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Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

(b Florence, Oct 31, 1604; d Madrid, July 1657).

Italian painter, draughtsman, engineer and stage designer, active also in central Europe and Spain . He was a pupil of Giovanni Bilivert from 1612 to 1620 and studied with Giulio Parigi. In 1622 he went to Vienna as assistant to Giovanni Pieroni da Galliano and thence to Prague, where he decorated the chapel (1630) with frescoes with scenes from the Life of St Wenceslas and the Life of the Virgin, the Knight’s Hall (destr.; rest. 1853) with ceiling frscoes including Albrecht von Wallenstein as Mars, and he worked on other parts of the Wallenstein Palace (see Prague, §IV, 7). He is documented in 1625 in Florence, where he became a teacher of perspective drawing. In 1626–7 the Medici employed him as military engineer at the fortress at Livorno; here, with Stefano della Bella, he drew harbour and river scenes (e.g. Peasants Waiting on a Quay, Florence, Uffizi). Baccio executed frescoes in Florentine palazzi, and his contributions to the decoration of the Casa Buonarotti include three ...

Article

W. Georg Rizzi

(Maria Nicolao)

(b Bologna, 1675; d Vienna, March 4, 1735).

Italian architect, decorative artist, stage designer and painter, active also in Austria. He trained as a quadratura painter in Bologna, where he was a pupil of Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. He was recorded as working as a figure and quadratura painter in Vienna for Prince Montecuccoli in 1695, and shortly afterwards for Count Heřman Jakub Czernin in both Vienna and Prague. He soon became a project designer, when his responsibilities expanded to include architecture. Beduzzi’s first project was probably the design of furnishings for the summer sacristy of Melk Abbey Church (from 1701; see Melk Abbey, §2), which matched the European High Baroque style of the building. Later he designed furnishings and frescoes for the abbey church itself (1711–22) although, contrary to common belief, he did not design the high altar and doorway. He initially painted his frescoes himself, but later these were entrusted to his associates, as in the case of the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl, near Melk, or to specialists employed by those commissioning the work. Beduzzi’s design for the illusionistic decoration of the church of St Peter (...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

[Santiago]

(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...

Article

Susan Harrison Kaufman

[Giambattista]

(b c. 1685–6; d Venice, July 15, 1758).

Italian painter and stage designer. His earliest known work, the Flagellation of Christ (c. 1706; Venice, Mus. Diocesano S Apollinia), for the Scuola del Cristo of S Marcuola, is a dark, shadowy painting that reveals the strong influence of tenebrist trends of the 17th century. Crosato, however, belonged to the generation of Venetian painters such as Jacopo Amigoni, Sebastiano Ricci and Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, who were developing a lighter, more colourful style. His tonality changed from the darkened shadows of the Flagellation to the light-filled frescoes for Stupinigi, the hunting palace of the Duke of Savoy, near Turin, which constitute his next known work. The most successful of these, the Sacrifice of Iphigenia (begun 1733), on the vault of the antechamber of the queen’s apartment, is a highly dramatic work full of bright bold colours accentuated against the blue sky and white clouds. The gold, blue and red tones are effectively placed so as to lead the eye around the room and guide it through the narrative, which is related through the specific gestures or glances of a few figures, at the same time suggesting the idea of greater numbers. Equally direct is Crosato’s use of sharply defined, highly saturated colours, which remain constant in their intensity and effective in providing visual unity; his linear style defines solidly modelled forms. Other rooms at Stupinigi decorated by him included the antechapel of S Umberto, with figures of hunters and lady companions, and the Sala degli Scudiere, with the story of ...

Article

E. Feinblatt

[Dentone]

(b Bologna, April 4, 1575; d Bologna, Dec 18, 1632).

Italian painter and stage designer. A specialist in illusionistic architectural settings, or quadratura, he trained with Cesare Baglione (c. 1550–1615). His dramatically lit settings, which display realistic and well-proportioned architecture, departed from Baglione’s Mannerist fantasy and established classical ceiling decoration in Bologna. His quadratura combined a recessed frame as the immediate surround of the ceiling crown, with a substantial, deeply foreshortened frame, which simulates height.

Curti’s first surviving ceilings, at the Casino Malvasia at Trebbo di Reno (c. 1610–22) and the Villa Paleotti at San Marino (c. 1616–22), were influenced by his earliest model, Tommaso Laureti’s frescoed ceiling in the Palazzo Vizzani, Bologna (c. 1562; destr.), which first combined a wall frieze, based on Palladian windows, with a foreshortened ceiling frame. In 1618 Curti travelled to Parma, where he was involved in the decoration of the Teatro Farnese, and in 1623, at the invitation of Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, he went to Rome, where a ceiling in the Palazzo Odescalchi has been attributed to him. In the 1620s and early 1630s he worked as a decorator and stage designer in Bologna, Ferrara (...

Article

Lucius Grisebach

(b Berlin, Sept 30, 1937).

German painter and stage designer. From 1957 to 1964 he studied under the German painter Peter Janssen (b 1906) at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in West Berlin. At first he painted figurative works influenced by Baroque models and by 19th-century history painting. In aligning himself with the great tradition and the values of figurative painting in the idiom of Rubens or Hans Makart, he deliberately set himself apart from all the artistic tendencies predominant in West Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. Characteristic of his painting is a theatrical element that in the 1960s occasionally took on a quality of caricature. This is in keeping with his interest in the theatre, in which he also worked as an actor, musician, playwright and scene painter (particularly in the 1980s, when he was associated with the director Peter Zadeck in Berlin and Hamburg). As a 20th-century artist who thought in historical terms, Grützke played on the contradiction between the traditional form of figure painting and its contemporary content. In some works, such as ...

Article

Richard Bösel

(b Trento, Nov 30, 1642; d Vienna, Aug 31, 1709).

Italian painter, architect and stage designer. He was a brilliant quadratura painter, whose most celebrated works, such as the decoration of the church of S Ignazio in Rome, unite painting, architecture and sculpture in effects of overwhelming illusionism and are among the high-points of Baroque church art. He was a Jesuit lay brother and produced his most significant work for the Society of Jesus. This affiliation was fundamental to his conception of art and to his heightened awareness of the artist’s role as instrumental in proclaiming the faith and stimulating religious fervour. The methods he used were those of Counter-Reformation rhetoric, as represented in Ignatius Loyola’s Spirited Exercises (1548). His architectural works are eclectic, and his unconventional combination of varied sources led to bold experiments with both space and structure. His ideas were spread by his highly successful two-volume treatise, Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum (1693–1700).

He received his first artistic training in Trento, with a painter who appears to have worked in the studio of Palma Giovane. He then studied with an unidentifiable pupil of, among others, Andrea Sacchi, who would have been the first to instruct Pozzo in the art of the Roman High Baroque, and he followed this painter to Como and Milan. In Milan Pozzo joined the Society of Jesus on ...