German family of decorative designers. Brothers Paul Amadeus (fl 1737–52) and Johann Adolf (fl c. 1743) both worked with the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés on Schloss Brühl, a German Electoral castle halfway between Bonn and Cologne; they worked on the interiors of the Falkenlust (...
(b ?London, c. 1710; fl 1740–60).
English stuccoist. He is first recorded working in 1740 in Edinburgh for the architect William Adam at Drum House and the palace of Holyroodhouse; his work at the latter has not survived. There are numerous mentions of Clayton in the Hamilton manuscripts at Lennoxlove, Lothian (Box 127), which reveal he was employed in the 1740s by James Douglas-Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton (1724–58), both at Holyroodhouse and at Hamilton Palace (destr.), where he also decorated the imposing Châtelherault garden pavilion (rest. 1988). Clayton’s major documented work (1747–51) was undertaken at Blair Castle, Strathclyde, for James Murray, 2nd Duke of Atholl (?1690–1764). The dining-room (c. 1750), one of the finest interiors in Scotland, includes Clayton’s hybrid of Baroque and Rococo plasterwork. The reclining stucco figures over the doors may have been the work of the Italian stuccoist Francesco Vassalli (fl 1724–63...
(fl Dublin, 1755–72).
Stuccoist, active in Ireland. In 1755 he was engaged by Bartholomew Mosse (1712–59), Master Builder of Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital, to ‘execute the stucco-work which is to be done in the chapel’. He was further employed in 1757 to ‘execute the stucco-work of the altar-piece … according to the plan and draft made by him’. In the Rotunda accounts he is described as a ‘statuary and stucco-man’. This is significant since the modelling of the figures in the chapel is by a different hand from that of the framework, foliage and other ornament, and there would appear to have been two plasterers at work on the background, both of them less assured than the modeller of the figures. The chapel’s ceiling plasterwork is full of Rococo movement, where allegorical groups of Faith, Hope and Charity are framed by angelic caryatids bearing texts. These caryatids have decisive gestures and keen expressions and yet wear an air of languid elegance, while the putti heads might easily have been modelled from those of babies in the Hospital. The ceiling’s centre and four corner panels were left empty in order to receive paintings by Giovanni Battista Cipriani, but these were never executed. The altarpiece itself displays angels adoring a lamb and is placed against a curtain hanging from a lambrequin. No further stucco work by Cramillion has been identified. However, in ...
(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 ...
(b c. 1677; d July 13, 1746).
French architect and designer. He was a pupil of François d’Orbay and had some early success as an interior designer and decorator, publishing with Jean Langlois before 1705 a series of six prints entitled Nouveaux lambris de galeries, chambres et cabinets. He also developed a thriving architectural practice in Paris. His earliest surviving town house is the Hôtel d’Avaray (85, Rue de Grenelle; now the Dutch Embassy), a restrained three-storey building. The garden façade has a slightly projecting central pavilion of three bays, with wide quoins and a pediment enclosing the owner’s coat of arms. Le Roux employed the mason Charles Boscry to work on the house from 1720 to 1721; during the same period he built the Hôtel du Prat (1720; 60, Rue de Varenne).
In 1724 Le Roux obtained his first commission from the Maréchal de Roquelaure, who became an important client; this followed the death of the architect Pierre Lassurance I, when Le Roux was asked to complete the alterations to the Maréchal’s town house at 244, Boulevard Saint-Germain (now the Ministère de l’Equipement). He carried out the entire interior decoration of the house in a restrained and orderly Rococo style (engraved; a small salon survives) and also designed the portal of the ...
(fl 1714; d Bonn, Jan 23, 1762).
French architect and designer, active in Germany. He was a pupil in Paris of Robert de Cotte and Jacques-François Blondel. On the recommendation of de Cotte, he entered the service of Joseph Clemens, Elector of Cologne, in 1714, continuing with his successor, Clemens August, in 1719. Leveilly worked initially under the direction of Benoît de Fortier and then of Guillaume de Hauberat. From 1729 to 1740 he supervised the construction of Falkenlust, a hunting-lodge near Brühl, to the designs of François de Cuvilliés I. His own built work includes, most notably, the Rathaus (1737–8) in Bonn. Its main façade on the market-place is articulated in seven bays by a giant order of pilasters over a plinth storey. At piano nobile level, the window heads are adorned with Rococo shell motifs under the blind arches of a minor order, while the wider central bay accommodates the entrance, reached from the square via an open double stair. An ornate clock flanked by bearers replaces the regular upper-floor fenestration in this bay, and a coat of arms rests on the cornice above it in front of a mansard roof. Leveilly is also credited with the design of St Michael’s Gate (...
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....
(b Lunéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Aug 2, 1723; d Mannheim, July 30, 1796).
French architect and designer, active in Germany. He received his initial training from his father, Anselm Pigage (d 1775), an architect at the court of Lorraine, and then went to Paris to study at the Académie Royale d’Architecture. He travelled extensively in England and Italy and kept abreast of international developments as a member of the Accademia di S Luca in Rome and as a corresponding member of the French Académie. In 1749 Pigage joined the staff of Charles Theodore, Elector Palatine, as superintendant of gardens and fountains. One of his first assignments was to revise the plans of Johann Joseph Couven for the Jägerhof in Düsseldorf. In 1752 he succeeded Guillaume d’Hauberat (fl 1700–49) as head of the royal building service. Pigage was ennobled and remained in the employ of the Elector for the remainder of his career, dominating architecture in the Palatinate during the second half of the 18th century. As court architect, Pigage was responsible for the design and maintenance of royal residences, gardens and other buildings, such as the small, elegant theatre (...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
Decorative carved architectural feature, also used on Baroque and Rococo furniture, consisting of a bust- or half-length human, mythological figure or animal that appears to spring from the top of a pillar, pilaster, pedestal, bracket etc. The name derives from Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries (see also Herm...
(b Durham, bapt Feb 20, 1718; d London, May 17, 1765).
English architect, engraver and furniture designer. The son of a gardener, he was appointed Clerk of the Works at the Queen’s House, Greenwich, in 1736 and was clerk at a succession of royal buildings, notably at the London palaces of Whitehall, Westminster and St James’s (1746–54). In this capacity he became closely associated with William Kent, whose Horse Guards scheme he was responsible for executing and possibly modifying (1750–59). He engraved and published a number of Kent’s designs (notably in Some Designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, 1744). Not surprisingly, Kent’s influence is strongly felt in Vardy’s own work, such as the ‘New Stone Building’ adjoining Westminster Hall (begun 1755; destr. 1883) and the unexecuted scheme (1754) for a building for the new British Museum in Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
Vardy’s private commissions included the remodelling (1761–3) of Hackwood Park (destr. in later alterations, ...
(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 (...