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Article

Hans-Peter Wittwer

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 ...

Article

Dwight C. Miller

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 (...

Article

Eleanor John

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 ...

Article

Birgit Roth

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 ...

Article

Klaus Lankheit

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 ...

Article

Maria Ida Catalano

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 ...

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Andrew Stoga

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 (...

Article

Bernd Wolfgang Lindemann

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 ...

Article

Gabriele Ramsauer

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 ...

Article

Nicola Smith

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 ...