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Frank Felsenstein

English writer and politician. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Queen’s College, Oxford, receiving his MA in 1693. Between 1699 and 1703 he travelled on the Continent; in his Remarks upon Several Parts of Italy (1705) he noted that Italy was ‘the great school of Musick and Painting’, and a primary purpose of his tour was ‘to compare the natural face of the country with the Landskips the [classical] Poets have given us of it’. His ...

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Howard Caygill

German philosopher. He was educated at Halle University where he taught philosophy between 1735 and 1740; he then moved to the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he taught until his death. He is remembered for the invention of philosophical aesthetics (he introduced the term ‘aesthetics’), based initially on Cartesian principles. His writings also include works in logic, metaphysics, ethics and political philosophy. With the development of a philosophical aesthetics in the ...

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French writer. His influence on art was indirect: although he made no claim to knowledge of art, he unwittingly played a part in the development of historical painting during the second part of Louis XIV’s reign and particularly in the development of the theory of art in the 18th century. At the beginning of the personal reign of Louis XIV he was at first excluded from the distribution of pensions awarded through the mediation of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, the particular function of which was to lay down the iconography to be used in works that the King had commissioned; through Charles Perrault, it to some degree dominated the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. In ...

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Angelica Goodden

French writer, philosopher and critic. He was a man of the most wide-ranging talents: novelist, dramatist, philosopher and writer on science, mathematics and music. In his lifetime he was probably best known as editor of the Encyclopédie (1751–65)—an encyclopedic dictionary of the arts, sciences and trades—and came comparatively late to art criticism. Characteristically determined to express a personal view on art and to attempt to justify his judgements, he had his only noteworthy precursor in Etienne La Font de Saint-Yenne; periodical journalism devoted to the arts in 18th-century France yielded no commentator to match Diderot in vigour and independence of mind. He was early acquainted with the writings of Leonardo da Vinci, Roland Fréart, Jean Cousin (i), Roger de Piles and Charles Le Brun, and the theory of drama he published in ...

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French historian, critic and diplomat. He served as a diplomat under Louis XIV and the Régence; having been rewarded with an ecclesiastical benefice, he devoted himself to writing. His principal work, Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et sur la peinture (1719), was important for ...

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Werner Szambien

French architect, teacher and writer. He was one of the most influential teachers of his time, and his radically rationalist approach, which emphasized priority of function and economy of means, was expressed in analytical writings that remained popular into the 20th century. He studied under ...

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German writer, statesman, scientist, historian and theorist. By virtue of his prodigious literary output, his writings on art (notably in collaboration with Friedrich Schiller), his patronage as chief minister of Weimar, the extraordinary variety of his interests, and his sheer longevity, he had a profound influence on European culture....

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Howard Caygill

German theorist. He was the most consistent and influential critic of German Enlightenment philosophy and aesthetic theory. His impeccable Enlightenment pedigree as a student of Kant at the University of Königsberg in the early 1760s and his acquaintance with Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert during his visit to Paris in ...

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Scottish philosopher, lawyer and judge. He wrote on a wide variety of topics including literary criticism, rhetoric, philosophy, law, natural history, education and agriculture. He played a significant role in the Enlightenment discussions of aesthetic feeling and judgement, especially the analysis of beauty and Sublime, the...

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Alan Code

Scottish philosopher and historian. Although he studied and became well known in France, he lived mostly in Edinburgh and is regarded as a leading figure in the Enlightenment in Scotland. His work was influential in the development of theories based on empirical knowledge, contributing in particular to 18th-century debates about beauty, taste and judgement. In his ...

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Alan Code

Irish philosopher. He attended the University of Glasgow, after which he headed a Presbyterian youth academy in Dublin for about a decade, and then held the chair of moral philosophy at Glasgow from 1730 until his death. He was best known as a moral sense theorist, and was heavily influenced by the theory of perception formulated by John Locke (...

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Patrick Gardiner

German philosopher. He spent most of his adult life as a member of the University of Königsberg; he enrolled as a student there in 1740 and was accepted as a Privatdozent in 1755, becoming professor of logic and metaphysics in 1770. His contribution to aesthetics and the philosophy of art, which forms one part of the far-reaching enquiry he pursued into the fundamental conditions of human thought and experience, is contained in the last of the three famous ...

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David Rodgers

English writer, connoisseur and collector (see fig.). He was the son of a clergyman from a wealthy dynasty of iron-masters. His father died in 1764, and shortly afterwards he inherited a considerable estate from his uncle, which ensured his financial independence. He was a sickly child and was educated at home, becoming well versed in Classical history, Latin and Greek. In ...

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Andrea M. Kluxen

Swiss cleric, writer and theorist. He studied with the Anglophile scholar Johann Jakob Bodmer, who also taught his friend Henry Fuseli (see Füssli family, §3). After travels in northern Germany with Fuseli, in 1769 Lavater became a deacon and in 1775 a pastor in Zurich, where he subsequently remained. His collection of paintings (chiefly portraits) and drawings was much admired, and he was frequently consulted on artistic matters. He published poetry such as ...

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Howard Caygill

German philosopher, critic and playwright. He was the leading representative of the German Enlightenment in the theatre and in criticism. Lessing studied theology at the University of Leipzig from 1746 to 1748, changing his faculty to medicine shortly before moving to Berlin. He was in Berlin intermittently until ...

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Martin Postle

English landowner and writer. He was one of the leading promoters of the Picturesque, a quasi-aesthetic theory concerning the codification of types of landscape; this enjoyed a brief popularity in England at the end of the 18th century. In 1794 Price published An Essay on the Picturesque...

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French writer and theorist. Born into a wealthy Jansenist family, he abandoned his law studies in order to train as a sculptor, entering the studio of Guillaume Coustou (ii), where he was taught by Coustou’s pupil Pierre Julien. Between 1776 and 1780, and again in ...

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David Mannings

English painter, collector and writer. The foremost portrait painter in England in the 18th century, he transformed early Georgian portraiture by greatly enlarging its range. His poses, frequently based on the Old Masters or antique sculpture, were intended to invoke classical values and to enhance the dignity of his sitters. His rich colour, strong lighting and free handling of paint greatly influenced the generation of Thomas Lawrence and Henry Raeburn. His history and fancy pictures explored dramatic and emotional themes that became increasingly popular with both artists and collectors in the Romantic period. As first president of the Royal Academy in London, he did more than anyone to raise the status of art and artists in Britain. His ...

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Maurice Cranston

French writer of Swiss birth. He was the son of a watchmaker in Calvinist Geneva and served unhappy apprenticeships, first with a notary and then with an engraver. An autodidact, he achieved fame in Paris in the 1750s as one of the writers associated with Denis Diderot’s ...

Article

David Rodgers

Aesthetic concept, originating in Classical Greece, that was the subject of considerable philosophical debate in 18th-century Europe and that re-emerged in the late 20th century as a central factor in the study of aesthetics. The literary treatise On the Sublime (1st century ad), traditionally ascribed to ...