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Dwight C. Miller


(b Bologna, 1692; d Bologna, 1776).

Italian painter and stuccoist. He was largely self-taught yet gifted with exceptional talent—‘such praiseworthy qualities not the fruit of long toil but of gifts with which the painter was endowed’ (Zanotti)—and thus able to establish a position among the most highly reputed artists in Bologna of his time. He was chosen four times (1734; 1748; 1767; 1773) to be the director of the prestigious Accademia Clementina of Bologna. He began his career as a stuccoist. However, impressed by the art of the quadraturista Marcantonio Chiarini (1652–1730), whose large perspective paintings he saw while working at the Palazzo Almandini, he himself began to specialize in painting perspective effects. He studied Ferdinando Galli Bibiena’s L’architettura civile (Parma, 1711) and, profiting also from his experience as an assistant to a scenery designer, Carl Antonio Buffagnotti (1660–after 1715), soon became expert in this art and began to assist the established ...


Nicola Smith

(b Paris, 1663; d London, April 20, 1721).

French painter, active in England. His father, a Catalan, was Keeper of Louis XIV’s menagerie, and the King was his godfather. Laguerre studied first with the Jesuits and then enrolled at the Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture, Paris. This was followed by a short period in the studio of Charles Le Brun until, in 1683–4, Laguerre went to England, where he worked first as an assistant to Antonio Verrio and then became a master decorator in his own right. His first major independent commission was for William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth, Derbys, where between 1689 and 1697 he undertook an ambitious decorative scheme in the Baroque manner fashionable in England since its introduction by Verrio at Windsor. Laguerre painted the chapel, the hall and several of the state rooms at Chatsworth with mythological scenes set in a rich trompe-l’oeil framework. His illusionistic skill is displayed to advantage on the cove of the State Bedroom, where figures are depicted seated on the painted architecture and appear to cast deep shadows across it, a startlingly effective device....


Gordon Campbell


Francesco Frangi

(b ?Rome, 1600; d Rome, 1630).

Italian painter and stuccoist. His family moved from Ascona on Lake Maggiore to Rome, where his father is recorded in 1595. It is probable that Serodine was born there. His first work was probably done in association with his brother Giovanni Battista Serodine (1589/90–1630), a stuccoist active in Rome, where he carved a Virgin and Child (1614) for the façade of S Francesca Romana, and in Ascona, where he restored the family home and decorated it with stucco (1620). The design and stucco decoration of the church of the Madonna della Fortuna on Monte Verità (Ascona) are attributed to him, though it is probable that Giovanni (who is recorded in Ascona in 1620) collaborated in the work. The first of Giovanni’s documented official commissions, however, was for the stucco decoration and apsidal paintings in the chuch of the Concezione at Spoleto, where he worked with ...