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Elisabeth Kieven

(b Rome, Feb 10, 1702; d Rome, July 28, 1786).

Italian architect, sculptor, draughtsman and designer. He owed his career to the patronage of cardinals Alessandro Albani (see Albani family, §2) and Annibale Albani. Like the Marchionni family, the Albani family came from the Marches. Marchionni first trained as a sculptor, then studied architecture at the Accademia di S Luca in Rome under Filippo Barigioni, winning the first prize in 1728, his final year. Marchionni’s prizewinning drawings demonstrated his exceptional talent as a draughtsman, always far greater than his inspiration as an architect. Cardinal Alessandro Albani engaged him to build his villa in Anzio as early as 1728 and in 1734 commissioned Marchionni to design the façade of the collegiate church at Nettuno. Both are conventional works carrying the imprint of the Accademia, revealing a clear commitment to the past in their use of 17th-century architectural motifs. Marchionni worked as a sculptor between 1730 and 1748. His most interesting sculptural work is the tomb of ...


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 Neo-classicism was the successor to Rococo in the second half of the 18th century and was itself superseded by various historicist styles in the first half of the 19th century.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....


Flemish, 18th century, male.

Born 1714, in Comblain-au-Pont; died 19 December 1791, in Paris.

Sculptor, engraver, architect.

Flemish School.

Jean François de Neufforge was a pupil of Blondel and Babel. He first worked in the Rococo manner. He published several architectural books for which he engraved the plates....


Bruno Pons

(b Oct 7, 1684; d April 24, 1754).

French sculptor, architect and designer. He was the son of Jean-Baptiste Pineau, Sculptor-in-ordinary to the King, and would have had considerable early contact with his father’s workshop. He studied architecture with Jules Hardouin Mansart and for some time was a pupil of Germain Boffrand. After studying at the Académie de Saint-Luc he went to Lyon, where he married into a family of sculptors. He was also familiar with the workshop of the silversmith Thomas Germain, who surrounded himself with sculptors and architects. In 1716 Pineau was engaged to work for Peter the Great in Russia, with his brother-in-law Joseph Simon (fl 1716–76), the painter Louis Caravaque (1684–1754) and the architect Le Blond family §(3). Pineau’s contract specified that he was to be engaged for works of ornamental sculpture, but after the death of Le Blond in 1719 he was also able to provide ambitious architectural projects. He participated in the decoration of the palace at Peterhof and in the provision of wooden panelling for Peter the Great’s study (...



Richard John and Ludwig Tavernier

A decorative style of the early to mid-18th century, primarily influencing the ornamental arts in Europe, especially in France, southern Germany and Austria. The character of its formal idiom is marked by asymmetry and naturalism, displaying in particular a fascination with shell-like and watery forms. Further information on the Rococo can be found in this dictionary within the survey articles on the relevant countries.

Richard John

The nature and limits of the Rococo have been the subject of controversy for over a century, and the debate shows little sign of resolution. As recently as 1966, entries in two major reference works, the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture and the Enciclopedia universale dell’arte (EWA), were in complete contradiction, one altogether denying its status as a style, the other claiming that it ‘is not a mere ornamental style, but a style capable of suffusing all spheres of art’. The term Rococo seems to have been first used in the closing years of the 18th century, although it was not acknowledged by the ...


German, 18th century, male.

Born 23 February 1696, in Wernfels; died 29 October 1765.

Sculptor. Religious subjects.

A court sculptor and architect, Matthias Seybold is the most important representative of the Rococo style in Eichstätt, Germany. His work was inspired by religion and was produced mainly for the cathedral of Eichstätt....


José Fernandes Pereira

(b Braga, 1720; d Braga, 1769).

Portuguese architect and designer of altarpieces. His work, which is confined to Braga and the province of Minho, combines the Portuguese Baroque tradition with elements of Bavarian Rococo in an exuberant style full of lyricism, formal invention and ingenious plasticity. It was rediscovered by Smith (1958), having long been assigned to ‘an unknown master’.

Soares was the son of a wealthy businessman of Braga. In 1737 he took minor orders and in 1738 entered the Brotherhood of St Thomas Aquinas, becoming its major-domo in 1760. It is not known where he received his training, but it is probable that he knew the Braga artist Marceliano de Araújo and that he had access to the rich repertory of forms available in contemporary Augsburg engravings, which are known to have been in circulation in Braga. His first documented work is the frontispiece to the Statute Book of the Brotherhood of the Infant Jesus and St Anne (...


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 ...


Natália Marinho Ferreira Alves

(b Braga, Dec 18, 1731; d Tibães, Aug 30, 1808).

Portuguese designer, wood-carver, sculptor and architect.

His godfather, the Reverend Constantino da Cunha Soto Maior (d 1757), was treasurer of the Cathedral of Braga, and one of his brothers, João de Araújo Ferreira Vilaça (b 1720), was clerk to the Vicar General of Vila Real in Trás-os-Montes. Frei José’s early training was with his father, Custódio Ferreira, a skilled carpenter. In November 1754 Frei José signed his first contract to carve the retable of the high altar of the church of the convent of S Clara, Amarante. From 1757 he worked at Tibães, near Braga, the headquarters of the Benedictine Order in Portugal, where, with José de Álvares de Araújo, he collaborated on carving the magnificent talha (carved and gilded wood) designed for the church of S Martinho by André Ribeiro Soares da Silva. The work began with the high altar, for which Frei José carved the statues of SS Martinho, Bento and Escolástica, and the whole scheme, one of the finest in Portugal, was subsequently completed in ...


Ingeborg Krummer-Schroth

(b Ehrenstetten, Dec 10, 1710; d Freiburg, Aug 1, 1797).

German sculptor, painter, stuccoist and architect . He went to Italy as a journeyman and spent two years (1729–31) in Rome, then six months in Strasbourg. His earliest surviving work is the font at the monastery of St Peter in the Black Forest. From 1735 to 1737 he was in Paris, where he attended and won prizes at the Académie de St Luc. In 1737 he carved the large figures for the high altar of Oberried Monastery, and in 1740 he made eight huge stone figures for the portal (destr. 1768) of the monastery of St Blasien in the Black Forest, and also made models for the stairwell figures. Wentzinger signed the contract for the magnificent tomb of General von Rodt in Freiburg im Breisgau Cathedral in 1743. In 1745 he made a model of the Mount of Olives for the church of St Martin in Staufen (now in Frankfurt am Main, Liebieghaus). For the new building at Schloss Ebnet, near Freiburg, he created the stone relief on the gable, figures representing the seasons in the park and stucco sculptures for the salon, modifying the original plans for the building by decorative embellishments. He also painted the double portrait (...


German, 18th century, male.

Born 10 December 1710, in Ehrenstetten; died 1 July 1797, in Freiburg.

Sculptor, architect. Religious subjects. Statues.

Wenzinger was one of the most important Rococo sculptors in southern Germany. He sculpted statues, tombs and Ways of the Cross for several churches. From ...