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G. Komelova

(Petrovich)

(b St Petersburg, 1729; d Moscow, 1802).

Russian painter and teacher. He came from a family of serfs, belonging to the Counts Sheremetev, that produced several painters and architects. In about 1746–7 he was a pupil of Georg Christoph Grooth (1716–49), who painted portraits of the Sheremetev family. With Grooth, Argunov worked on the decoration of the court church at Tsarskoye Selo (now Pushkin). A full-length icon of St John of Damascus (1749; Pushkin, Pal.–Mus.), in Rococo style, is distinguished by its secular, decorative character. The Dying Cleopatra (1750; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) is typical of Rococo decorative painting of the mid-18th century, with its striking combination of light, soft tones. Argunov subsequently painted in a quite different style, mainly producing portraits, of which about 60 are known. Among the first of these are pendant portraits of Ivan Lobanov-Rostovsky and his wife (1750 and 1754; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), in which the sitters are idealized, as in ceremonial court portraits. The colour schemes of the two portraits are complementary, a device Argunov was to favour, and the feel of materials is admirably rendered. A certain flatness and stiffness in the figures recalls the old tradition of ...

Article

(b in or near Kufstein, Tyrol, ?June 16, 1712; d Augsburg, before Sept 7, 1761).

German draughtsman and painter. Kilian, his earliest biographer, stated that after training as a blacksmith with his father, he learnt the art of glass painting in Salzburg. Following travels through Austria, Hungary and Italy, Baumgartner was authorized in late 1733 to live in Augsburg, on condition that he only worked as a glass painter.

Only a few examples of Baumgartner’s own glass paintings have survived; however, he must have meanwhile worked intensively on drawings for copperplate engraving. There are hundreds of these drawings; they were made with extreme care, often on tinted paper and often on a very large scale, for publishers in Augsburg such as Klauber, Engelbrecht and Kilian. Designs in oil on canvas for engravings, such as Moses Ordering the Killing of the Midianite Women (1760; Augsburg, Schaezlerpal.), were a particular speciality of Baumgartner. By far the largest series numerically is for a calendar of saints, the ...

Article

(b Türkheim, bapt April 15, 1688; d Augsburg, April 2, 1762).

German painter, teacher, draughtsman and printmaker. His frescoes and altarpieces and his teaching established him as the dominant figure in the art life of Augsburg in the earlier 18th century. He came from a family of well-known Swabian sculptors, cabinetmakers and painters, with whom he probably initially trained. The Bavarian Duke Maximilian Philip paid for him to study (1702–8) with the Munich court painter Johann Andreas Wolff, after which he was summoned by the Elector of the Palatinate to decorate the court church of St Hubertus in Düsseldorf (1708–9; destr.). In 1710 or 1712 Bergmüller frescoed the church of Kreuzpullach, near Wolfratshausen. In his request for permission to marry and for mastership in Augsburg in 1712, he referred to an otherwise undocumented stay in the Netherlands. He settled permanently in the Imperial Free City in 1713 and attended its Reichstädtische Kunstakademie from 1715. From this time he rose to become the most influential painter and teacher in Augsburg, with apprentices coming from beyond the city, including ...

Article

Simon Lee

(b Paris, Jan 1668; d Paris, April 11, 1736).

French painter and draughtsman. In 1678 he was apprenticed to Guy-Louis Vernansal (1648–1729); he later became a pupil of Jean Jouvenet and in 1684–5 of Bon Boullogne. By 1684 he was enrolled at the Académie Royale, Paris, and a year later won the Prix de Rome with his Construction of Noah’s Ark (untraced). He probably arrived in Rome towards the end of 1685, and he stayed until the winter of 1688–9. While in Italy he studied the work of Raphael and the Carracci family, as well as showing an interest in Correggio. He also led a student protest against the teaching régime of the Académie de France in Rome. After some months in Lyon he returned to Paris in 1689 and began to work on minor commissions, including drawings of the statues in the park at Versailles (Paris, Bib. N.). The influence of the Boullogne brothers is evident in his small-scale paintings of this time, such as ...

Article

(b Ancona, c. 1710; d Bologna, Jan 2, 1777).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He was a pupil of Vittorio Bigari, whose Rococo style he reinterpreted in a highly personal manner. Bertuzzi’s work was also indebted to Luca Giordano, Antonio Gionima and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. Bertuzzi’s early paintings, which continue the traditions of Emilian art, include scenes from the Life of the Blessed Franco (1753–4; Medicina, Carmelite church) in which he collaborated with the specialist in perspective, Vincenzo del Buono (fl 1726). A theatrical brilliance also distinguishes Bertuzzi’s five standards with the Mysteries of the Passion (1753; Ancona, Gesù) and his paintings on tempera, the Crucifixion and figures of saints and popes (1750–57; Bologna, Madonna di S Luca), which suggest the inspiration of Crespi. Between 1755 and 1760 Bertuzzi frescoed the small chapel of the palazzo ‘di sopra’ at Bagnarola and executed four large decorative paintings in tempera featuring Old Testament scenes (Milan, Pal. Visconti di Modrone Erba) for the gallery. Bertuzzi’s style is distinguished by his virtuoso execution, most evident in his preparatory oil sketches; significantly, the sketches (Milan, Geri priv. col., see Roli, p. 230) for these pictures have been attributed to various 18th-century Venetian painters, whose style he clearly imitated. In the 1750s and 1760s Bertuzzi collaborated with the landscape painters ...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

[Santiago]

(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...

Article

Alastair Laing

(b Paris, Sept 29, 1703; d Paris, May 30, 1770).

French painter, draughtsman and etcher. Arguably it was he, more than any other artist, who set his stamp on both the fine arts and the decorative arts of the 18th century. Facilitated by the extraordinary proliferation of engravings, Boucher successfully fed the demand for imitable imagery at a time when most of Europe sought to follow what was done at the French court and in Paris. He did so both as a prolific painter and draughtsman (he claimed to have produced some 10,000 drawings during his career) and through engravings after his works, the commercial potential of which he seems to have been one of the first artists to exploit. He reinvented the genre of the pastoral, creating an imagery of shepherds and shepherdesses as sentimental lovers that was taken up in every medium, from porcelain to toile de Jouy, and that still survives in a debased form. At the same time, his manner of painting introduced the virtuosity and freedom of the sketch into the finished work, promoting painterliness as an end in itself. This approach dominated French painting until the emergence of Neo-classicism, when criticism was heaped on Boucher and his followers. His work never wholly escaped this condemnation, even after the taste for French 18th-century art started to revive in the second half of the 19th century. In his own day, the fact that he worked for both collectors and the market, while retaining the prestige of a history painter, had been both Boucher’s strength and a cause of his decline....

Article

(b Kuckädel, nr Crossen/Oder, Feb 17, 1699; d Berlin, Sept 16, 1753).

German architect, interior decorator, painter and draughtsman. After growing up under the guardianship of his uncle, he joined the army at 15 but left the service in 1729 as a result of poor health to devote himself entirely to painting. His friend Antoine Pesne, the leading painter in Prussia at the time, was his most important teacher. A member of the entourage of the Crown Prince (the future Frederick II; see Hohenzollern, House of family §(7)) from 1732, Knobelsdorff travelled the same year to Dresden. The only authentic portrait of him, painted by the Saxon court painter Adám Mányoki, dates from this time. In 1734 he produced his first modest architectural work, the Temple of Apollo in the Amalthea Garden at Neuruppin, then the residence of the Crown Prince.

From 1736, as ‘Chevalier Bernin’, he was a respected member of the Crown Prince’s court at Schloss Rheinsberg. He seems at first to have been valued primarily as a painter. On a journey to Italy, begun in ...

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

Rococo  

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 ...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

A renewed interest among artists, writers, and collectors between c. 1820 and 1870 in Europe, predominantly in France, in the Rococo style in painting, the decorative arts, architecture, and sculpture. The revival of the Rococo served diverse social needs. As capitalism and middle-class democracy triumphed decisively in politics and the economy, the affluent and well-born put increasing value on the aristocratic culture of the previous century: its arts, manners and costumes, and luxury goods.

Among the earliest artists in the 19th century to appreciate and emulate 18th-century art were Jules-Robert Auguste (1789–1830), R. P. Bonington, Eugène Delacroix, and Paul Huet. For these young artists the Rococo was a celebration of sensual and sexual pleasure and a product of a free and poetic imagination. Looking particularly at the work of Watteau, they sought to reproduce the Rococo capacity for lyrical grace, its sophisticated understanding of colour, and its open, vibrant paint surfaces in their work. These qualities can be seen in such re-creations of 18th-century scenes as Eugène Lami’s ...

Article

Daniela Campanelli

(b Naples, Feb 18, 1675; d Naples, April 2, 1748).

Italian architect and painter. Together with Domenico Antonio Vaccaro he was the principal architect in Naples in the first half of the 18th century. The variations he made to the Roman and Neapolitan architectural styles of his time were often determined by considerations of space and cost and achieved with a sensitive regard for the simple materials he used, notably tufa and piperno (the local black lavic stone). The Rococo effect of his buildings came not through the juxtaposition of decorative features, but through an imaginative use of the architectural elements at his disposal. In this he resembled Francesco Borromini and Filippo Juvarra. In his secular buildings he made original and effective use of the staircases.

Sanfelice came from a noble family and was expected to pursue a career in law, but he was permitted to abandon this in order to study under Francesco Solimena. According to the anonymous author of a lengthy biography of Solimena published as the introduction to an edition published in Naples of Pellegrino Antonio Orlandi’s ...

Article

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 (...