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S. J. Turner

(b c. 1723; d Guzel Hisar, Turkey, Sept 19, 1750)

English collector and antiquarian. He was educated at New College, Oxford. After inheriting a large fortune, he went on the Grand Tour to Italy (1740–42). He travelled extensively throughout his short life and went to Italy several times, acquiring antiquities, paintings, engravings, medals, cameos and, above all, drawings. His collection of Old Master drawings was one of the most important assembled in England in the first half of the 18th century. It included examples by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt and particularly Guercino. Many of these are still identifiable by their beautiful mounts, which have a distinctive ruled and patterned border (see Display of art §IV).

The provenance of the Bouverie drawings was lost sight of until the early 1990s, and until then these mounts were rather misleadingly known as ‘Casa Gennari’ mounts (from the family name of Guercino’s descendants). The greater part of the Bouverie collection was inherited in the first half of the 19th century by the 1st ...

Article

(b Givry, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, Jan 4, 1747; d Paris, April 28, 1825).

French museum director, writer, graphic artist, collector, archaeologist and diplomat. He was the son of a provincial aristocrat. He went to Paris to further his law studies c. 1765 but entered the studio of Noël Hallé. He became Gentleman-in-Ordinary to Louis XV and was appointed keeper of the collection of engraved gems and medals that Mme de Pompadour had left to the King. In 1772 he entered the diplomatic service as attaché to the French embassy at St Petersburg, he was subsequently posted to Stockholm, Geneva (where his disrespectful engraving Repast at Ferney, of 4 July 1775, angered Voltaire) and, from spring 1776, Naples. There he became acquainted with Sir William Hamilton, the British ambassador, and made many drawings of his future wife Emma. Denon began to acquire a diverse collection of paintings and engravings as well as antiquities from excavations at Nola, Catania, Agrigento, Pompeii and Herculaneum. He purchased the painting of the ...

Article

David Mannings

(b Plympton, Devon, July 16, 1723; d London, Feb 23, 1792).

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 Discourses on Art, delivered to the students and members of the Academy between 1769 and 1790, are the most eloquent and widely respected body of art criticism by any English writer.

Although Reynolds’s father, a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and master of Plympton Grammar School, had intended that his son train as an apothecary, Joshua chose instead to seek fame as a painter. In ...