English family of silversmiths, industrialists, collectors, and patrons, of French origin. The family originated from the town of St Pierre on the Ile d’Oléron off La Rochelle. They arrived in London a few years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and between 1708 and 1780 three generations of Courtauld silversmiths were registered at the Goldsmiths’ Company. Augustine Courtauld (c.1686–c. 1751) was apprenticed to Simon Pantin in 1701 and, after becoming a freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1708, he started a business as a plateworker in Church Court, off St Martin’s Lane in London. The majority of his work is of high quality, for example a silver tea-table (1742; St Petersburg, Hermitage) and the state salt of the Corporation of the City of London (1730; London, Mansion House). Augustine’s brother Pierre Courtauld (1690–1729) registered a mark in 1721...
Stephen T. Clarke, Harley Preston and Lin Barton
Dutch, 19th century, male.
Active in Amsterdam.
Painter, art dealer, collector. Landscapes.
(b Cherbourg, March 2, 1766; d Paris, Jan 7, 1836).
French dealer, collector, museum official and painter. He studied under Charles Landon and Jean-Baptiste Regnault. In 1793 he began to deal in pictures and until 1812 spent part of his time travelling abroad (mainly in Italy) to increase his knowledge of art. In October 1816 he was appointed Commissaire-expert des Musées Royaux, a post he held until his death. Between 1810 and 1830 he assembled an eclectic collection, purchasing either privately or at sales, among them the posthumous sales (1826 and 1827) of Vivant Denon. His tastes in Italian art ranged from the work of Fra Angelico to that of the 17th-century Bolognese masters, and he also bought several works by such 17th-century French artists as Poussin (Life Spent in the Environs of Rome), Philippe de Champaigne (Assumption of the Virgin, 1660), Charles Le Brun and Eustache Le Sueur. He owned paintings by the 18th-century French artists ...
(b Paris, Feb 16, 1748; d Paris, Aug 6, 1813).
French dealer, collector, writer, and painter. He was the son of a painter and picture dealer, Pierre Le Brun (c. 1703–1771), and great-nephew of Charles Le Brun. He studied painting with Jean-Baptiste Deshays, François Boucher, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard before becoming a leading connoisseur and art dealer. In 1776 he married the painter Louise-Elisabeth Vigée (see Vigée Le Brun [Vigée-Le Brun; Vigée-Lebrun], Elisabeth-Louise). He was curator of paintings to the King’s younger brother, Charles-Philippe de Bourbon, Comte d’Artois (later Charles X), and to Louis-Philippe-Joseph, Duc d’Orléans (1747–93), and subsequently acted as intermediary for foreign collectors, including Catherine the Great of Russia. His European art networks spanned England, Holland, Flanders, Italy, Spain, and Russia that he exploited to buy and sell art. In addition to his auction catalogues, Le Brun produced a series of erudite books and pamphlets and in some of his articles (1771–81...
A. Deirdre Robson
(b New York, Jan 31, 1900; d New York, Aug 23, 1982).
American dealer, collector and painter. She came from a wealthy New York family and married Schuyler Parsons, a rich socialite, in 1919. In 1922 she obtained a divorce in Paris. She remained there for ten years, studying with Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Ossip Zadkine. Financial constraints eventually forced her return to the USA in 1933. In 1936 she moved from California to New York and had her first one-woman show at the Midtown Galleries, the first of ten exhibitions there over the next 20 years. She subsequently sold on commission for this gallery. In 1938 she went to work in the gallery run by Mary Sullivan, wife of Cornelius J. Sullivan, one of the founders of MOMA, New York.
In 1940, after Mary Sullivan’s death, Parsons was asked to start a contemporary gallery within the Wakefield Bookshop. Here she began to show the work of new American artists such as Adolph Gottlieb...
Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck
Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.
The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...
Harley Preston and Lin Barton
Italian, 18th century, male.
Active in Venice.
Born 1742; died 1803.
Painter, art restorer, art writer, art dealer.
Giovanni Maria Sasso advised British art collectors on Venetian art. Clients included John Strange, Richard Worsley and Abraham Hume. He was commissioned to compile a Venezia Pittrice...
Joseph R. Givens
(b Abadan, May 15, 1943).
Iranian photographer, curator, and art dealer, active in the USA. Shafrazi introduced graffiti to the mainstream art market and contributed to the contemporary art boom of the 1980s. Raised in Abadan, a small port town that experienced an oil boom in the post-war years, Shafrazi was fascinated by Western popular culture and art. He moved to England in 1956 and three years later began formal art study at Hammersmith College of Art and Building, before continuing at the Royal College of Art, where he graduated in 1967. Following college, Shafrazi pursued a career as an artist while also teaching, first at the Manchester College of Art then at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1969.
A newfound interest in political activism shifted his creative focus from art objects to art actions. His involvement with the latter culminated in an infamous incident that took place on 28 February 1974...
British, 19th century, male.
Born 13 January 1814, in Drypool (Yorkshire); died January 1900, in Florence.
Painter, engraver (burin), collector, dealer. Portraits.
William Spence studied in London, Rome and Florence, settling in Florence in 1838. He lived in the Villa Medici, just below Fiesole, where he received artist friends including the Pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt....