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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

John Varriano

(b Rome, Aug 13, 1616; d after 1690).

Italian architect and painter. She was the first woman to practise architecture whose reputation has survived to the present day. Her father, Giovanni Bricci (1579–1645), was a painter and musician, and her brother Basilio Bricci (1621–92) was himself an architect and painter. The full extent of her activities remains to be explored, but two commissions in Rome stand out. The first of these, the Villa Benedetti (destr. 1849), near the Porta S Pancrazio on the Janiculum Hill, was begun in 1663 for Elpidio Benedetti, agent to Cardinal Jules Mazarin in Rome. The structure if not all of the decoration was completed by 1665. Benedetti was so pleased with the result that in 1677 he published a guidebook to the villa (under an assumed name) giving detailed descriptions and views of the building along with an account of the roles played by Plautilla and her brother, with whom it is said she collaborated. According to Benedetti, Basilio was responsible for most of the architecture of the villa, while Plautilla embellished the interior with numerous allegorical and religious paintings. However, the building contracts and several preparatory drawings (all Rome, Archv Stato) make it clear that it was, in fact, Plautilla who designed the building with little if any creative input from Basilio. Possibly Benedetti was embarrassed to admit that his villa had been designed by a woman. The architecture of the Villa Benedetti, as recorded in views made before ...

Article

Italian, 16th – 17th century, male.

Born 1559, in Castelvecchio, in Cigoli according to the Larousse Dictionary; died 1613, in Rome.

Painter, sculptor, architect, poet, musician.

Florentine School.

Lodovoco Cardi began his studies under Alessandro Allori, and later became one of the most brilliant followers of Santi di Tito. According to Lanzi, he was taught drawing by Buontalenti. He was elected to membership of the Florence academy, following the submission of his painting of ...

Article

French, 16th – 17th century, male.

Active in Laon, then in Rheims.

Born c. 1550; died c. 1620, in Laon.

Draughtsman, calligrapher, musician.

Paris (BNF): series of drawings

Rheims (Bibliothèque): series of drawings

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

Italian, 17th century, male.

Born 1588, in London; died 1665, in London.

Painter, engraver, musician.

The son of the musician Jérôme Lanière, Nicolas came to England to join Queen Elizabeth's orchestra, and was leader of Charles I's group of musicians. He composed, alone or in collaboration, the music of several ...