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Jens Peter Munk

(b Copenhagen, Sept 11, 1743; d Frederiksdal, Copenhagen, June 4, 1809).

Danish painter, designer and architect. His paintings reveal both Neo-classical and Romantic interests and include history paintings as well as literary and mythological works. The variety of his subject-matter reflects his wide learning, a feature further evidenced by the broad range of his creative output. In addition to painting, he produced decorative work, sculpture and furniture designs, as well as being engaged as an architect. Successfully combining both intellectual and imaginative powers, he came to be fully appreciated only in the 1980s.

He studied at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1764–72), and in 1767 he assisted Johan Edvard Mandelberg (1730–86) in painting the domed hall of the Fredensborg Slot with scenes from the Homeric epic the Iliad. In 1772 he was granted a five-year travelling scholarship from the Kunstakademi to study in Rome. During his Roman sojourn he extensively copied works of art from the period of antiquity up to that of the Carracci family. His friendships with the Danish painter Jens Juel, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel and the Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Fuseli placed him among artists who were in the mainstream of a widespread upheaval in European art. In these years Abildgaard developed both Neo-classical and Romantic tastes; his masterpiece of the period is ...

Article

Ingrid Sattel Bernardini

(b Gotha, Dec 27, 1725; d Vienna, March 23, 1806).

German sculptor, painter and architect. He was the son of a court gardener who worked first in Gotha and then in Württemberg. He was originally intended to become an architect; in 1747 Duke Charles-Eugene of Württemberg sent him to train in Paris where, under the influence of painters such as Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher, he turned to painting. The eight-year period of study in Rome that followed prompted Beyer to devote himself to sculpture, as he was impressed by antique works of sculpture and was also influenced by his close contacts with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and his circle. He also served an apprenticeship with Filippo della Valle, one of the main representatives of the Neo-classical tendency in sculpture. In 1759 Beyer returned to Germany, to take part in the decoration of Charles-Eugene’s Neues Schloss in Stuttgart.

In Stuttgart Beyer made an important contribution to the founding and improvement of facilities for the training of artists, notably at the Akademie, and to manufacture in the field of arts and crafts, particularly at the ...

Article

David Bindman

(b York, July 6, 1755; d London, Dec 9, 1826).

English sculptor, designer and teacher. He was the most famous English Neo-classical sculptor of the late 18th century and the early 19th. He produced comparatively few statues and portrait busts but devoted himself to monumental sculpture and became noted for the piety and humanity of his church monuments. He also had an international reputation based on his outline illustrations to the works of Homer, Aeschylus and Dante, which led him to be described by Goethe as ‘the idol of all dilettanti’. More recently attention has focused on his models for pottery and silver, and he has emerged as an important pioneer in the development of industrial design.

Flaxman was the son of a plaster-cast maker employed by both Louis-François Roubiliac and Peter Scheemakers (ii), and at an early age he showed great promise as a sculptor, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1771–3. He had entered the Royal Academy Schools 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

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Enguera, Valencia, 1757; d Mexico City, Dec 24, 1816).

Spanish architect, sculptor, and teacher, active in Mexico. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Carlos, Valencia, at a time when Baroque forms were being rejected in Spain and Neo-classicism was being promoted. He was apprenticed to the sculptor José Puchol Rubio (d 1797), who also taught him extensively about architecture. In 1780 Tolsá moved to Madrid, where he studied under Juan Pascual de Mena and at the Real Academia de Bellas-Artes de S Fernando, where his subjects included painting. There he also designed several reliefs, including the Entry of the Catholic Kings into Granada (1784; Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando). He was selected as an academician in 1789.

Following the endorsement of Juan Adán and Manuel Francisco Alvarez de la Peña, in 1790 Tolsá succeeded José Arias (c. 1743–88) as director of sculpture at the Real Academia de S Carlos de la Nueva España in Mexico City. He took with him a collection of plaster casts for sculptures, many books, and 154 quintals (7 tonnes) of plaster for the Academia. He arrived in ...

Article

Tessa Murdoch

(b London, July 16, 1722; d London, Nov 25, 1803).

English sculptor. He was the son of William Wilton (d 1768), a plasterer who ran an extremely profitable factory making papier-mâché ornaments. He trained with Laurent Delvaux at Nivelles in Flanders and from 1744 under Jean-Baptiste Pigalle in Paris. In 1747 he travelled to Italy; three years later in Rome he was awarded the Jubilee gold medal by Benedict XIV. By 1751 he was in Florence, where he began to gain a considerable reputation for his copies of antique sculpture. The bald, undraped marble portrait of Dr Antonio Cocchi (1755; London, V&A) is the only surviving bust from life produced by Wilton during this Italian period. In 1755 he returned to England accompanied by the architect William Chambers, the sculptor G. B. Capezzuoli ( fl 1755–82) and the painter Giovanni Battista Cipriani. Initially he set up his workshop at his father’s house in Charing Cross, London. His bust of ...