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[Du Plessis; Duplessy.]

French family of goldsmiths, bronze founders, sculptors and designers, of Italian descent. Due to the similarity in name, there has been some confusion between father and son and the attribution of their work; they are now generally distinguished as Duplessis père and Duplessis fils. Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis [Giovanni Claudio Chiamberlano] (b Turin, ?1690–95; d Paris, 1774) practised as a goldsmith in Turin before his marriage in 1720 and probably worked for Victor Amadeus II. He moved with his family to Paris c. 1740, perhaps encouraged there by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier. In 1742 he was commissioned by Louis XV to design and make two large, bronze braziers, presented to the Turkish ambassador Saïd Mahmet Pasha (e.g. in Istanbul, Topkapi Pal. Mus.). From c. 1748 until his death he was employed at the porcelain factories of Vincennes and Sèvres as a designer of porcelain forms and supplier of bronze stands. He also supervised and advised craftsmen. In ...

Article

Maria Pötzl-Malíková

(b Strass, nr Salzburg, June 14, 1732; d Vienna, Sept 11, 1810).

Austrian sculptor. He was apprenticed to Johann Georg Itzlfeldner (?1705–90) in Tittmoning. From 1754 to 1759 he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna, where he produced sculptures in the Bavarian Rococo style (e.g. Christ at the Martyr’s Pillar, gilded bronze, 1756; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.). The Archbishop of Salzburg, Sigismund, Graf von Schrattenbach, enabled him to continue his studies in Bologna, Florence and Rome. He returned to Salzburg to become official sculptor to von Schrattenbach, and collaborated closely with his brother, the architect Wolfgang Hagenauer (1726–1801), who was also working for the Archbishop. In 1764 he married the Italian painter Rosa Barducci (1743–86). His most important commission in Salzburg was the Mariensäule on the Domplatz (lead, 1766–71; in situ). In 1773 he moved to Vienna and until 1779 worked with Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Beyer on the sculptural decoration of the park at ...

Article

Michael Preston Worley

(b Saint-Paulien, Haute-Loire, June 20, 1731; d Paris, Dec 17, 1804).

French sculptor. He studied in Le Puy with the minor sculptor Gabriel Samuel (1689–1758) and in Lyon with Antoine-Michel Perrache (1726–79), who in 1758 recommended him to Guillaume Coustou (ii) in Paris. In 1765 Julien won the Prix de Rome with the relief Albinus Helping the Vestals to Flee the Gauls (untraced). After three years at the Ecole Royale des Elèves Protégés he went to the Académie de France in Rome (1768–72). Among his works from this time is a reduced copy (marble; Versailles, Château) of the antique statue Ariadne Abandoned, then known as Cleopatra. In 1773 he returned to Coustou’s studio and in 1776 suffered a humiliating check to his career when, on submission of his statue of Ganymede (marble; Paris, Louvre), he was refused admission to the Académie Royale (possibly at the instigation of his master). In 1779, however, he became a member of the Académie with the marble statue the ...

Article

Maria Pötzl-Malíková

(b Wiesensteig, nr Ulm, Feb 6, 1736; d Pressburg [now Bratislava, Slovak Republic], ?Aug 19, 1783).

Austrian sculptor. He was descended, on his mother’s side, from a family of joiners and sculptors called Straub. He was first trained by two of his mother’s brothers: from 1746 by Johann Baptist Straub, who was a court sculptor in Munich, then from c. 1752 until 1754 by Philipp Jakob Straub in Graz. Messerschmidt then went to Vienna, where he attended the Akademie from the end of 1755. His teachers there were probably Jakob Schletterer (1699–1774) and Balthasar Ferdinand Moll. Messerschmidt was the protégé of Martin van Meytens (1695–1770), the director of the Akademie and a court painter. Van Meytens subsequently helped Messerschmidt to procure his first appointment at the Imperial Arsenal, where he was assigned to decorating canons. Between 1760 and 1763, however, Messerschmidt produced his first known independent works, for the Arsenal state rooms: the gilt-bronze busts of the Empress Maria Theresa and her husband ...

Article

Hermann Maué

(b Biberach an der Riss, nr Ulm, March 21, 1705; d St Petersburg, Oct 27, 1763).

German gem-engraver and medallist. He trained as a goldsmith in Biberach and then learnt seal- and gem-engraving in Berne. In 1730 he travelled to Venice to work as a seal-engraver. In 1732 the antiquary Baron Philipp von Stosch set him to copying ancient carved gems in Florence. To improve his skill, Natter drew after the Antique at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, developing a style based on Classical models that was to become characteristic of his gem- carving, an example of which is his cornelian bust of Livia as Ceres (c. 1730; London, V&A). He also became one of the earliest representatives of the Neo-classical medal style. At the end of the 1730s he moved to London, where he produced several noteworthy medals, such as the portrait bust of Sir Robert Walpole (silver, copper and lead, 1741; London, BM). In 1743 the Danish Court invited him to Copenhagen, where he carved a number of gems, among which were the portrait busts in chalcedony of ...

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

Christina Frehner-Bühler

(b Stuttgart, May 22, 1749; d Berne, Sept 22, 1828).

German sculptor, stuccoist and teacher. He was one of the leading German sculptors in the transitional period between Rococo and Neo-classicism. He trained in Stuttgart in 1761 with the stuccoist Luigi Bossi, then with the sculptor Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Beyer at the Stuttgart Akademie (Karlsschule). Having entered the service of Charles-Eugene, Duke of Württemberg, he created his first independent works at the age of 20 for Schloss Solitude, outside Stuttgart. In 1771 he was appointed stuccoist to the court, and in 1772 he became a member of the Kunstakademie at Ludwigsburg; he also worked as a modeller for the Ludwigsburg Porcelain Factory (see Ludwigsburg §2). In 1773 he became a tutor at the Karlsschule, where one of his pupils was Johann Heinrich von Dannecker, later one of the leading representatives of German Neo-classicism. Few of Sonnenschein’s works from his years in Stuttgart survive. Feeling exploited by the Duke, he left for Zurich, where he was befriended by Johann Kasper Lavater. At the Kunstschule, founded in ...

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

Swedish, 18th century, male.

Born 1757, in Hemsö; died, in Nora.

Sculptor. Ornaments, furniture, religious furnishings.

Pehr Westman adopted a Rococo, then a Neo-Classical style. The museum in Härnösand has a door by him and a ceremonial bed.