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Article

British, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 28 November 1757, in London, United Kingdom; died 12 August 1827, in London.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, illustrator, poet. Religious subjects, figure compositions.

William Blake was the son of a draper. He showed a strong artistic tendency from an early age and, at the age of 10, started to study drawing at Henry Par’s Academy in the Strand. He learnt engraving under Ryland and was then apprenticed to James Basire. During his seven years with Basire (1772–1779), Blake was made to copy the sculptures of Westminster Abbey and of London’s old churches, thus stimulating his fascination with Gothic art. He studied briefly at the Royal Academy in 1779, where he made friends with Barry, Fuseli, Mortimer, Flaxman, and Stodhart. While there, his studies concentrated on Michelangelo....

Article

Christopher Gilbert

(b Belgern, nr Leipzig, 1741; d c. 1806).

German cabinetmaker. By 1770 he was established as a master cabinetmaker in Leipzig. An important early patron was the art dealer Karl Christian Heinrich Rost (1742–98), who commissioned furniture closely based on French and English models. In 1788 Hoffman obtained a loan to extend his business in Leipzig and a subsidiary workshop at Eilenburg; his total workforce was 16 tradesmen. In 1789, after a dispute with the local guild of cabinetmakers, he published his first pattern book, Abbildungen der vornehmsten Tischlerarbeiten, welche verfertiget und zu haben sind bey Friedrich Gottlob Hoffmann, wohnhaft auf dem alten Neumarkt in Leipzig, an anthology of designs for household furniture, mostly inspired by the Louis XVI Neo-classical style. In 1795 he produced a second catalogue, Neues Verzeichnis und Muster-Charte des Meubles-Magazin, in which English design types are dominant. A number of pieces corresponding to plates in these two pattern books have been identified (e.g. sofa, ...

Article

German, 18th – 19th century, male.

Active in Aachen.

Born 1758; died 1834.

Painter, poet.

Ferdinand Jansen painted views of Aachen and the surrounding area in oils and watercolours. He also painted portraits, including a self-portrait, and religious works. In 1825, he restored paintings in the vault of the cathedral and furnished the west vault with a painting....

Article

Rüdiger an der Heiden

(b Strasbourg, Oct 2, 1741; d Munich, Jan 3, 1822).

German painter, lithographer and administrator. He received his first training from his father, Konrad Mannlich (1701–58), court painter to Christian IV, Duke of Zweibrücken. In 1758 he was sent to the drawing academy at Mannheim by Christian IV, and in 1762–3 accompanied him to Paris, where he met François Boucher, Carle Vanloo and also Christoph Gluck and Diderot. His work from this period reveals the influence of French Rococo, for example in The Surprise (a scene from ‘Blaise the Shoemaker’, an opera by F.-A. Danican Philidor; Regensburg, Staatsgal.). He studied in Paris under Boucher in 1765–6, at the Académie de France in Rome under Charles-Joseph Natoire in 1767–70 and also visited Naples; on his return journey to Germany he met Anton Raphael Mengs in Florence. During 1770–71 he made a great many copies of paintings, including one after Raphael’s Madonna della sedia and another after Correggio’s Madonna of St Jerome...

Article

Ingrid Sattel Bernardini

[Maler Müller]

(b Kreuznach, Jan 13, 1749; d Rome, April 23, 1825).

German painter, engraver, draughtsman, poet and Playwright. From about 1765 he was taught by Daniel Hien (1724–73), court painter to Christian IV, Duke of Zweibrücken, with 17th-century Dutch painting as his model. Müller showed a talent for realistic depiction of animals, especially horses, and landscape, including farm scenes. The Duke gave him an allowance so that, from 1769, he was able to attend the Mannheim Akademie. Müller’s friendship there with Ferdinand Kobell and Franz Kobell (1749–1822) led to a considerable mutual influence in the work of all three. Müller also established himself as a poet at this time, becoming one of the representatives of the late 18th-century German literary movement known as Sturm und Drang. In the course of the 1770s Müller wrote a celebrated series of idylls, the lyric drama Niobe and the first parts of his Fausts Leben dramatisiert, all issued in editions with his own engraved illustrations. Life drawings and etchings from this period are in Mannheim (Städt. Reiss-Mus.), Frankfurt am Main (Goethemus.) and Monaco-Ville (Archvs Pal. Princier). At this time, however, Müller’s work as a poet and dramatist was more widely known and admired than his work as an artist. His study of the famous collection of casts of antique sculptures in the Antikensaal at Mannheim, and of paintings in the picture gallery belonging to the Elector ...

Article

Peter Boutourline Young

(b Milan, 1739; d Milan, 1825).

Italian scientist, philosopher, writer and architect. His early education took place in Milan, Monza, Rome and Naples between 1756 and 1765. Having joined the Barnabite order in 1756, he became a member of the regular clergy of S Paolo, Milan. In 1766 he was appointed professor-in-ordinary of mathematics at the Università di S Alessandro in Milan, where he also taught chemistry, mineralogy and canon law, and in 1772 he became professor of natural history. While best known for his work in geology and natural history, he is also remembered for his treatise Dell’architettura: Dialoghi (1770), which includes all the plans of the church of S Giuseppe at Seregno. Pini himself designed the Neo-classical interior of the church, which was completed by Giulio Galliori (1715–95). The treatise is arranged in the form of two Socratic dialogues by mathematics students in Milan and Longone. The first deals with the dome and the centrally planned church. The students exchange opinions on the mathematical calculation of domes, arches and vaults; Francesco Borromini is praised for his great technical ability, while his successors, in particular the French, are condemned for being responsible for ‘depraving the good taste of architecture’. The students conclude that intrinsic beauty is to be found in simple geometric shapes and that architecture can derive examples from the classical repertory. The second dialogue deals with fortifications and is of considerable importance for the study of the engineer ...

Article

Ryōkan  

Cecil H. Uyehara

(b Echigo Prov. [now Niigata Prefect.], 1758; d 1831).

Japanese Zen monk, calligrapher and poet. He became a monk at the age of 18 at the temple Kōshōji, Okayama Prefecture, but, being a wanderer for most of his life, never attained high monastic rank. He is known for his poetry in Japanese and Chinese and his individualistic, indeed idiosyncratic, swiftly brushed style of calligraphy and is one of the most respected calligraphers of the late Edo period, receiving more attention and study than his contemporaries Maki Ryōko and Ichikawa Beian. His modern popularity has given rise to an increasing number of Ryōkan forgeries. Most of his extant calligraphies consist of letters and poems in his own hand, much of the subject-matter deriving from his everyday experiences, as for example the letter brushed in ink on paper between 1806 and 1810 (Tokyo, N. Mus.). Ryōkan studied the 100-character text by the Chinese calligrapher Huaisu, the calligraphy of the legendary 4th-century ...