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Natalia Marinho Ferreira Alves

Portuguese family of wood-carvers. Manuel Abreu do Ó and his brother Sebastião Abreu do Ó (both fl Évora c. 1728–c. 1770) worked in collaboration, carving some of the finest and most influential Joanine and Rococo altarpieces in southern Portugal. They carved in delicate flat relief using patterns similar to those found in Spain, a style contrasting with the dramatic plastic effects seen in contemporary wood-carving in northern Portugal.

An example of the Abreu do Ó brothers’ early work is the main retable of the Cartuxa, the Charterhouse, Évora, gilded in 1729. It is composed on one level, and a sense of movement is suggested by the projection of the outer columns. They created one of the finest ensembles of 18th-century carving in southern Portugal in the chancel and transept of the Carmelite church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Évora (c. 1760–70). On the main retable the areas between the column shafts are decorated with leaves and roses scattered asymmetrically, creating the impression of a lace covering. The votive tablet crowning the arch of the retable is carved with great delicacy. The lateral retables have curving double pediments whose undulating movement is echoed by large canopies above. The design of the pulpit was important in southern Portugal, because although it was in the Joanine style and inspired by developments in Lisbon it was also Rococo in spirit. The interior of the church emphasizes the importance of the role that gilt wood-carving played in the decoration of Portuguese churches during the 18th century....

Article

José Fernandes Pereira

(b Elvas, fl Elvas, 1753–9).

Portuguese architect and master builder. His earliest known works are the six side altars (black-veined marble, 1753) in the small 15th-century chapel of S Bento in Vila Viçosa, where all his work is to be found. They are carved in a characteristic Late Baroque manner. In 1754 he designed and directed the installation of the high choir at the church of S Agostinho, with a baluster and handrail in white, black and pink marble. Also in 1754 he took charge of the reconstruction of the Paços do Concelho, fending off plans to open the work to public tender and undertaking to adhere to approved designs. He resumed work at S Agostinho in 1758, replacing the old retable of the high altar, thought unworthy by Joseph I, with a new design of coloured marble. He may also have directed work on the façade of the Matriz de Portel (1741–59...

Article

Hana Seifertová

(b Regensburg, 1667; d Regensburg, 1719).

German painter. He travelled to England, the Netherlands, France and Italy, working for longer periods in Rome, Naples and Augsburg. He was strongly influenced by French landscape painters active in Italy, such as Gaspard Dughet and Claude Lorrain. In Agricola’s paintings the balanced arrangement of the picturesque landscape elements creates a lucid pictorial structure, and unusual light effects, such as twilight or the darkness before a storm, are used to convey a particular mood. The small scale of his figures expresses the contrast between human frailty and the forces of nature. He painted with lively local colours, especially ochres and deep greens for the rich tones of earth and vegetation. The multicoloured costumes of his figural staffage provide pictorial accents and reveal the romantic orientation of his paintings. Scenes of country people at work, for example Landscape with a Millstone (Dresden, Gemäldegal. Alte Meister), express his yearning for a return to nature. Paintings representing the life of nomadic Orientals, such as ...

Article

Hugh Belsey

(b Cairnie, Forfar, Tayside, Oct 24, 1682; d London, June 4, 1731).

Scottish painter. He came from a professional background, and his maternal uncle, Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, may have provided Aikman with an introduction to Sir John Baptist Medina, under whom he studied painting in London from 1704. In 1707 Aikman set out on travels to Italy, Constantinople (now Istanbul) and Smyrna, on the proceeds made from the sale of his estate at Cairnie. When he returned to Edinburgh in 1711, he adopted a heavy Baroque style for his portraits: Sir William Carstares (c. 1712–15; U. Edinburgh, Old Coll., Upper Lib.) shows bravura, although the handling is coarse. The three-quarter-length portraits of Patrick, 1st Earl of Marchmont (1720; Mellerstain, Borders) and Sir Hew Dalrymple, Lord North Berwick (1722; Edinburgh, Parliament House) show a greater sophistication, which he may have acquired during a further trip to London in 1720.

Aikman was widely patronized, especially by the Duke of Argyll and his circle; after the Act of Union in ...

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Article

Rüdiger an der Heiden

(b Berg, nr Starnberg, Bavaria, Jan 3, 1687; d Munich, Aug 15, 1765).

German painter and administrator. He was the son of Augustin Albrecht, a carpenter, and he was probably taught in Munich by his uncle, the painter Benedikt Albrecht (d 1730), before he went to Italy, where he is thought to have stayed in Rome and Venice. Albrecht returned to Munich in 1719 and executed his first works (all 1723–4) for the former Hofmarkkirche (now Katholische Pfarrkirche; in situ) in Schönbrunn, near Dachau. These were a ceiling fresco, Celebration of the Cross, and three altar panels, Mourning Angel (high altar), Martyrdom of St Catherine (left altar) and St Anne (right altar). He also painted two altar panels, St John of Nepomuk and St Leonard (both 1724–5; untraced), for the Katholische Pfarrkirche Mariahilf in der Au in Munich. Unlike Cosmas Damian Asam, Matthäus Günther and Johann Baptist Bergmüller, he was influenced by 16th-century Venetian and Roman models, and both in these works and in later ones he continued to look to the past for inspiration. Between ...

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Article

(b Rome, 1699; d Turin, Dec 9, 1767).

Italian architect. Descended from an impoverished ducal family of Asti, Piedmont, Alfieri spent his first 16 years in Rome. A papal stipend enabled him to study law at the Collegio dei Nobili in Turin, after which he settled as a lawyer in Asti. Even as a successful architect in public office, he continued to make use of his legal knowledge, and in Asti and later Turin he served as mayor intermittently. Alfieri was extraordinarily versatile, with no single personal style. He worked simultaneously in three separate styles: Roman high and late Baroque; French Rococo (for decoration); and early classicism. His attitude to these styles was functional rather than historical, and his choice of which one to use usually depended on the nature of the project and the wishes of his client. Thus Alfieri built Catholic churches in Roman Baroque and Protestant churches in a puristic classicism. Piedmontese State commissions were executed in the severe manner of the Turin State style as practised by Amadeo di Castellamonte and Filippo Juvarra before him. For the royal court and the aristocracy French Rococo was appropriate. Façades of palaces were decorated in the idiom of a restrained Baroque classicism, like that which Gianlorenzo Bernini and Carlo Fontana had developed in Rome. Whatever the style, Alfieri worked with facility and elegance, blending disparate elements into ingenious, harmonious creations. He was not a great innovator, but his work anticipates in certain respects the purpose-built functional architecture of the 20th century. With his flexible use of existing architectural vocabulary, he was a first-class architect of the second rank....

Article

Věra Naňková

(b ?Laino d’Intelvi, c. 1665; d Litomyšl, Bohemia, ?March 13, 1720).

Italian architect, active in Bohemia. The son of Lorenzo Alliprandi (d c. 1712), a stucco artist who worked in Vienna, he served his apprenticeship with the master builder Francesco Martinelli (1651–1708) in Vienna from 1685 to 1688 and is recorded as working in Bohemia in 1690 as a foreman. From 1696 to 1702 Alliprandi was in the service of Count Heřman Jakub Černín (1659–1710) as an architect. At the same time, and also later, he worked for the Counts Pachta, Přehořovský, Kaiserstein, Špork and others. In 1706 he was appointed military engineer in Prague, where he acquired citizenship of the Malá Strana quarter in 1709, from which year he was in the service of Count František Václav Trautmansdorf (1676–1753). In 1712 he also served as a military engineer in Cheb.

Alliprandi brought to Bohemia an interesting personal reinterpretation of the achievements and inspirations of such Viennese masters as Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Domenico Martinelli and Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. His designs for such buildings as the country house at Liblice (...

Article

José Meco

(fl Lisbon, c. 1720–60).

Portuguese decorative artist. His apprenticeship was probably undertaken with Master PMP, the painter of glazed tiles. His most important commission between 1729 and 1731 was for the panels of blue and white tiles, made in Lisbon, that cover the lower storey of the cloister of Oporto Cathedral, which represent scenes from the Song of Solomon. These panels are characteristic of the High Baroque phase of tile-making and show an appreciation of theatre and stage design in the deepening landscape backgrounds of the figurative panels, in the bold outlines and in the enlarged ornamental framing. The spectacular arched frames of the Oporto panels were influenced by Roman Baroque architectural ornament.

The attractive blue and white panels (c. 1735–45) in the cloister of the monastery of S Vicente de Fora, Lisbon, are attributable to Almeida. They contain landscapes, buildings, gardens, Baroque fountains, hunting scenes and other secular subjects, some after the engravings of ...