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Hans-Peter Wittwer


(fl late 17th century–early 18th).

Swiss-Italian stuccoist and architect. He drew up the plans for the abbey church of Muri (1694–7), Switzerland, which is regarded as the consummation of the centrally planned church and one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Switzerland. Bettini’s scheme involved reconstructing the cruciform Romanesque abbey church. The twin towers and the low choir spanned by a Gothic lierne vault were retained, but the nave was converted into an octagonal rotunda with transeptal chapels. The ends of the former aisles, at the west and east, lie outside the octagon and are used to form galleries. The eight arches defining the octagon are of equal height but unequal width. Uniformity of height is obtained in the narrower, diagonal arches by raising the imposts rather than by stilting the arches. A large saucer dome, with stucco ornamentation by Bettini, covers the rotunda, admitting light, via penetrations, from semicircular windows set on a slightly curving entablature inside, supported by folded pilasters. Bettini’s reputation is based on evidence that he produced designs for the building, while the more famous architect ...


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 ...


Eleanor John

(b Paris, Nov 11, 1642; d Paris, Feb 28, 1732).

French cabinetmaker. His family were originally from Guelderland in the Netherlands and went to Paris, where his father worked as a ‘menuisier en ébène’. Boulle became a master before 1666, when he is recorded as a ‘maître menuisier en ébène’; at this time he lived and worked in the rue de Reims near Saint-Etienne-du-Mont. He was granted the royal privilege of lodging in the Galeries du Louvre on 21 May 1672, having been recommended by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as the most adept among his profession in Paris. In the same year he received the title of Ébéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi, the royal privilege allowing him to carry out the work of more than one profession; without such protection this would have been an infringement of the guilds’ rules. In 1685 Boulle employed at least 15 workmen, and by 1720 the workshop had 20 work-benches and equipment for 6 bronzeworkers. Yet despite his success Boulle was dogged by financial difficulties, and his creditors sought permission to have him arrested in the Louvre in ...


Birgit Roth

(b Bissone, Ticino, Aug 28, 1664; d Vienna, 1737).

Italian stuccoist. He was taught to draw by his father, the painter Giovanni Francesco Bussi, but then concentrated on developing a career as a stuccoist. He began his career in Milan, where he worked on the decoration of numerous palaces, but was then summoned to Vienna by Eugene, Prince of Savoy. From 1695 to 1704 he worked under the architect Domenico Martinelli at the palace of Count Dominik Andreas Kaunitz (now the Liechtenstein Palace) in Bankgasse, Vienna, which had been acquired by Prince Andrew of Liechtenstein in 1694. Here Bussi decorated twenty-two rooms, two cabinets, the great hall, the staircase and the two vestibules. The elegance and lightness that he imparted to the staircase with his vivid leaf and vine scroll decoration were impaired, however, during the modernization of the building by Alois II, Prince of Liechtenstein, and his English architect Peter Hubert Desvignes c. 1840. At around the same time he also worked at the Franciscan church (destr.) in Feldsberg, Bohemia, and the ...


Klaus Lankheit


(b ?April 9, 1691; d Mannheim, Jan 11, 1752).

German sculptor, stuccoist, draughtsman and illustrator. He was the most important sculptor active in Franconia and the Palatinate in the first half of the 18th century; nevertheless, although his very individual late Baroque sculpture, mostly carved in wood, was highly regarded by his contemporaries, he was quickly forgotten after his death. His rich oeuvre was severely depleted, particularly as a result of World War II. It was only after that date that his importance was reassessed. Egell probably served an apprenticeship with the Würzburg sculptor Balthasar Esterbauer (1672–1722) and collaborated on the interior decoration of the Banz monastery. His first documented work is an expressive Crucifix made in 1716 for St Michael’s Monastery in Bamberg (now in St Otto, Bamberg). His stylistic development was affected by his work between 1716–17 and 1719 as one of the team directed by Balthasar Permoser, which made all the sculptural decorations at the Zwinger in Dresden for ...


Maria Ida Catalano

(b Rovetta, Bergamo, Aug 26, 1659; d Rovetta, July 25, 1734).

Italian sculptor, architect and furniture-maker. He was the eldest son of the sculptor and carver Grazioso Fantoni (1630–93) and trained in his father’s flourishing workshop, which played a leading part in the supply of church furnishings in Bergamo, Parma and the surrounding provinces. In 1674 documents record Andrea in Parma, but in 1675 he was at Edolo, where he is recorded as an apprentice in the workshop of Pietro Ramus (?1639–82), a sculptor active in Valcamonica. It is thought that around 1678 he went to Venice to work in the workshop of the Genoese sculptor Filippo Parodi, a pupil of Bernini and a friend of Pierre Puget. Certainly Fantoni’s work gives stylistic evidence of contacts with Genoese and Venetian circles. In 1679 he returned to Rovetta, taking part from the early 1680s in a process of extensive stylistic modernization in the family workshop. This change can be seen in the contrast between Grazioso’s carved and inlaid wooden decorations and furnishings in the first sacristy (...


Andrew Stoga

(b Chiasso, July 26, 1661; d Chiasso, Oct 6, 1733).

Italian stuccoist and architect, active in Moravia and Poland. He was a pupil of Carlo Fontana and Antonio Raggi. Most of Baldassare Fontana’s surviving works date from his early period in Moravia, including the decoration of the Archbishop’s Palace in Kroměříž and his most important decorative work at the Norbertine monastery (1692, 1694, 1704–5) in Hradisko near Olomouc, in the residence (1693–4) at Hrubčice and in the Norbertines’ summer residence (1694–5) in Šebetov. In 1693 Fontana was invited to Poland for the first time by the church of St Clement in Wieliczka near Kraków to decorate the chapel of the Mnisze family. He returned to Poland in July 1695 to begin the most important work of his life: the decoration of the church of St Anna in Kraków, where he adorned the nave piers with swags and medallions and the high altar with saints and angels. He worked on this intermittently until ...


Bernd Wolfgang Lindemann

(b Tritschengreith [now Trischenreuth], Bavaria, March 3, 1720; d Bruchsal, July 2, 1789).

German sculptor and stuccoist. He may have trained with his uncle, the sculptor Ignaz Langelacher, in Moravia; the quality of his work suggests that he had some academic training, possibly in Munich, perhaps in the studio of Johann Baptist Straub. He worked in stone and in wood, as well as in stucco. In 1749–50 he produced statues of the Twelve Apostles for the church of Horgauergreuth, near Augsburg. In 1752 he carried out his first work at the Residenzschloss in Bruchsal for Franz Christoph von Hutten, Bishop of Speyer (1706–70); in 1755 the Bishop granted him protection. Apart from a short period spent working in Vienna, where he was summoned in 1773 to produce the group Ceres and Bacchus for the gardens at Schönbrunn, Günther continued to live in Bruchsal, working chiefly in the residences of the Bishops of Speyer in Bruchsal and Kislau; he also received commissions for churches of the region. Much of his work has been destroyed; what survives is difficult to characterize because of its uneven quality. Thus he is now thought to have contributed to the sandstone statues of the ...


Gabriele Ramsauer

(b Schernegg, 1674; d Markt St Florian, Jan 14, 1749).

Austrian cabinetmaker. His life was spent working as a joiner at St Florian Abbey. In 1703 he was making architectural sections for the new church seating. In 1708 and 1711 he was making architectural models, including one for the main doorway that was executed in 1713 by the sculptor Leonhard Sattler, with whom Jegg worked as a lifelong partner, with Sattler working mainly on the sculptural figure decoration. In 1711–12 Jegg was paid 450 florins for building the altar in the Marienkapelle, for which he also made the stalls. In 1719 he made five long and five shorter tables, a cupboard with three sections and a reading pulpit for the winter refectory in the Leopoldinischer Südtrakt; none of these has survived. Together with Sattler he decorated the interiors of several rooms in 1722 and worked on the Prunkschrank, a splendidly decorated clock-cabinet (in situ). He worked in the new Kunstkammer from ...


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....


Gabriele Ramsauer

(d Vienna, c. 1757).

French architect and designer, active in Austria. He was involved in designing and furnishing the interior of Prince Eugene of Savoy’s Stadtpalais in Vienna in 1707 and was mentioned in 1714 as Governor of the Arsenal. Two years later he was recorded in connection with work on a state bed for Empress Maria-Theresa. Between 1721 and 1728 he played a leading part in designing the interior of the imperial picture gallery in the upper floors of the Stallburg in the Hofburg (see Vienna, §V, 5, (i)). He is also believed to have designed the ‘Goldkabinett’ (before 1725), possibly Empress Maria-Theresa’s bedroom, in the imperial summer palace, now the Theresianum. During the same period he was working on the interior of the Upper Belvedere; he is named as the designer of the interiors illustrated in the engraving (1731) by Salomon Kleiner, where he is described as Kaiserlicher Rat und Obrist-Schiffamtsleutnand Claudius le Fort de Plessy. It is possible that the richly decorated galleries in the Hofbibliothek (...


Fausta Franchini Guelfi

(b Genoa, Sept 18, 1664; d Genoa, March 7, 1739).

Italian sculptor and wood-carver. In 1680 he entered the workshop of his uncle, the sculptor Giovanni Battista Agnesi, as an apprentice, but he also attended the workshop of the furniture-maker Pietro Andrea Torre (d 1668). By 1688 he already had his own workshop in partnership with Giovanni Battista Pedevilla. The success of his work soon enabled him to open an independent workshop, where he was assisted by pupils, among them his own son, Giovanni Battista Maragliano (d after 1762). His early works include St Michael and Lucifer (1694; Celle Ligure, oratory of S Michele) and St Sebastian (1700; Rapallo, oratory of the Bianchi), both processional casse: groups of polychrome wooden statues made to be carried in procession by the religious confraternities on feast days. The larger part of Maragliano’s production consists of such monumental groups, in which the scenes from a saint’s life (ecstasy, martyrdom etc) are represented in a theatrical manner, expressing devotional wonder and intense emotional involvement. The lively colouring of the sculptures was done by specialist polychrome painters, at times under the supervision of Maragliano himself. Among the most famous of these ...


Alison Luchs

(b Florence, c. 1644; d Florence, June 22, 1713).

Italian sculptor, stuccoist and architect. After training in Florence as a goldsmith, he studied with the painter Felice Ficherelli. In 1671 he went to Rome, having been chosen for the Tuscan Accademia Granducale. He studied sculpture under Ercole Ferrata and Ciro Ferri, showing a predilection for modelling rather than the marble carving expected by his patron, Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1672 he won first prize at the Accademia di S Luca for a terracotta relief of Decaulion and Pirra. He modelled the angels (1673–4) for the ciborium at the Chiesa Nuova (S Maria in Vallicella), which was designed by Ferri and cast by Stefano Benamati, and a terracotta relief of the Fall of the Giants (1674), pendant to a Niobid relief by Giovanni Battista Foggini (both Florence, Mus. Opificio Pietre Dure). When recalled to Florence in 1676, he was working on a more than life-size marble bust of ...


Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl Braga, 1692–1717; d Braga, 1720).

Portuguese cabinetmaker and metalworker. The most outstanding characteristic of his documented works—all commissioned by religious institutions—is his use of pau preto (Brazilian rose-wood), either solid or thickly veneered on to chestnut, worked em espinhado (in a herring-bone pattern) decorated with parallel grooves, mouldings and, more rarely, with almofadados (pillow panelling). In the contracts signed by Marques with the chapter of Braga Cathedral and various convents and Misericórdia churches in northern Portugal he is referred to as the enxamblador da Cónega (joiner) responsible for executing both the woodwork and decorative metalwork of the furniture commissioned. The application of pierced and gilded brass plaques in the form of borders, rosettes in relief, enormous escutcheons and impressive handles is a constant feature of his work. He played an important role in northern Portuguese furniture-making for the uniformity of his production. He specialized in balustrades, for example those for the pulpit of the Misericórdia church in Vila do Conde (...


John Mawer

(b Tiel, ?Jan 15, 1658; d Amsterdam, Feb 18, 1733).

Dutch cabinetmaker. He is particularly associated with spectacular floral-marquetry cabinets. His Amsterdam workshops also produced such other furniture in the Baroque style as tables and guéridons en suite with the cabinets. The marquetry designs, derived from Dutch still-life paintings, achieved brilliant trompe l’oeil effects through the use of various coloured veneers (see fig.). His work ranks among the most illustrious of the period; compared with that of his contemporary André Charles Boulle, however, van Mekeren’s style is freer and less disciplined. The marquetry decoration, for example, often extends down the legs and over the cornices. The value of his estate indicates that commercially his business was highly successful. Nine cabinets can be attributed to him, the most impressive of which is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.



(b Konstanz, 1653; d Prague, May 2, 1720).

Bohemian wood-carver and cabinetmaker of German origin. He was probably the son of Georg Nonnenmacher, a cabinetmaker, and first worked in Konstanz; he is recorded in Prague from 1677. He supplied altars for churches in Prague and nearby villages; he acted as a contractor, himself paying the sculptors, wood-carvers and painters, which in 1696 caused disaffection among the sculptors. In 1678 Nonnenmacher supplied a rich Baroque frame for the altarpiece of the high altar in Velvary. Between 1681 and 1691 he worked for the Týn church in Prague, and in 1685 he supplied a pulpit for St Mary the Victorious, Prague. In collaboration with the sculptors Hieronymus Kohl and František Preiss, and the painters Christian Dittmann (fl c. 1667–c. 1700; d 1702) and Johann Schumer (fl 1678–1701), he made in 1700–08 for the church in Louny a high altar and two side altars (models, Prague, N.G., Convent of St George). Between ...


Donatella Germanó Siracusa

(fl c. 1694–1716).

Italian sculptor, stuccoist and medallist. He worked in southern central Italy, where he is documented as both Pietro Papaleo and Francesco Papaleo, and then in Rome, where his presence is well documented from 1694, when he was elected a member of the Accademia di S Luca, until 1716. His marble work is influenced by Lorenzo Ottoni, who was an accomplished portrait artist in the manner of Bernini. He is presumed to have worked in Naples, where his Victory of St Paul (1688) is in the chapel of S Gennaro in the cathedral. In 1696, with Camillo Rusconi, he was commissioned to make four angels for the chapel of S Ignazio in the church of Il Gesù, Rome, but was replaced by Ottoni and Francesco Moratti because of conflicting contractual obligations (to Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni). His work as a stuccoist included collaborating with Ottoni to make five putti to accompany an ...


Peter Fidler

(b Stanz, Tyrol, bapt July 6, 1660; d St Pölten, Lower Austria, Sept 16, 1726).

Austrian architect, sculptor and stuccoist. He was an important architect of the Austrian Baroque, which he combined with a craftsman’s understanding of local traditions and building techniques. He was apprenticed as a mason to Hans Georg Asam at Schnan, Tyrol, from 1677 to 1680. His journeyman years may have been spent in southern Germany. In 1689 he settled in St Pölten, where he described himself as a sculptor: by 1692 he was known as a master mason. His early architectural works were probably produced in collaboration with the Oedtl family of master builders from the Tyrol. In 1694–1700 he built the rectory at Haitzendorf—a simple courtyard design with balanced proportions that is well integrated into the surrounding countryside.

Prandtauer was in Vienna c. 1700, and there he worked on the construction of the Palais Questenberg and other projects. In 1702 he was commissioned by Abbot Berthold Dietmayr to undertake the reconstruction of Melk Abbey, where he worked for the rest of his life, both on the ...


Gordon Campbell

The reign of Queen Anne (1702–14) was not of particular significance for the decorative arts in England, except in the area of Huguenot silverware. In England the style of this period is now usually described as late Baroque rather than Queen Anne; in America, however, the term ‘Queen Anne’ is used to describe the decorative style of objects made from the mid-1720s to ...


French family of cabinetmakers of Dutch origin. Bernard van Risamburgh (i) (b Groningen, c. 1660; d Paris, 2 Jan 1738) was active in Paris before 1694. The rediscovery of his work makes an important contribution to the analysis of the furniture of the period, providing a striking illustration of the transition from the Baroque to the Louis XV style. Risamburgh used tortoiseshell and brass marquetry in a manner quite different from that of André Charles Boulle. He often collaborated with the Bérain and the Slodtz families. Extant examples of his work include desks (Windsor Castle, Berks, Royal Col.) for the Duchesse de Retz and for the Elector of Bavaria (Paris, Louvre), and a commode (ex-Comte de la Panouse col., Thoiry) for Machault d’Arnouville. His final work was a clock decorated with hinds (London, Wallace) on which Jean-Pierre Latz based one of his clocks (Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg).

Bernard’s son ...