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Natalia Marinho Ferreira Alves

Portuguese family of wood-carvers. Manuel Abreu do Ó and his brother Sebastião Abreu do Ó (both fl Évora c. 1728–c. 1770) worked in collaboration, carving some of the finest and most influential Joanine and Rococo altarpieces in southern Portugal. They carved in delicate flat relief using patterns similar to those found in Spain, a style contrasting with the dramatic plastic effects seen in contemporary wood-carving in northern Portugal.

An example of the Abreu do Ó brothers’ early work is the main retable of the Cartuxa, the Charterhouse, Évora, gilded in 1729. It is composed on one level, and a sense of movement is suggested by the projection of the outer columns. They created one of the finest ensembles of 18th-century carving in southern Portugal in the chancel and transept of the Carmelite church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Évora (c. 1760–70). On the main retable the areas between the column shafts are decorated with leaves and roses scattered asymmetrically, creating the impression of a lace covering. The votive tablet crowning the arch of the retable is carved with great delicacy. The lateral retables have curving double pediments whose undulating movement is echoed by large canopies above. The design of the pulpit was important in southern Portugal, because although it was in the Joanine style and inspired by developments in Lisbon it was also Rococo in spirit. The interior of the church emphasizes the importance of the role that gilt wood-carving played in the decoration of Portuguese churches during the 18th century....


José Fernandes Pereira

(b Lisbon, 1700; d Lisbon, 1769).

Portuguese sculptor. He was the leading Portuguese sculptor of the mid-18th century, although only a small part of his work can be identified. He was sent to Rome by John V to study under Carlo Monaldi. Traces of his apprenticeship with Monaldi can be seen in his treatment of crumpled drapery. Almeida is known to have won a prize in a papal contest in competition with Italian sculptors. He returned to Lisbon about 1728 and formed a workshop that became very successful; it was renowned at the time, although almost all the production has been lost. He was the first Portuguese sculptor to carve well in stone at a time when most work in that medium was executed by foreigners and when other Portuguese sculptors generally preferred to work in clay or wood. Almeida’s work in marble includes the statue of St Paul on the façade of the chapel of the Palácio das Necessidades, Lisbon. His marble statues of ...


(d Braga, March 10, 1762).

Portuguese wood-carver and designer. He designed the carved altarpieces, pulpits and valances for the church of the Third Order of St Francis in Ponte de Lima. The carving was completed in 1756 by António da Cunha Correia Vale and Manuel da Cunha Correia Vale from Guimarães. It is a fine example of carving in the new Rococo style. In 1756 Araújo was contracted to carve the arch of the frame of the altarpiece of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres in the church of the Colegio de S Paulo in Braga, after designs by André Ribeiro Soares da Silva. A comparison between Soares’s design and that by Araújo for the Third Order in Ponte de Lima shows the marked lack of plasticity in the latter, although Araújo used elements taken from the work of Soares and the designs of Nicolau Nasoni. Both these works, however, were completed before the redecoration carried out by Araújo in the church of S Martinho in the Benedictine monastery of Tibães. Araújo carved Soares’s designs for the main altarpiece here as well as retables for the transept and sacristy; he also worked on the pulpits and valances in the nave. This carved ensemble was the most distinguished of the period. Araújo completed the high altar ...


Matthias Frehner

(b Pfronten-Ried, nr Füssen, June 25, 1716; d Einsiedeln, Feb 9, 1799).

Swiss sculptor of German birth. He was apprenticed to the sculptor Peter Heel (1696–1767), but in 1732, after his father died, Babel became an itinerant journeyman sculptor. He appears to have moved gradually southwards, possibly drawn by the chance to study at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna and by the far greater number of commissions to be found there, from both secular and ecclesiastical patrons. In collaborating on large-scale decorative commissions, Babel would not only have acquired a solid training as a sculptor in stone and stucco but would also have learnt the stylistic vocabulary of international Baroque. A particularly strong early influence was the stuccowork of Francesco Carlone (1674–1750), with whom Babel probably collaborated.

In 1742 Babel settled in Mimmenhausen, residence of the leading Rococo sculptor Josef Anton Feuchtmayer. Here he made his first appearance as an independent master when he presented Abbot ...



Guilhem Scherf

(b La Crépelière, Chavagnes-en-Paillers, March 17, 1681; d Valsaín, Spain, Feb 13, 1740).

French sculptor. He studied with Nicolas Coustou and won the Prix de Rome in 1705 with a low relief of Judith before Holofernes (untraced). He was in Rome from 1709 to 1712 and at the Villa Borghese made a marble copy of the Antique group of the Centaur with Cupid (completed 1712; untraced since 1858), which was installed in the park at Marly in 1715.

On his return to Paris, Bousseau was accepted (agrée) by the Académie Royale in 1713 and received (reçu) as a full member in 1715 on presentation of a marble statue of a Soldier Bending his Bow (Paris, Louvre). This well-received work, of which the noted collector Lalive de Jully owned a terracotta version, has a dynamic, Rococo quality in the treatment of the swirling drapery, and in the multiplicity of planes of which it is composed, that owes much to Coustou (e.g. ...


Françoise de la Moureyre

(b Paris, 1677; d Paris, April 6, 1722).

French sculptor. He may have been trained by the elderly Etienne Le Hongre, but his supple and graceful style better reflects his long association with Corneille van Clève and is typical of the work produced by the sculptors working in France in the last decades of Louis XIV’s reign and during the Régence period. He executed decorative work at the Château Neuf de Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine (1706–7; destr.), and works in stone and bronze for the chapel of the château of Versailles (1709–10; in situ). He was received (reçu) into the Académie Royale in 1711 with a dramatic marble statuette of Dido Taking her Life (Paris, Louvre), and in 1713–15 he supplied gilt-bronze ornaments for the high altar of Notre-Dame, Paris, in conjunction with François-Antoine Vassé (1681–1736) under the direction of Robert de Cotte. In 1718 he carved a delightful Rococo marble statue of a nymph for the series ...


Eva Zimmermann

(b Riedlingen an der Donau, Feb 12, 1706; d Riedlingen, June 22, 1777).

German sculptor. He studied under the sculptor Johann Eucharius Hermann (d 1727) in Biberach an der Riss, but it is possible that he may have been more strongly influenced by the sculptor and stuccoist Diego Carlone, then working at Weingarten Abbey. In 1728 Christian settled in Riedlingen, although he was not granted citizen’s rights there until 1736. Such early works as a Crucifixion group carved for the Hofkapelle at Messkirch (wood, 1738; Emmingen ab Egg, parish church) and a St Nicholas for the outside wall of the Provost’s chapel at Mochental (stone, 1738–44; in situ) are rather stiff but reveal in the treatment of the heads the attempt to achieve a heightened expression of spirituality, a characteristic of his mature work.

Christian worked for more than two decades for the Benedictine monasteries at Zwiefalten (1744–55) and Ottobeuren (1755–67). Johann Michael Feichtmayer from Augsburg worked at the same time on the decorative stucco, and ...


German, 18th century, male.

Born 1706, in Riedlingnen (Württemberg); died 1777, in Riedlingnen.

Sculptor. Religious subjects.

One of the sculptors of the German Rococo movement. With the cabinetmaker Martin Hermann he made the stalls of the Benedictine abbeys of Zwielfalten ( Scenes from the Life of the Virgin...


Françoise de la Moureyre

(b Paris, baptJune 10, 1646; d Paris, Dec 31, 1732).

French sculptor and bronze-caster. He came from a family of goldsmiths of Flemish origin who settled in Paris in the early 17th century. Early biographers state that he trained with Michel or François Anguier and at the Académie Royale. He spent six years at the Académie de France in Rome, where he is said to have studied above all the sculpture of Bernini. This was followed by four years in Venice. He applied for admission to the Académie in 1678, and he was received (reçu) in 1681 with a marble statuette of Polyphemus (Paris, Louvre), inspired by Annibale Carracci’s fresco in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome. From this time until 1720 he enjoyed a highly successful career in royal service and in the employ of the Church and of private clients. He devoted much energy to the affairs of the academy, eventually holding the office of Chancellor. He worked in every branch of sculpture, from monumental marble and bronze statues to small bronze statuettes and candlesticks....



Glenn F. Benge

[Michel, Claude]

(b Nancy, Dec 20, 1738; d Paris, Mar 28, 1814).

French sculptor. He was the greatest master of lyrical small-scale sculpture active in France in the later 18th century, an age that witnessed the decline of the Rococo, the rise of Romanticism and the cataclysms of revolution. Clodion’s works in terracotta embody a host of fascinating and still unresolved problems, questions of autograph and attribution, the chronology of his many undated designs, the artistic sources of his works, and the position of his lyric art in the radically changing society of his time. Little is known of the sculptural activity of Clodion’s brothers (see 1992 exh. cat., nos 90–93): Sigisbert-Martial Michel (b13 Jan 1727); Sigisbert-François Michel (b Nancy, 24 Sep 1728; d Paris, 21 May 1811; see 1992 exh. cat., p. 29, nos 11 and 12); Nicholas Michel (b17 Nov 1733); and Pierre-Joseph Michel (b2 Nov 1737).

Clodion trained in Paris with his uncle ...


D. Signe Jones

(b Bologna, 1688; d Naples, 1772).

Italian sculptor. He worked within the tradition of late Baroque classicism in Rome, moving, in his mature works, towards a Rococo style. He studied painting with Giovanni Maria Viani or Domenico Viani and sculpture perhaps with Giuseppe Mazza. Little of his early Bolognese work remains. He went to Rome in the 1730s and participated in numerous decorative schemes for major architectural projects. His contribution included several over life-size, marble statues: a St Jerome (1735), for the façade of S Giovanni in Laterano (balustrade: sixth from right); Abundance (1735), for the Trevi Fountain (attic: far left); Pope Gregory the Great (1742–3), for the façade of S Maria Maggiore (upper balustrade: second from left); and a St Luke (1744), for the façade of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (second from left).

Corsini also sculpted a number of portrait busts depicting cardinals for memorial tomb monuments by ...


Jean-Dominique Augarde

(b Amiens, Dec 16, 1685; d Paris, Jan 10, 1768).

French cabinetmaker and sculptor. He was taught by his father, François Cressent, a sculptor in Amiens, and became a maître-ébéniste on 9 January 1708. He subsequently became a pupil of François Girardon and became a maître sculpteur in the Académie de Saint-Luc, Paris, on 14 August 1714. He obtained the title of Ebéniste du Régent in 1719, which allowed him to trade as a cabinetmaker free from guild restrictions. The richest French patrons, the Portuguese Court and many German princes bought furniture from him. His work is of exceptional quality and epitomizes the Régence and early Louis XV styles, to which he remained faithful throughout his career. The forms of his pieces were perfectly curved and rendered sumptuous by abundant, virtuoso bronze mounts and emphatically serrated agraffe ornaments and mouldings. His lavish mounts to some extent obscured the restrained veneering or geometric marquetry, for which he almost always used rose-wood, purple-wood or satin-wood. Above all, however, he was a sculptor, and he contravened guild restrictions by modelling the bronzes that adorn his furniture himself; these included terminals depicting the ...


Barbara Daentler

(b Wernfels-Theilenhofen, near Spalt, 1690; d Munich, March 24, 1753).

German sculptor. He was the son of a cabinetmaker. In 1712–13 he began his travels as a journeyman from Eichstätt, where he probably trained under the sculptor Christian Handschuher (fl c. 1699–1701). He visited Prague, where he met Matyás Václav Jäckel, and Italy. Around 1720 Dietrich settled near Munich and worked as an independent sculptor in turn for the court sculptor Anton Faistenberger and in the court joinery of Johann Adam Pichler (fl 1717–61). His first independent works that can be exactly dated—and the only signed ones—are two picture retable altars (1726–7) in the church at Schloss Urfarn near Reisach. The altar of the Fathers of the Church (c. 1739) at Diessen is one of the finest examples of Rococo sculpture in South Germany. Other notable works by Dietrich are the decoration of the frame altars and a Crucifix (1732) in the Hofmarkskirche at Schönbrunn; a reliquary altar (...


[Du Plessis; Duplessy.]

French family of goldsmiths, bronze founders, sculptors and designers, of Italian descent. Due to the similarity in name, there has been some confusion between father and son and the attribution of their work; they are now generally distinguished as Duplessis père and Duplessis fils. Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis [Giovanni Claudio Chiamberlano] (b Turin, ?1690–95; d Paris, 1774) practised as a goldsmith in Turin before his marriage in 1720 and probably worked for Victor Amadeus II. He moved with his family to Paris c. 1740, perhaps encouraged there by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier. In 1742 he was commissioned by Louis XV to design and make two large, bronze braziers, presented to the Turkish ambassador Saïd Mahmet Pasha (e.g. in Istanbul, Topkapi Pal. Mus.). From c. 1748 until his death he was employed at the porcelain factories of Vincennes and Sèvres as a designer of porcelain forms and supplier of bronze stands. He also supervised and advised craftsmen. In ...


Spanish, 18th century, male.

Born 1677, in Seville; died 1757, in Cordova.


Pedro Duque Cornejo y Roldan was one of the finest exponents of Rococo sculpture in Andalusia. He began by working on retables in Seville. In Granada he created and transformed the sculptural decoration of the church of the Virgen de las Angustias; for this he carved 14 statues showing ...


Helmut Börsch-Supan

(b ?Lodersleben, c. 1710; d Berlin, Feb 21, 1757).

German sculptor. Before he moved to Berlin in 1746, he is thought to have worked in Italy, Leipzig and Dresden; two signed ivory reliefs in the Museum des Kunsthandwerks, Leipzig, were probably produced during his stay in that city. Ebenhech was particularly admired for his mastery of marble technique. Characteristic of his Rococo sculpture is a delicate treatment of surface with a minute attention to details, especially drapery folds, and a tendency towards a fragile decorativeness. His figures are slender, almost lean. Most of his works produced in Prussia are in the park of Schloss Sanssouci, Potsdam. About 1750 he carved 12 over life-size statues of the Apostles (destr.), to drawings by Georg Wenceslaus von Knobelsdorff, for the St Hedwigskirche in Berlin; originally intended for the lantern, they were actually housed in the window niches. There survive only five reliefs, above the three entrances and two niches of the portico, executed in the 19th century to Ebenhech’s designs. His ‘Corradini’ vase (...


German, 18th century, male.

Born 9 April 1691, in Mannheim; died 10 January 1752, in Mannheim.


Paul Egell trained under Balthasar Permoser in Dresden or Vienna around 1717. His main works are: decorations in the Rococo style for the gardens and palace of the 'Grand Elector' (German prince in the Holy Roman Empire who was entitled to elect the Emperor) in Schwetzingen; a funeral monument in Durlach; the ...


Iris Kockelbergh

(b Mons [Flem. Bergen], bapt April 15, 1706; d Mons, March 13, 1788).

Belgian sculptor. He was the son of a sculptor and probably trained first with his father. All that is known of his work is his extensive contribution to the furnishing of the church of St Nicolas en Havré at Mons, on which he worked from 1755. He first executed the high altar; it is traditionally conceived, with a wood statue of St Nicholas in the centre and figures of angels in the clouds above. The wooden stalls are also by Fonson; those around the first north and south columns have panels carved with reliefs in a Rococo setting. The reliefs are rather flat and conventionally placed within their frames; the somewhat insipid figures show an imperfect mastery of anatomy and perspective. Their fine detail, however, displays Fonson’s skill in handling wood. The reliefs of the other stalls are better, with a more convincing illusion of depth and a more classicizing style; but Fonson’s work as a whole is lacking in vitality....


Helena Bussers

(b Brussels, Dec 2, 1750; d Brussels, Feb 24, 1835).

Flemish sculptor. Until 1770 or 1771 he was apprenticed to Laurent Delvaux. His master’s influence with Charles of Lorraine, the Austrian Governor of the Netherlands, secured for him in 1769 an allowance during his whole period of training. Having moved to Paris and been accepted (agrée) by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Godecharle met the best French sculptors, such as Jean-Antoine Houdon, and enjoyed the protection of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle and of Jean-Pierre-Antoine Tassaert, who took him on as an apprentice. In 1775, when Tassaert was appointed court sculptor to Frederick the Great, Godecharle accompanied him to Berlin, where until 1777 he worked with his master on official commissions, mainly portraits of Prussian generals.

In 1778 Godecharle was in London; from there he travelled to Rome. In the same year he was awarded first prize for sculpture by the Accademia di S Luca; and in 1779...