi’s work was also indebted to Luca Giordano, Antonio Gionima and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. Bertuzzi’s early paintings, which continue the traditions of Emilian art, include scenes from the Life of the Blessed Franco (1753–4; Medicina, Carmelite church) in which he collaborated with the specialist in perspective, Vincenzo del Buono (fl 1726). A theatrical brilliance also distinguishes Bertuzzi’s five standards with the Mysteries of the Passion (1753; Ancona, Gesù) and his paintings on tempera, the Crucifixion and figures of saints and popes (1750–57; Bologna, Madonna di S Luca), which suggest the inspiration of Crespi. Between 1755 and 1760 Bertuzzi frescoed the small chapel of the palazzo ‘di sopra’ at Bagnarola and executed four large decorative paintings in tempera featuring Old Testament scenes (Milan, Pal. Visconti di Modrone Erba) for the gallery. Bertuzzi’s style is distinguished by his virtuoso execution, most evident in his preparatory oil sketches; significantly, the sketches (Milan, Geri priv. col., see Roli, p. 230) for these pictures have been attributed to various 18th-century Venetian painters, whose style he clearly imitated. In the 1750s and 1760s Bertuzzi collaborated with the landscape painters ...


Gordon Campbell

German family of decorative designers. Brothers Paul Amadeus (fl 1737–52) and Johann Adolf (fl c. 1743) both worked with the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés on Schloss Brühl, a German Electoral castle halfway between Bonn and Cologne; they worked on the interiors of the Falkenlust (...


(b Rouen, Jan 8, 1705; d Paris, Jan 9, 1774).

French architect, theorist, teacher and writer, nephew of Jean-François Blondel. Although he was also a practicing architect (see §2 below), Jacques-François Blondel made a considerable contribution to the development of architectural theory in France in the latter part of the 18th century and was arguably the most outstanding teacher of architecture of the period.

He received his early training in architecture from his uncle and continued his studies under Gilles-Marie Oppenord, from whom he acquired a knowledge of the Rococo. His earliest published writings were his contributions to Jean Mariette’s practical manual L’Architecture française (Paris, 1727–38). His earliest independent publication, De la distribution des maisons de plaisance et de la décoration des édifices en général (1737–8), is essentially a compendium of the early phases of the Rococo, addressing the question of style and including the work of Robert de Cotte and Jean-François Blondel.

In 1742 Blondel received permission from the Académie d’Architecture in Paris to open his own private school, the ...


Jörg Garms

(b Nantes, May 16, 1667; d Paris, March 19, 1754).

French architect and writer. He maintained the tradition of the Grand Style in France between Jules Hardouin Mansart, who was born in 1646, and Ange-Jacques Gabriel, who died in 1782. His work also provided an important bridge between that of Louis Le Vau in the mid-17th century and those of the architects of the Piranesian generation of Neo-classicists in the mid-18th century, such as Etienne-Louis Boullée, whom he influenced.

His father, Jean Boffrand, was a minor architect and sculptor. Germain Boffrand came to Paris at the age of fourteen to study sculpture, working for three years in the studio of François Girardon. From 1685 he worked as a draughtsman in the Bâtiments du Roi under Jules Hardouin Mansart. Through his uncle, the court poet Philippe Quinault, Boffrand met important artists and aristocrats, who were to prove useful connections later. By the late 1690s he was supervising architect of the new Place Vendôme, Paris, but in ...


Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos


(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...


(b Dogliani, Dec 27, 1713; d ?Turin, Nov 1770).

Italian architect, draughtsman and engineer. In 1733–6 he was a pupil of Bernardo Antonio Vittone, producing ten plates for Vittone’s Istruzione elementari per indirizzo de’giovani allo studio dell’architettura civile (Lugano, 1760). In 1748 he published a practical handbook on the stability of buildings. Having met Robert Wood in Rome, he accompanied him as architectural draughtsman on an archaeological expedition to Asia Minor and Syria in 1750–51 (sketchbooks in London, Soc. Promot. Hell. & Roman Stud. Lib.), a trip financed by the young John Bouverie. On getting to London in 1751, he prepared the drawings (London, RIBA) for Wood’s books on Palmyra and Baalbek. In 1752–60 Borra undertook commissions for English patrons, creating Rococo interiors in 1755 for the residence of Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk, in St James’s Square, London (destr. 1938; Music Room reconstr., London, V&A). At Stowe, Bucks, he was responsible for the interior decoration for ...


Alastair Laing

(b Paris, Sept 29, 1703; d Paris, May 30, 1770).

French painter, draughtsman and etcher. Arguably it was he, more than any other artist, who set his stamp on both the fine arts and the decorative arts of the 18th century. Facilitated by the extraordinary proliferation of engravings, Boucher successfully fed the demand for imitable imagery at a time when most of Europe sought to follow what was done at the French court and in Paris. He did so both as a prolific painter and draughtsman (he claimed to have produced some 10,000 drawings during his career) and through engravings after his works, the commercial potential of which he seems to have been one of the first artists to exploit. He reinvented the genre of the pastoral, creating an imagery of shepherds and shepherdesses as sentimental lovers that was taken up in every medium, from porcelain to toile de Jouy, and that still survives in a debased form. At the same time, his manner of painting introduced the virtuosity and freedom of the sketch into the finished work, promoting painterliness as an end in itself. This approach dominated French painting until the emergence of Neo-classicism, when criticism was heaped on Boucher and his followers. His work never wholly escaped this condemnation, even after the taste for French 18th-century art started to revive in the second half of the 19th century. In his own day, the fact that he worked for both collectors and the market, while retaining the prestige of a history painter, had been both Boucher’s strength and a cause of his decline....


Jean-Pierre Babelon

(de Chamblain)

(b Paris, 1665; d Paris, 1726).

French architect, son of Pierre Bullet. He was trained by his father and followed the teachings of the Académie Royale d’Architecture, where he was appointed a fellow in 1699. An excellent draughtsman, he first worked with his father on a project for St-Germain-des-Prés (c. 1704) and later produced designs for St-Sulpice (c. 1725) and St-Roche (1722–6). At the Place Vendôme he was involved in the construction of the Villemaré, Poisson and Bourvalais houses (nos 9 and 11–13). An examination of the drawings of Pierre and Jean-Baptiste Bullet reveals how Jean-Baptiste gradually broke away from the Louis XIV style of his father to develop a style characteristic of the French Regency period or of early Rococo, both in his façades, which were decorated with sculpted mascarons or consoles and balconies, and in the interior decorations, which were executed in a livelier style. His two best-known works are the Château de Champs (...


Geoffrey Beard

(b ?London, c. 1710; fl 1740–60).

English stuccoist. He is first recorded working in 1740 in Edinburgh for the architect William Adam at Drum House and the palace of Holyroodhouse; his work at the latter has not survived. There are numerous mentions of Clayton in the Hamilton manuscripts at Lennoxlove, Lothian (Box 127), which reveal he was employed in the 1740s by James Douglas-Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton (1724–58), both at Holyroodhouse and at Hamilton Palace (destr.), where he also decorated the imposing Châtelherault garden pavilion (rest. 1988). Clayton’s major documented work (1747–51) was undertaken at Blair Castle, Strathclyde, for James Murray, 2nd Duke of Atholl (?1690–1764). The dining-room (c. 1750), one of the finest interiors in Scotland, includes Clayton’s hybrid of Baroque and Rococo plasterwork. The reclining stucco figures over the doors may have been the work of the Italian stuccoist Francesco Vassalli (fl 1724–63...


Françoise Hamon

(b Paris, May 11, 1698; d Paris, Oct 1, 1777).

French architect. He belonged to a family of gardeners from Ivry, in the inner suburbs of Paris. He did not make the traditional trip to Italy to complete his education and appears to have learnt his trade with Nicolas Dulin.

The career and works of Contant are known chiefly from the praise of his contemporaries and through the publication of his executed buildings and designs, the Oeuvres d’architecture (1769), which includes drawings dating from 1739 onwards. This collection of 71 engravings has no written text, and many of the designs for doors and fountains are difficult to identify or date. The fountains are characterized by the use of a generally Baroque vocabulary: various types of rustication, columns with alternating bands, rockwork etc. The triumphal arches, on the other hand, remain close to the style of the reign of Louis XIV (see Louis XIV style).

Contant worked independently for the first time in ...


Robert Neuman

(b Paris, 1656–7; d Passy, Paris, July 15, 1735).

French architect and urban planner. The most influential French Baroque architect during the Régence, he was Premier Architecte du Roi between 1708 and 1734. Financial constraints limited his work for the Crown, but he built many hôtels for the nobility, involved himself in numerous urban planning schemes and was frequently consulted by patrons abroad, particularly in Germany.

By 1676 de Cotte was working for Jules Hardouin Mansart, whose brother-in-law he later became. In 1681 Hardouin Mansart was appointed Premier Architecte du Roi to Louis XIV, and during his absence from court in 1687 de Cotte first attracted the attention of the King with his own drawings for the colonnade of the Grand Trianon at Versailles. Destined to play an important role in the Service des Bâtiments du Roi, in 1689 de Cotte embarked on a trip to Italy lasting six months in order to complete his architectural education.

Although the King’s costly wars brought a temporary halt to royal projects in the 1690s, the Treaty of Ryswick of ...


Robert Neuman

(b Paris, 1671; d Paris, 1739).

French architect. He was the most important member of a family of architects active in Paris. His early work included adding a storey to the Hôtel de Sillery (1712) and additions to the Hôtel de Vendôme (1715) in the Rue d’Enfer, but his most significant contribution was the design of two hôtels particuliers in the Faubourg Saint-Germain, the fashionable neighbourhood on the west bank of the Seine. About 1720 he drew up plans for the first of these, the Hôtel de Matignon (in the Rue de Varenne), built 1722– 4 for Christian-Louis de Montmorency-Luxembourg, Prince of Tingry. In his initial project Courtonne organized the plan of this ‘hôtel-entre-cour-et-jardin’ around a single longitudinal axis, thus conforming to current practice. However, in his definitive plan the axes of the court and garden façades were made discontinuous, and although the circulatory path through the building lacked symmetry, this arrangement allowed both the court façade and the stable court to gain in breadth and prominence. His plan also placed an unusual emphasis on the public rooms, apparently as a means of accommodating the collections of the owner. In ...


William Garner

(fl Dublin, 1755–72).

Stuccoist, active in Ireland. In 1755 he was engaged by Bartholomew Mosse (1712–59), Master Builder of Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital, to ‘execute the stucco-work which is to be done in the chapel’. He was further employed in 1757 to ‘execute the stucco-work of the altar-piece … according to the plan and draft made by him’. In the Rotunda accounts he is described as a ‘statuary and stucco-man’. This is significant since the modelling of the figures in the chapel is by a different hand from that of the framework, foliage and other ornament, and there would appear to have been two plasterers at work on the background, both of them less assured than the modeller of the figures. The chapel’s ceiling plasterwork is full of Rococo movement, where allegorical groups of Faith, Hope and Charity are framed by angelic caryatids bearing texts. These caryatids have decisive gestures and keen expressions and yet wear an air of languid elegance, while the putti heads might easily have been modelled from those of babies in the Hospital. The ceiling’s centre and four corner panels were left empty in order to receive paintings by Giovanni Battista Cipriani, but these were never executed. The altarpiece itself displays angels adoring a lamb and is placed against a curtain hanging from a lambrequin. No further stucco work by Cramillion has been identified. However, in ...