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Danielle Rice

[Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, Anne-Claude-Philippe de]

(b Paris, Oct 31, 1692; d Paris, Sept 5, 1765).

French amateur engraver, antiquarian, patron and writer. Born into an old aristocratic family, he enjoyed all of the privileges of his class, including a large private income, free time, access to artists and collectors, and mobility. He entered the army and distinguished himself in battle at an early age. In 1714 he spent a year in Italy, where he developed a lifelong passion for the arts, especially for antiquities. After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, Caylus resigned his military post and shortly thereafter undertook a hazardous journey to Turkey. In pursuit of ancient sites rarely seen by European eyes at this time, he negotiated with the local bandit chieftain for safe passage to the ruins of Ephesos and Colophon.

In 1719 Caylus settled in Paris, where he remained with the exception of a brief trip to Holland and England in 1722. He began frequenting the weekly gatherings held by Pierre Crozat, a wealthy financier and collector. Crozat’s circle included many important artists as well as connoisseurs and aestheticians who met to study his extensive collection of Old Master paintings and drawings and to debate theories of art. In this lively company, Caylus developed his eye and learnt etching and engraving from the artist ...

Article

Andrea M. Kluxen

(b Hamburg, Feb 14, 1712; d Dresden, Jan 25, 1780).

German diplomat, theorist, collector and etcher. The brother of the poet Friedrich von Hagedorn (1708–54), from 1735 he served in the Saxon diplomatic service. Travelling through Germany and Austria, he met and corresponded with several artists and art theorists, including Johann Joachim Winckelmann, J. G. Sulzer and Salomon Gessner. His collection of paintings and drawings—primarily Dutch and German 17th- and 18th-century work, especially landscapes—became famous, and his advice on art matters was widely appreciated. In 1764 he became director of the Saxon art collections and art schools in Dresden.

Hagedorn’s Lettre à un amateur de la peinture avec des éclairissements historiques … (Dresden, 1755), combining a description of his collection with biographies of 18th-century artists, was, according to its author, a continuation of the Teutsche Academie by Joachim von Sandrart; it remains an important source for art history. The Betrachtungen über die Mahlerey (Leipzig, 1762) and numerous essays that appeared in the ...

Article

(b Weesp, Jan 4, 1726; d Amsterdam, Dec 20, 1798).

Dutch timber merchant, collector, printmaker, print publisher, draughtsman and art theorist. He was one of the most important Dutch dilettanti of the 18th century. His interest in art began at an early age, and from the age of 12 he was taught drawing by Norbert van Bloemen (1670–1746). Two years later he began to learn the timber trade with Johannes Bontekoning, in whose firm, Bontekoning and Aukes, he became a partner in 1756. Ploos’s first mezzotint dates from that year. He made drawings throughout his life, in a technically skilled rather than original style, and designed book illustrations. In 1758 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Cornelis Troost.

In the meantime Ploos van Amstel assembled a fabulous collection of drawings (he possessed over 7000 when he died), prints (including many topographical prints of Amsterdam), paintings, sculptures, enamels, medals, coins, scientific instruments and optical tools, and manuscripts and printed books. His special interest in drawings, particularly those by Dutch artists from the 17th and 18th centuries, is reflected in his ...

Article

(b Paris, Aug 28, 1718; d Paris, Jan 12, 1786).

French government official, writer, collector and amateur painter and engraver. He was the son of Nicolas-Robert Watelet, Receveur-général des Finances in Orléans, and in 1740 inherited his father’s lucrative post, as well as the family fortune. In his youth he travelled in Germany and to Vienna, Naples and Rome; in the latter city he lodged with the Painter to the King, Jean-Baptiste Pierre. By the late 1750s Watelet’s country house near Paris, Le Moulin-Joli, had become a meeting-place for intellectual society, being frequented, among others, by the Comte de Caylus, the Marquis d’Argenson, the poet Jean-François Marmontel (1723–99), the Abbé Jacques Delille (1738–1813) and the Marquise de Pompadour. With their encouragement Watelet published in 1760 L’Art de peindre, a long didactic poem on the principles and techniques of painting, which won him election in 1760 to the Académie Française.

In 1763 Watelet, accompanied by his mistress, Mme Marguerite Le Comte, and by his former teacher, the Abbé Copette, made a journey to Italy, where they were official guests of the King of Sardinia, the French Embassy and the Académie de France in Rome. The trip was commemorated by the publication in ...