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Article

Christian Michel

(b Paris, March 19, 1730; d Paris, March 7, 1809).

French engraver, illustrator and writer. He came from a poor family and trained with Guillaume Dheulland (c. 1700–c. 1770) by drawing cartouches for maps. He also had lessons from Pierre-Edmé Babel, a goldsmith and designer of ornament. Having designed mainly cartouches, coats of arms and various types of ornament in the 1750s, he gained recognition as a designer of culs-de-lampe and fleurons, which were considered indispensable for all lavishly produced books. In particular, he produced 57 illustrations for La Fontaine’s Contes in the Fermiers Généraux edition (Paris, 1762) and 38 fleurons and culs-de-lampe for Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Lemire’s and Bassan’s edition (Paris, 1767–71). His long-standing acquaintance Charles-Nicolas Cochin II entrusted him with engraving two plates for the Conquêtes de l’Empereur de la Chine (1767–73; Roux, nos 227–8), an important series of large-scale prints on which the best French engravers were being employed. Large plates are, however, rare in Choffard’s oeuvre; he devoted himself mainly to book decoration, such as fleurons for the Abbé de Saint-Non’s ...

Article

British, 18th century, male.

Born 4 June 1724, in Scaleby Castle, near Carlisle; died 5 April 1804, in Boldre (Hampshire).

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, illustrator, theorist. Landscapes, topographical views.

William Gilpin was the brother of Sawrey Gilpin and studied at Queen's College, Oxford. He taught at Cheam School near Sutton ...

Article

David Cast

(b Florence, Dec 9, 1691; d Florence, Jan 21, 1757).

Italian theologian and writer. He was prior of S Giovanni in Florence, where he also taught history at the university and founded the Accademia Columbaria (1735). He wrote books on theology and translated Greek writers but is remembered chiefly for his studies of Etruscan antiquities and inscriptions. These remain of value and, together with the work of Bernard de Montfaucon and the Comte de Caylus, made important contributions to the 18th-century re-evaluation of Etruscan history (see Etruscan §VIII). He was also a leading student of gems, his publication on the collection of Anton Maria Zanetti (i) being especially well known to other scholars of the period.

Museum Florentinum, exhibens insigniora vetustatis monumenta quae Florentiae sunt, 6 vols (Florence, 1731–66)Museum Etruscum exhibens insignia veterum Etruscorum monumenta, 3 vols (Florence, 1737–43)‘Gemmae antiquae A. M. Zanetti … notis Latinis’, Dactyliotheca zanettiana (Venice, 1750) P. Berghaus, ed.: ...

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Valencia, 1757; d Madrid, after 1807).

Spanish illustrator, printmaker and painter. He was nominated Miembro de Mérito of the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, in 1781. He made reproductive engravings of paintings and illustrated such books as Juan Antonio Pellicer’s (1738–1806) annotated edition of Don Quixote (1797), the Fábulas morales (1781–4) by Félix María de Samaniego (1745–1801) and the 1803 edition of the short stories Novelas ejemplares by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616). In his depiction (1790) of the fire in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid and in his interiors of prisons and barracks he pioneered the use of aquatint. He produced the series Caprichos y bombachadas and illustrated the title-page of Ideas y caprichos pintorescos (Madrid, 1807). He had two sons: Laureano (1802–58), an engraver, and Vicente (1796–1857), a history painter.

M. Ossorio y Bernard: Galería biográfica de artistas españoles del siglo XIX...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(fl c. 1790–c. 1839).

English furniture designer. In the mid-1830s he described himself as ‘an upholsterer of fourty five years experience’. He produced a series of pattern books containing designs for furniture and upholstery that was widely used by commercial cabinetmakers. The Modern Style of Cabinet Work Exemplified (1829) was reprinted in an improved version in 1835 and was still in demand in the trade as late as 1862, when it was reissued unaltered. King claimed that ‘as far as possible the English style is carefully blended with Parisian taste’ in the 227 designs, but he also included Grecian and Gothic furniture. King’s interpretation of the prevailing French taste is a typically confused mixture of bold Baroque scrolls and lighter Rococo curves. His Designs for Carving and Gilding (1830) contains both Greek and Rococo Revival designs, as does Modern Designs for Household Furniture (n.d.). In 1833 King published a book of full-size designs for makers of cabinets, chairs and sofas, turners and carvers entitled ...

Article

N. A. Yevsina

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Nikol’skoye-Cherenchitsy estate, nr Torzhok, 1751; d Moscow, 2/Jan 3, 1804).

Russian architect, theorist, illustrator, poet, Musician and inventor. An enlightened dilettante and encyclopedist from a princely family, he studied architecture on his own and travelled in western Europe (1775, 1776–7), above all in France and Italy. On his return to Russia L’vov worked at the Foreign Ministry and acquired a reputation as an architect from the early 1780s. His earliest works—the Neva Gate (1780–87) of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, the single-domed cathedral of St Joseph (1780–98) in Mogilyov and the similar five-domed church (1785–96) at the monastery of SS Boris and Gleb in Torzhok—are characterized by their austere simplicity, spareness of form and pronounced monumentality. They became the model for many Russian Neo-classical churches of the late 18th century and the early 19th. L’vov’s works for St Petersburg include the Post Office (1782–9), unexecuted designs for the Cabinet on the Nevsky Prospect (...

Article

Roger White

(b Twickenham, bapt Sept 14, 1696; d London, March 3, 1751).

English architect and writer. The son of a gardener, he first tried his hand as a landscape gardener in Twickenham and published several books that reveal his practical knowledge of the subject, notably New Principles of Gardening (1728) and Pomona (1729). He deplored the rigid formality of continental horticulture and followed Stephen Switzer in advocating the introduction of the serpentine line into layout and planting. By 1731 he had moved to London, where at different times he ran a drawing school in Soho, manufactured artificial stone ornaments, engaged in polemical journalism and produced a succession of architectural publications.

Langley’s classical pattern books plagiarized an astonishing variety of sources, both Baroque and Palladian, although it is clear from their tone and that of his newspaper articles that he had little sympathy for the prevailing Palladian orthodoxy of Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, and his followers. This may explain why, despite energetic self-publicity, he never managed to establish himself as a practising architect—his unsuccessful design (...

Article

Geoffrey Ashton

(b Guildford, March 29, 1745; d Hull, April 20, 1806).

English pastellist, painter, writer and astronomer. His father, also called John Russell (1711–1804), was a bookseller, printseller and amateur artist. Russell was educated at Guildford grammar school and won premiums from the Society of Artists for drawings in 1759 and 1760. He was apprenticed to Francis Cotes and set up his own practice in 1767. In 1770 he entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, winning the silver medal for figure drawing. He exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1768 and annually at the Royal Academy from 1769 to 1806. He was elected ARA in 1772 and RA in 1788, when he became Crayon Painter to King George III and to George, Prince of Wales. He painted some rather stilted portraits in oil, but most of his work—hundreds of portraits and large numbers of fancy pictures of children with animals—is in pastel. His pastel portraits include Dr Robert Willis...

Article

Pyŏn Yŏng-Sŏp

[cha Kwangji; ho P’yoam, P’yo’ong]

(b 1713; d 1791).

Korean painter, calligrapher and critic. He was born into a prominent literati family in Seoul and became the most influential connoisseur and critic of his time. At the age of 31 he moved to Ahnsan, near Seoul, where he lived for about 30 years. During this time he developed and completed his artistic identity, concentrating on producing various works of art–poetry, calligraphy and paintings. At the age of 61 he took up a civil service post for the first time. This presumably caused him to move back to Seoul, where he lived until his death. While he was in the service he did not lose his enthusiasm for creating art. His late works show a greater refinement and nobleness. In 1784 he travelled to China as an envoy to Beijing, where his paintings and calligraphy were greatly admired.

Kang Se-hwang played a pivotal role in the Korean artistic world of the late Chosŏn period through his comments and criticism and his innovations. He adapted the style of the Chinese Southern school, producing a Korean literati style (...

Article

(b Naples, June 23, 1668; d Naples, Jan 20, 1744).

Italian philosopher, jurist and social theorist. He was the son of a bookseller and educated in Jesuit schools and at the University of Naples. He served as a tutor for nine years to the sons of the Rocca family at Vatolla but otherwise never left Naples. In 1699 he won a competition for the Chair of Rhetoric at Naples University and held this post until his retirement in 1741, but he was compelled to supplement his salary of 100 scudi a year by private tutoring. In 1735 he was appointed historiographer to the new Bourbon king Charles VII (later Charles III of Spain).

Vico’s greatest work is his Scienza nuova (1725), in which he tried to establish a consistent pattern in the origin and development of human institutions. A subsidiary theme that emerged from his speculations was a cyclical theory of history, in which all nations are regarded collectively as diverse aspects of a single unity. According to Vico the history of man constantly moves through three stages, the divine, the heroic and the human. Examples of the divine age are Eden and ancient Egypt, where religion arose, inspired by terror of the unknown, and family life was organized. The heroic age is an aristocratic period, with wars and duels; the human age produces cities, laws and civil obedience. Patrician tyranny provokes the masses to revolt; democratic equality is then established under a republic, the excesses of which give rise to an empire. This in its turn becomes corrupt and declines into barbarism. After a ...