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Article

Jens Peter Munk

(b Copenhagen, Sept 11, 1743; d Frederiksdal, Copenhagen, June 4, 1809).

Danish painter, designer and architect. His paintings reveal both Neo-classical and Romantic interests and include history paintings as well as literary and mythological works. The variety of his subject-matter reflects his wide learning, a feature further evidenced by the broad range of his creative output. In addition to painting, he produced decorative work, sculpture and furniture designs, as well as being engaged as an architect. Successfully combining both intellectual and imaginative powers, he came to be fully appreciated only in the 1980s.

He studied at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1764–72), and in 1767 he assisted Johan Edvard Mandelberg (1730–86) in painting the domed hall of the Fredensborg Slot with scenes from the Homeric epic the Iliad. In 1772 he was granted a five-year travelling scholarship from the Kunstakademi to study in Rome. During his Roman sojourn he extensively copied works of art from the period of antiquity up to that of the Carracci family. His friendships with the Danish painter Jens Juel, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel and the Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Fuseli placed him among artists who were in the mainstream of a widespread upheaval in European art. In these years Abildgaard developed both Neo-classical and Romantic tastes; his masterpiece of the period is ...

Article

Ettore Spalletti

(b Savignano, nr Prato, Jan 7, 1777; d Florence, Jan 20, 1850).

Italian sculptor and draughtsman. He was one of the most independent-minded sculptors in Italy in the generation after Antonio Canova. His early work is in the Neo-classical style predominant throughout Europe around the turn of the century. While in the Paris studio of Jacques-Louis David he became interested in the art of the Quattrocento, an interest confirmed when he settled in Florence after 1815. His later works combine Neo-classical and neo-Renaissance elements with, particularly in his portraits, a strong taste for naturalism. In 1812 he held a series of classes at the Florentine Accademia di Belle Arti, astonishing his colleagues by instructing his model to take up a series of instantaneous and casual poses, instead of the customary carefully contrived stance taken from a famous work of art. In 1839 he was made a professor at the Accademia, and again overturned traditional academic notions, this time by presenting the pupils in the life class with a hunchbacked model. (For a detailed discussion of Bartolini’s unusual views on the imitation of nature see ...

Article

Philippe Durey

(b Le Havre, June 21, 1750; d Paris, April 15, 1818).

French sculptor, draughtsman and engraver. He arrived in Paris in 1765 to become a pupil of Augustin Pajou. Although he never won the Prix de Rome, he appears to have travelled to Rome in the early 1770s. About 1780 or 1781 he was involved in the decoration of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s Hôtel Thélusson, Paris. From 1784 to 1785 he carried out work at the château of Compiègne, including the decoration of the Salle des Gardes, where his bas-reliefs illustrating the Battles of Alexander (in situ) pleasantly combine a Neo-classical clarity of composition with a virtuosity and animation that are still Rococo in spirit.

Beauvallet was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale in 1789. During the French Revolution he was a passionate republican and presented plaster busts of Marat and of Chalier (1793–4; both destr.) to the Convention. He was briefly imprisoned after the fall of Robespierre in ...

Article

Ingrid Sattel Bernardini

(b Gotha, Dec 27, 1725; d Vienna, March 23, 1806).

German sculptor, painter and architect. He was the son of a court gardener who worked first in Gotha and then in Württemberg. He was originally intended to become an architect; in 1747 Duke Charles-Eugene of Württemberg sent him to train in Paris where, under the influence of painters such as Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher, he turned to painting. The eight-year period of study in Rome that followed prompted Beyer to devote himself to sculpture, as he was impressed by antique works of sculpture and was also influenced by his close contacts with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and his circle. He also served an apprenticeship with Filippo della Valle, one of the main representatives of the Neo-classical tendency in sculpture. In 1759 Beyer returned to Germany, to take part in the decoration of Charles-Eugene’s Neues Schloss in Stuttgart.

In Stuttgart Beyer made an important contribution to the founding and improvement of facilities for the training of artists, notably at the Akademie, and to manufacture in the field of arts and crafts, particularly at the ...

Article

Philippe Sorel

(b Chalon-sur-Saône, Aug 30, 1735; d Paris, Dec 9, 1814).

French sculptor, draughtsman and painter. He probably first trained in Chalon, under the sculptor Pierre Colasson (c. 1724–70); later he studied in Paris at the school of the Académie Royale, under Simon Challes. In 1766 he travelled to Italy, remaining there until 1770. The art of Raphael and his school and the Fontainebleau school influenced Boichet’s art (e.g. Agrippina Bearing Germanicus’s Ashes, Lille, Mus. B.-A.) from an early date by giving his work a Neo-classical character. Boichot next worked in Burgundy, where he was responsible for architecture, sculpture and paintings at the château of Verdun-sur-le-Doubs (destr.). He also produced decorative work for the salon of the Académie de Dijon, of which he was a member; for the refectory of the abbey of St Benigne, Dijon, he executed a painting of the Triumph of Temperance over Gluttony (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.). In Paris his studio was in the Passage Sandrier off the Chaussée d’Antin. Introduced by Augustin Pajou, he was approved (...

Article

Giuseppe Pavanello

(b Possagno, nr Treviso, Nov 1, 1757; d Venice, Oct 13, 1822).

Italian sculptor, painter, draughtsman, and architect. He became the most innovative and widely acclaimed Neo-classical sculptor. His development during the 1780s of a new style of revolutionary severity and idealistic purity led many of his contemporaries to prefer his ideal sculptures to such previously universally admired antique statues as the Medici Venus and the Farnese Hercules, thus greatly increasing the prestige of ‘modern’ sculpture. He was also much in demand as a portraitist, often combining a classicizing format with a naturalistic presentation of features.

Antonio Canova was the son of Pietro Canova (1735–61), a stonecutter of Possagno. He was brought up by his grandfather, Pasino Canova (1714–94), a mediocre sculptor who specialized in altars with statues and low reliefs in late Baroque style (e.g. Angels; Crespano, S Marco). In 1770 or 1771 Antonio was apprenticed to the sculptor Giuseppe Bernardi (d 1774) in Pagnano, near Asolo, later following him to Venice. After Bernardi’s death he worked for a few months in the studio of the sculptor ...

Article

Guilhem Scherf

(b Chaumont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, July 22, 1723; d Carrara, May 31, 1788).

French sculptor. After his early training at Chaumont, where the dominant artistic personality and his first professor was the architect and sculptor Jean-Baptiste Bouchardon (1667–1742), he entered the Paris studio of Bouchardon’s son, Edme Bouchardon. In 1749 he won the Prix de Rome and entered the Ecole Royale des Elèves Protégés. While at the Ecole he exhibited several works at Versailles (e.g. Hercules Resting, terracotta, 1752; Parma, Mus. Lombardi) as well as a plaster model of Louis XV on Horseback (untraced), which found favour with Louis XV but caused a permanent breach between Guiard and Bouchardon, who was himself working on a commission from the City of Paris for an equestrian statue of the King. It was probably before his departure for Italy in 1755 that Guiard conceived the model for the Pendule de l’Etude (‘à la Geoffrin’; Langres, Mus. Du Breuil de St-Germain), which was commissioned by ...

Article

Expression of 18th-century Swedish Neo-classicism during the reign of Gustav III (reg 1771–92; see Holstein-Gottorp, House of family, §2). As a cultured man and an advocate of the European Enlightenment, the King’s patronage of the visual arts was linked with patriotic ambition and an admiration for the French courtly life at Versailles. He spent part of 1770–71 in France, where he acquired a passion for the Neo-classical style. During his reign numerous palaces and country houses were built or refurbished in the Neo-classical style, either for himself or for members of his family and court. Early Gustavian interiors (c. 1770–85) were light and elegant interpretations of the Louis XVI style, with echoes of English, German and Dutch influences. Rooms were decorated with pilasters and columns; walls were applied with rich silk damasks or rectangular panels with painted designs framed in carved, gilded linear ornament and laurel festoons. Damask, usually crimson, blue or green, was used to upholster benches, sofas and chairs. Other rooms were panelled in wood, painted light-grey, blue or pale-green; the dominant feature was a columnar faience-tiled stove, decorated with sprigged floral patterns. Klismos-style chairs upholstered in silk were very popular, as were oval-backed chairs with straight, fluted legs, and bateau-shaped sofas were common. Rooms were embellished with long, giltwood-framed mirrors, crystal chandeliers, gilt ...

Article

John Turpin

(b Tallow, Co. Waterford, Oct 14, 1800; d Dublin, March 27, 1858).

Irish sculptor. He began his career making decorative carvings for the architect Thomas Deane. He studied the collection of casts of the Vatican marbles, which arrived in Cork in 1818, having been assembled by Antonio Canova for presentation to the Prince Regent (later George IV). Hogan’s talent was noticed by William Paulet Carey, a visiting dealer, who raised a public subscription on his behalf, enabling Hogan to travel to Rome in 1824. While there he studied at the English Academy and was in contact with John Gibson, Vincenzo Camuccini and Bertel Thorvaldsen, who influenced his style. He remained in Rome until the Revolution of 1849 when he returned to Ireland permanently.

Hogan worked exclusively in marble. Initially he sought to excel in Neo-classical subjects, as seen in Shepherd Boy (1824; ex-Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow), which blends realism and idealization. He subsequently concentrated on religious works, such as Dead Christ (...

Article

John Turpin

(b Belfast, Aug 12, 1799; d London, Dec 9, 1870).

Irish sculptor. He was apprenticed to a coachbuilder in London in 1813 and lodged with the sculptor Pierre Chenu from whom he learnt to model. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1822 and in 1830 entered the Royal Academy Schools on the recommendation of John Constable. His first important work was the memorial to William Tennant (d 1832) in the Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast. His chief patron, T. W. Beaumont, MP for Northumberland, commissioned busts and ideal subjects in marble such as Early Sorrow (1847; Belfast, Ulster Mus.). Beaumont paid for MacDowell to study in Italy following his election as ARA in 1841.

In 1846 he became an RA and submitted a Nymph (London, RA) as his diploma piece, continuing to exhibit at the Royal Academy until his death. His finest work is the memorial to Frederick Richard Chichester, Earl of Belfast (d...

Article

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(María)

(b Puebla, 1789; d Puebla, 1860).

Mexican architect, sculptor, painter, lithographer, and teacher. He was the leading figure in Puebla in the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting, and drawing during the early 19th century. He was director of the Academia de Dibujo in Puebla from its foundation in 1814 and the first recipient of a scholarship from the academy, which allowed him to go to Paris (1824–1827), where he studied architecture, drawing, and lithography. He also visited museums, factories, and prisons, intending to introduce French developments and systems into Puebla. On his return to Mexico he devoted himself to intense public activity, architectural reform, painting, lithography, and teaching, and experiments in industrialized production. Among his most important sculptural works is the completion (1819) of the ciprés (altarpiece with baldacchino) for Puebla Cathedral, which had been left unfinished on the death of Manuel Tolsá. It combines a high altar, a sepulchral monument, and a sanctuary of the Virgin, and it is one of the most spectacular examples of Mexican neoclassicism. From ...

Article

John Wilton-Ely

Term coined in the 1880s to denote the last stage of the classical tradition in architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts. Neo-classicism was the successor to Rococo in the second half of the 18th century and was itself superseded by various historicist styles in the first half of the 19th century. It formed an integral part of Enlightenment, the in its radical questioning of received notions of human endeavour. It was also deeply involved with the emergence of new historical attitudes towards the past—non-Classical as well as Classical—that were stimulated by an unprecedented range of archaeological discoveries, extending from southern Italy and the eastern Mediterranean to Egypt and the Near East, during the second half of the 18th century. The new awareness of the plurality of historical styles prompted the search for consciously new and contemporary forms of expression. This concept of modernity set Neo-classicism apart from past revivals of antiquity, to which it was, nevertheless, closely related. Almost paradoxically, the quest for a timeless mode of expression (the ‘true style’, as it was then called) involved strongly divergent approaches towards design that were strikingly focused on the Greco-Roman debate. On the one hand, there was a commitment to a radical severity of expression, associated with the Platonic Ideal, as well as to such criteria as the functional and the primitive, which were particularly identified with early Greek art and architecture. On the other hand, there were highly innovative exercises in eclecticism, inspired by late Imperial Rome, as well as subsequent periods of stylistic experiment with Mannerism and the Italian Baroque....

Article

Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Term coined in the 19th century to describe the overwhelmingly dominant style in the fine and decorative arts in Europe and North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Neo-classicism is not one distinct style, but rather the term can describe any work of architecture or art that either copies or imitates ancient art, or that represents an approach to art that draws inspiration from Classical models from ancient Greece and Rome. The most influential theorist of Neo-classicism was the German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose major work, Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks, was translated into English in 1765. The Neo-classical style in North America was most popular from about 1780 to 1850.

Interest in Classical art and architecture has remained more or less constant throughout Western history, peaking most notably during the Renaissance and again in the 18th century. The systematic excavations and ensuing scholarship on the archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii, buried by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in ...

Article

Heinz Horat

[Pizzano; Pizzoni]

Swiss family of architects and artists. Paolo Antonio Pisoni (i) (b Ascona, 22 May 1658; d Ascona, 27 Feb 1711), son of Pier Paolo of Ascona, was a sculptor in wood; his surviving work includes several richly carved reliquaries, a bust associated with a relic in the parish church at Ascona and altars in the parish church at Quinto. Gaetano Matteo Pisoni (b Ascona, 13 July 1713; d Locarno, 4 March 1782) is presumed to be the nephew of Paolo Antonio Pisoni (i); he trained as a mason in Lechtal, Tirol (1729–32), and as an architect at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome (1735–40). He lived principally in Milan until 1750, when he was invited to practise in the Austrian Netherlands. There he designed Namur Cathedral (begun 1751), an Italian Baroque church on a Latin cross plan with apsidal-ended transepts and tribune, a high dome over the crossing and a convex projection to the façade; the interior, however, already displays a transition to Neo-classicism. From ...

Article

Pamela H. Simpson

Term referring to the romantic character underlying the use of Roman and Greek forms in the art and architecture of the late 18th century and early 19th. First used by Sigfried Giedion in 1922 and later, in an important essay by Fiske Kimball in 1944, the term is most often applied to architecture. Henry-Russell Hitchcock used it extensively as a stylistic term that defined early Neo-classicism in his volume on 19th- and 20th-century architecture. But it also can be applied to painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. The term recognizes the fundamental idea that the past evokes emotional associations. Even the seemingly rational and austere forms of Roman and Greek art could evoke sentiment.

One concept that helps explain Romantic Classicism is ‘associationism’, a principle that underlay much of the use of historical revival styles in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. When contemplating a building whose forms evoked a bygone era, the viewer made certain connections between the use of the style in the past and its appearance in the present. Thus when Thomas Jefferson chose the Roman temple, the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, as a model for the Virginia State House (...

Article

Roger White

(b Woodford, Essex, 1714; d London, Sept 27, 1788).

English architect and sculptor. His father Robert (1690–1742), a master mason and monumental sculptor with a successful business in and around the City of London, apprenticed him at the age of 18 to the sculptor Henry Cheere. On completion of the apprenticeship he was given ‘just money enough to travel on a plan of frugal study to Rome’, but his studies there were cut short by news of his father’s death. On his return home he found the family finances in disarray; nevertheless he took over his father’s yard and soon prospered, even though it was some time before the debts were paid off. His own reputation as a sculptor was sufficiently advanced by 1744 for Parliament to commission from him a monument to Capt. James Cornewall in Westminster Abbey, London. In the same year he won the commission for the carved pediment of the Mansion House, London (a building on which his ...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Enguera, Valencia, 1757; d Mexico City, Dec 24, 1816).

Spanish architect, sculptor, and teacher, active in Mexico. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Carlos, Valencia, at a time when Baroque forms were being rejected in Spain and Neo-classicism was being promoted. He was apprenticed to the sculptor José Puchol Rubio (d 1797), who also taught him extensively about architecture. In 1780 Tolsá moved to Madrid, where he studied under Juan Pascual de Mena and at the Real Academia de Bellas-Artes de S Fernando, where his subjects included painting. There he also designed several reliefs, including the Entry of the Catholic Kings into Granada (1784; Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando). He was selected as an academician in 1789.

Following the endorsement of Juan Adán and Manuel Francisco Alvarez de la Peña, in 1790 Tolsá succeeded José Arias (c. 1743–88) as director of sculpture at the Real Academia de S Carlos de la Nueva España in Mexico City. He took with him a collection of plaster casts for sculptures, many books, and 154 quintals (7 tonnes) of plaster for the Academia. He arrived in ...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Celaya, Oct 13, 1759; d Celaya, Aug 3, 1833).

Mexican architect, painter, engraver, and sculptor. He studied painting under Miguel Cabrera at the Real Academia de las Nobles Artes de S Carlos in Mexico City but did not graduate. He subsequently took up wood-carving and engraving. He learnt the elements of architecture from the Jesuits, who gave him a copy of the writings of Jacopo Vignola. His architecture exhibits a familiarity with the classic treatises, although he never visited Europe. Tresguerras’s first major work (1780s) was the reconstruction in Neo-classical style of the convent church of S Rosa, Querétaro, originally consecrated in 1752. The dome over the crossing is set on a drum articulated by rusticated columns, which flank a series of round-headed openings. He is also credited with remodelling the interior of the convent church of S Clara, Querétaro, and with constructing the Neptune Fountain (1802–7) in the plaza in front of it. The god stands under a triumphal arch, while water pours through the mouth of a fish at his feet. Tresguerras also completed (...