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Article

Wolfgang Holler

(b c. 1685; d Madrid, Aug 21, 1752).

Italian painter and etcher, active also in Germany, England and Spain. He was a pioneer of the Venetian Rococo, and his peripatetic career fostered the development of an international decorative style. His oeuvre includes decorative frescoes for churches and palaces, history and mythological paintings and a few etchings. Many of his works were reproduced in prints, and these served as models for tapestries and for the decoration of clocks, wardrobes and porcelain.

Neither the place nor date of Amigoni’s birth is known, although it is likely that his parents were Venetian. He was probably taught by Antonio Bellucci and is first recorded in the Venetian painters’ guild, the Fraglia, in 1711. Amigoni’s one documented work of this early Venetian period (Zanetti), SS Andrew and Catherine (Venice, S Stae), was probably painted shortly before this date. His international career began in southern Germany, where his presence is recorded from about 1715 to 1 July 1729...

Article

(b Türkheim, bapt April 15, 1688; d Augsburg, April 2, 1762).

German painter, teacher, draughtsman and printmaker. His frescoes and altarpieces and his teaching established him as the dominant figure in the art life of Augsburg in the earlier 18th century. He came from a family of well-known Swabian sculptors, cabinetmakers and painters, with whom he probably initially trained. The Bavarian Duke Maximilian Philip paid for him to study (1702–8) with the Munich court painter Johann Andreas Wolff, after which he was summoned by the Elector of the Palatinate to decorate the court church of St Hubertus in Düsseldorf (1708–9; destr.). In 1710 or 1712 Bergmüller frescoed the church of Kreuzpullach, near Wolfratshausen. In his request for permission to marry and for mastership in Augsburg in 1712, he referred to an otherwise undocumented stay in the Netherlands. He settled permanently in the Imperial Free City in 1713 and attended its Reichstädtische Kunstakademie from 1715. From this time he rose to become the most influential painter and teacher in Augsburg, with apprentices coming from beyond the city, including ...

Article

L. Fornari Schianchi

(b Arcisate di Como, 1727; d Parma, Nov 4, 1792).

Italian stuccoist, printmaker, painter and collector. Before studying anything else he learned stucco decoration from his father Pietro Luigi (d 1754), who worked in Germany from 1743 until his death. Stucco work always remained Bossi’s main activity, alongside that of printmaking, especially etching. His experiments in the latter field followed in the tradition of the great Venetian printmakers. He was encouraged by Charles-François Hutin, who was in Dresden from 1753 to 1757 and whom he followed to Milan and Parma. His first etching, based on a work by Bartolomeo Nazari (1693–1758), was done in Milan in 1758. From 1759 on he was in Parma, where he produced some plates for the Iconologie tirée de divers auteurs (1759) by Jean-Baptiste Boudard, and where he executed the stucco trophy decoration for the attic of S Pietro, the construction of which began in 1761. From this date Bossi also collaborated with the designer ...

Article

Alastair Laing

(b Paris, Sept 29, 1703; d Paris, May 30, 1770).

French painter, draughtsman and etcher. Arguably it was he, more than any other artist, who set his stamp on both the fine arts and the decorative arts of the 18th century. Facilitated by the extraordinary proliferation of engravings, Boucher successfully fed the demand for imitable imagery at a time when most of Europe sought to follow what was done at the French court and in Paris. He did so both as a prolific painter and draughtsman (he claimed to have produced some 10,000 drawings during his career) and through engravings after his works, the commercial potential of which he seems to have been one of the first artists to exploit. He reinvented the genre of the pastoral, creating an imagery of shepherds and shepherdesses as sentimental lovers that was taken up in every medium, from porcelain to toile de Jouy, and that still survives in a debased form. At the same time, his manner of painting introduced the virtuosity and freedom of the sketch into the finished work, promoting painterliness as an end in itself. This approach dominated French painting until the emergence of Neo-classicism, when criticism was heaped on Boucher and his followers. His work never wholly escaped this condemnation, even after the taste for French 18th-century art started to revive in the second half of the 19th century. In his own day, the fact that he worked for both collectors and the market, while retaining the prestige of a history painter, had been both Boucher’s strength and a cause of his decline....

Article

James Yorke

[Mathias; Matthew]

(fl c. 1740–early 1770s).

English engraver, draughtsman and drawing-master. In 1748 his premises faced Old Slaughter’s Coffee House in St Martin’s Lane, London, a favourite meeting-place for adherents of the new Rococo style. His earliest known satirical print, the Cricket Players of Europe, is dated 1741.

In 1751 he issued A New-book of Chinese, Gothic & Modern Chairs, a slight publication on eight leaves. Twelve examples with bizarre backs were described as ‘Hall Chairs’ in a reissue of 1766, but it is more likely they were intended for gardens and summer-houses. A shell-back chair (Stratford-on-Avon, Nash’s House) corresponding to one of the designs was made for the Chinese temple erected at Stratford for the Shakespeare jubilee organized by David Garrick in 1769. Five plates from a second book of chairs (c. 1751), of which no copy survives, were apparently reprinted in Robert Manwaring’s The Chair-maker’s Guide (1766). Described as ‘Parlour Chairs’, they incorporate extravagant C-scroll motifs in the backs....

Article

Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy

(b Nancy, June 26, 1735; d Paris, July 24, 1802).

French painter, pastellist and engraver. He lived in Paris from 1760 and from 1762 kept a list of his works. Among the portraits he completed in his early years were those in pastel of the well-known connoisseurs Pierre-Jean Mariette, the Comte de Caylus and Ange-Laurent de la Live de July (all untraced), which apparently were copies after Maurice-Quentin de La Tour. Ducreux has traditionally been seen as de La Tour’s favourite pupil, while Jean-Baptiste Greuze is supposed to have initiated him into oil painting. From his age, it can be assumed that by the time Ducreux reached Paris he had already acquired a grounding in his art.

In 1769 Ducreux was selected to paint Louis XVI’s future wife, Marie-Antoinette, in Vienna. The official portrait he made (untraced) survives only in the engraving (1771) by Charles Eugène Duponchel (1748–80). Two surviving portraits of the future queen (both priv. col.) are conventional and not very expressive. Ducreux spent two years at the Austrian court. While there he also received a commission to paint the portrait of ...

Article

Elisabeth Herrmann-Fichtenau

[Franz Josef; Paulus]

(b Vienna, May 2, 1689; d London, 1740).

Austrian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He studied landscape painting with his father, Adam Pankraz Ferg (1651–1729), and with Josef Orient (1677–1747) and staffage painting with Johann (Hans) Graf (1653–1710). He also studied the engravings of Jacques Callot and Sébastien Leclerc (i). His early works show such subjects as harbours, markets and villages as wide vistas with many figures, trees and buildings, for example Fair with Temple and Maypole (Vienna, Belvedere). These scenes combine landscape and genre and are characteristic examples of early 18th-century Austrian panel painting, showing the influence of Dutch, Flemish and Italian models. The colours are dark, and the staffage figures in the manner of Graf are slender, with small heads and peculiarly wooden poses.

In 1718 Ferg left Vienna and went to Franconia, Bamberg, and Leipzig. There he met Johann Alexander Thiele (1685–1752), whom he accompanied to Dresden. A small self-portrait (untraced) from this period was bought by the painter ...

Article

John Wilson

(b Venice, Oct 4, 1707; d Venice, May 31, 1769).

Italian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He was one of the most prolific and well-known followers of Sebastiano Ricci, with whom he had his earliest training, and particularly of Giambattista Tiepolo. By the end of the 1720s he had studied in Rome (where he is documented in 1728) and Bologna (Oretti MS.); the influence of the forthright tenebrism of the Bolognese school is evident in his first independent works, such as the Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1732; Burano, S Martino). Around 1730 he was in Udine, where he studied Tiepolo’s frescoes in the cathedral and in the archbishop’s palace, and during the next few years he came into direct contact with Tiepolo, perhaps in Venice. Ricci remained influential, and in 1731 Fontebasso was engraving, in Venice, the altarpiece of St Gregory Interceding for Souls in Purgatory that Ricci had painted for S Alessandro della Croce in Bergamo. Fontebasso’s work, however, increasingly emulated that of Tiepolo, with a consequent lightening and freeing of his palette....

Article

Anne Pastori Zumbach

(b Geneva, April 6, 1682; d Geneva, March 7, 1766).

Swiss painter and engraver. He was a member of a family of artists and jewellers in Geneva. At an early age he showed a pronounced talent for art, but as there was no school of drawing in Geneva, he moved to Germany. At Kassel, Baron von Mardefeld became his patron, sent him to Berlin and recommended him to important people at court. Gardelle is said to have painted the royal family; however, this was most probably simply a question of copying existing portraits. In 1711, on his return to Kassel, he painted from life a portrait of Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. In 1712 he travelled to Paris, where he spent a year perfecting his art in the studio of Nicolas de Largillierre. It was there that he acquired the fluid and elegant style of the French Rococo. He returned to Switzerland for good in 1713 and became a portrait painter, painting both the great and the humble, not only in Geneva but also in Berne, Neuchâtel and the Vaud. He was a very prolific artist and often executed replicas of his paintings for himself. These paintings, often in a small format (usually 240×180 mm), are particularly remarkable for their brightness of colour and their close attention to likenesses (e.g. ...

Article

Marianne Roland Michel

(b Langres, April 28, 1673; d Paris, May 4, 1722).

French draughtsman, printmaker and painter. He was the son of an embroiderer and painter of ornaments, who doubtless trained him before he entered the Paris studio of Jean-Baptiste Corneille about 1690; there he learnt to paint and etch. In 1710 he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale; he was received (reçu) as a history painter five years later, on presentation of the Nailing of Christ to the Cross (Noailles, Corrèze, parish church). Although he painted other elevated subjects, including a Death of the Virgin (1715; untraced) for his native Langres, he was most active as a draughtsman and printmaker specializing in theatre and genre scenes, as well as bacchanals and designs for decorations. Gillot’s principal source of inspiration was the popular theatre; he is said to have run a puppet theatre, to have written plays and once to have been in charge of sets, machinery and costume for the opera. This interest was to have a profound effect on the art of his principal pupil, ...