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Article

Portuguese, 18th century, male.

Died c. 1769.

Architect, sculptor.

A brother of the sculptor José d'Almeida, Felix Vincente was architect and interior decorator to the Portugese royal house in around 1750.

Article

Italian, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1671, in Romano; died 1754, in Bergamo.

Architect, sculptor (wood), marquetry worker.

Active in Bergamo.

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born 17 April 1731, in Aix-en-Provence; died 15 November 1788, in Paris.

Architect, sculptor, draughtsman, designer of ornamental architectural features. Decorative motifs. Furniture.

Gilles Cauvet, sculptor to Monsieur, the king's brother, banished the mannered style from interior decoration, preferring classical simplicity. He was director of the Académie de St-Luc in Paris, and organised the Exhibition of ...

Article

Spanish, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1665, in Madrid; died 1725, in Madrid.

Sculptor, decorative designer, architect.

José Benito Churriguera was one of the four sons of José Simón Churriguera. He was responsible for the Sagrario retable of Segovia Cathedral (before 1690), and then won the competition for the catafalque of Queen Marie-Louise of Orleans in ...

Article

Maria Ida Catalano

(b Rovetta, Bergamo, Aug 26, 1659; d Rovetta, July 25, 1734).

Italian sculptor, architect and furniture-maker. He was the eldest son of the sculptor and carver Grazioso Fantoni (1630–93) and trained in his father’s flourishing workshop, which played a leading part in the supply of church furnishings in Bergamo, Parma and the surrounding provinces. In 1674 documents record Andrea in Parma, but in 1675 he was at Edolo, where he is recorded as an apprentice in the workshop of Pietro Ramus (?1639–82), a sculptor active in Valcamonica. It is thought that around 1678 he went to Venice to work in the workshop of the Genoese sculptor Filippo Parodi, a pupil of Bernini and a friend of Pierre Puget. Certainly Fantoni’s work gives stylistic evidence of contacts with Genoese and Venetian circles. In 1679 he returned to Rovetta, taking part from the early 1680s in a process of extensive stylistic modernization in the family workshop. This change can be seen in the contrast between Grazioso’s carved and inlaid wooden decorations and furnishings in the first sacristy (...

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

Alison Luchs

(b Florence, c. 1644; d Florence, June 22, 1713).

Italian sculptor, stuccoist and architect. After training in Florence as a goldsmith, he studied with the painter Felice Ficherelli. In 1671 he went to Rome, having been chosen for the Tuscan Accademia Granducale. He studied sculpture under Ercole Ferrata and Ciro Ferri, showing a predilection for modelling rather than the marble carving expected by his patron, Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1672 he won first prize at the Accademia di S Luca for a terracotta relief of Decaulion and Pirra. He modelled the angels (1673–4) for the ciborium at the Chiesa Nuova (S Maria in Vallicella), which was designed by Ferri and cast by Stefano Benamati, and a terracotta relief of the Fall of the Giants (1674), pendant to a Niobid relief by Giovanni Battista Foggini (both Florence, Mus. Opificio Pietre Dure). When recalled to Florence in 1676, he was working on a more than life-size marble bust of ...

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Born 1675, in Turin, Italy; died 1750, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, architect, decorative designer, engraver, goldsmith.

Meissonnier went to Paris in 1714, and was best known as a goldsmith and decorative painter. He was a brilliant ornamentalist and was made goldsmith to the king. He produced many drawings for engravings, and his works reveal the spirit and elegance of the 18th century. His style was rococo in the extreme, and was appropriate to his position as organiser of royal festivals and funerals. His design of the façade of St-Sulpice, Paris, was not used....

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

Peter Fidler

(b Stanz, Tyrol, bapt July 6, 1660; d St Pölten, Lower Austria, Sept 16, 1726).

Austrian architect, sculptor and stuccoist. He was an important architect of the Austrian Baroque, which he combined with a craftsman’s understanding of local traditions and building techniques. He was apprenticed as a mason to Hans Georg Asam at Schnan, Tyrol, from 1677 to 1680. His journeyman years may have been spent in southern Germany. In 1689 he settled in St Pölten, where he described himself as a sculptor: by 1692 he was known as a master mason. His early architectural works were probably produced in collaboration with the Oedtl family of master builders from the Tyrol. In 1694–1700 he built the rectory at Haitzendorf—a simple courtyard design with balanced proportions that is well integrated into the surrounding countryside.

Prandtauer was in Vienna c. 1700, and there he worked on the construction of the Palais Questenberg and other projects. In 1702 he was commissioned by Abbot Berthold Dietmayr to undertake the reconstruction of Melk Abbey, where he worked for the rest of his life, both on the ...

Article

[Joâo Baptista]

(b Paris; d Queluz, Estremadura, Sept 30, 1782).

French landscape designer, interior designer, architect and sculptor, active in Portugal. His early career in Paris is not well documented. It is known that he lived in the Faubourg Saint-Lazare and became bankrupt on 21 November 1748. His work on the façade and the interior of St Louis-du-Louvre (1741–4; destr. c. 1810) is mentioned in Jacques-François Blondel’s L’Architecture française (1752–6). He and Jean-Baptiste Pigalle worked there under the direction of Thomas Germain, silversmith to Louis XV and a highly appreciated craftsman in Portugal. It was probably Germain who suggested that Robillon move to Portugal, and he arrived there c. 1749. Due to the levies on Brazilian gold and diamond mines, the country was going through a period of unprecedented wealth that was being spent on manufactured objects and public works, especially after the Lisbon earthquake (1755).

Robillon’s work in Portugal was linked with the royal ...

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

Ulrich Knapp

(b Raisting, Dec 12, 1735; d Neresheim, Württemberg, March 17, 1807).

German architect, sculptor and stuccoist. He probably trained in the workshop of Franz Xaver Schmädl or with one of the Wessobrunn stuccoists. His earliest known works, dating from 1761, are the Apostle cycle and pulpit in the former Cistercian monastery church at Fürstenfeld. His reliefs for the side altars in the parish church at Raisting (1766) and the pulpit for St Rasso in Grafrath (1771) still clearly show Schmädl’s influence. Schaidhauf’s work in Stuttgart and Hohenheim (1773–9) has largely been destroyed. There was at that period a move towards classicism, presumably prompted by the influence of classicist buildings by architects working in Stuttgart such as Philippe de la Guêpière (1715–73) and Reinhard Ferdinand Heinrich Fischer (1746–1813).

In 1775 Schaidhauf became a drawing-master at the Duke of Württemberg’s Akademie in Stuttgart, and a member of the Akademie. In that year he produced an assessment of the stuccowork in the abbey church at Neresheim, and in ...

Article

Hungarian, 18th century, male.

Born 1762, in Chidea.

Sculptor, cabinet maker, architect.

He worked mostly in Cluj, where he produced sculptures and low reliefs for churches in and around the town.

Article

Austrian, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born c. 1644; died 18 April 1727, in Vienna.

Painter, sculptor (ivory), architect. Religious furnishings (altars), statuettes.

Matthias Steinl was one of the best-known Austrian Baroque artists.

Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Mus.): Leopold I (ivory); Joseph I (ivory); ...

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 (...