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Article

Molly K. Dorkin

[art consultant]

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like Albani family §(2). In the early 20th century the English dealer Joseph Duveen earned a knighthood for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of British galleries. Enlisted by the so-called American Robber Barons for advice in forming collections, Duveen brokered the sale of many notable Old Masters from English aristocrats to American millionaires, including Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, Henry E. Huntington, and Andrew Mellon. Their collections ultimately formed the nuclei of many great American museums. Duveen’s contemporary Bernard Berenson was an American scholar and expert on Renaissance painting who turned his hand to art advising. Berenson assisted Isabella Stewart Gardner in forming her renowned collection of Renaissance art. His legacy as an academic is controversial thanks to his habit of accepting payment in exchange for favourable ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches.

Historically, the patrons who commissioned Old Masters placed a premium on subject-matter rather than originality, and popular narratives were requested by multiple patrons, creating conditions in which the demand for copies could flourish (see Copy). Popular compositions were often reproduced many times: by the master himself, an apprentice in his workshop, or even a later follower or imitator. A master trained his apprentices to approximate his manner as closely as possible, and sold the finished work under his own name. In some cases a master would paint the most important part of a work (such as the faces of the central figures) before delegating the rest to apprentices. Through the 19th century, pupils at prestigious institutions were taught by making copies of works by acknowledged masters. Many pieces, particularly drawings (which for much of their history were working tools, rather than art objects), were unsigned. Damaged or incomplete works of art were subjected to extensive restoration or reworking by later artists, a process that can cloud the question of attribution....

Article

British, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1804, in London.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman. Architectural views, landscapes.

Joseph Barrow was an antique dealer working in London where he exhibited numerous landscapes and architectural views at the Royal Academy from 1789 to 1802 and in 1790 and 1791...

Article

Italian, 18th century, male.

Born c. 1675, in Rome; died c. 1730.

Engraver (burin), art dealer. Religious subjects, architectural views.

Worked initially under the tutelage of his father, Pietro Santo Bartoli. It is probable that this is the same artist as F. Bartoli who produced coloured drawings based on religious works in St Peter's in Rome on behalf of the English art collector John Talman. The volume containing these engraved illustrations has been in the British Museum in London since ...

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born 23 October 1723, in Paris; died 12 June 1797.

Engraver (burin/etching), print dealer.

Basan had Jean Dauillé and Étienne Fessard as masters. He engraved a large number of prints and specialised in publishing engravings. He employed a succession of artists in his house and, with their assistance, published a considerable number of pieces (more than 550 between 1761 and 1799), which are in general purely commercial productions. In 1770, he published the statesman Choiseul's art collection, and then Poullain's in 1781. He also published magnificently illustrated books, including Ovid's ...

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Active in Paris during the second half of the 18th century.

Engraver, art dealer.

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Active in Paris.

Died before 17 August 1775.

Engraver, print dealer.

Antoine Basset is known to have executed a Return from Egypt after Rubens.

Article

Swiss, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1664 or 1673, in Augsburg; died 1758 or 1766, in Augsburg.

Draughtsman, engraver, picture dealer. Historical subjects, figures, landscapes.

Gabriel Bodenehr the Elder painted historical figures and views, some of which were collected under the title: The Glory and Might of Europe...

Article

Bonhams  

Molly K. Dorkin

[Jones and Bonham; Bonhams & Brooks; Bonhams & Butterfields; Bonhams & Goodman]

Auction house established in London 1793 by William Charles Bonham, a book dealer (also recorded as Walter Bonham), and George Jones, from a gallery founded by Thomas Dodd (1771–1850), a dealer in antiquarian prints. Bonhams originally specialized in sales of prints in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the market was robust. By the 19th century Bonhams was also holding sales of antiques, which were advertised in the London press alongside similar offerings from Christie’s and Phillips. In the 1820s Dodd and fellow print dealer Martin Colnaghi catalogued the print collection belonging to Horace Walpole prior to its sale. Dodd and Colnaghi also catalogued the 50,000 works in the collection of Francis Douce for their donation to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. By the 1850s Jones’s son Henry and Bonham’s son George had taken over the business, which became known as Jones and Bonham. Paintings had been offered in their sales alongside print collections since the 1840s....

Article

Dutch, 18th century, male.

Active in Leiden in 1710.

Engraver.

Ary Bosman was also a dealer in objets d'art.

Article

Italian, 18th century, male.

Active in Amsterdam.

Born 1685, in Verona; died 1755, in Verona.

Painter, art dealer.

Article

Italian, 18th century, male.

Born c. 1716, in Rome; died 1799, in Rome.

Sculptor.

Pupil of Monnot. He was an antique dealer and devoted most of his time to restoration work. He was friendly with Winckelmann and worked a great deal for Cardinal Albani. His (relatively few) works are mostly Baroque in style. Best known for his ...

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born c. 1705; died after 1764.

Engraver, print dealer. Anatomical subjects.

Étienne Charpentier was a pupil of Jean Joseph Bâlechou. His business was in the Rue St-Jacques in Paris. In 1762 he was working on Didier's Anatomical Works ( Tableaux anatomiques...

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born 29 October 1688, in Blois; died 1 December 1776, in Paris.

Engraver, print dealer.

Jacques Chéreau was brother to François Chéreau, under whom he studied. In England, he engraved King George I's portrait from Sir Godfrey Kneller's painting. Other works he is known for include a portrait of Bishop Colbert of Montpellier after Raoux, and one of Louis XV's Queen, Mary Leczynska, after Van Loo....

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born 1742, in Paris; died 1794, in Paris.

Engraver, print dealer.

Jacques Chéreau was the son of François Chéreau the Younger.

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born 1732, in Paris.

Engraver, print dealer.

This artist was the son of Jacques Chéreau.

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born in Sedan (Ardennes); died 1720, in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Medallist, engraver, printer, art dealer.

Nicolas Chevalier took refuge in the Netherlands after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, which restricted the liberties of Huguenots. He lived in Amsterdam and Utrecht....

Article

Noël Annesley

[Christie, Manson & Woods]

Auction house founded in London by James Christie (1730–1803). After a few years spent in the navy, James Christie worked as an assistant to an auctioneer named Mr Annesley in Covent Garden, London. He left Annesley in 1763 to set up on his own and in 1766 established his firm at the print warehouse of Richard Dalton in Pall Mall, where the Royal Academy held its exhibitions in its early years. In 1770 he moved his premises next door to Schomberg House, Pall Mall, where Thomas Gainsborough lived. The first known catalogue is dated 5 December 1766; it includes little of value except for a picture by Aelbert Cuyp. Christie rapidly established himself as one of the foremost auctioneers, however, cultivating a circle of friends and advisers that included Gainsborough, Reynolds, Horace Walpole, David Garrick, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Edmund Burke, and receiving many auction consignments from royalty and the nobility. During the French Revolution the firm did particularly well through the abundance of works then coming into Britain. Among the more notable early Christie sales were that of the former collection of Pope ...

Article

Stephen T. Clarke, Harley Preston and Lin Barton

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...

Article

Dutch, 18th century, male.

Born c. 1726, in Dordrecht; died c. 1785, in Dordrecht.

Painter, engraver, art dealer. Animals.

Wouter Dam was a pupil of Aaart Schouman in The Hague in 1749. He taught drawing.

London, 21 Jan 1970: Hunting Scene, GBP 260