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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

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(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...

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Margaret Medley

(b London, June 11, 1914; d Pembury, Kent, July 31, 1983).

English diplomat, collector and art historian. In 1947, as a member of the British Diplomatic Service, he was posted to Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, then the capital of the Nationalist Chinese government. He became interested in Chinese art and history and began a collection of porcelain, furniture and textiles at a time of political and economic uncertainty, when Chinese collectors were forced to sell. When he moved to the British embassy in Beijing in 1954 he continued his research into Chinese ceramic history with the help of specialists from the Palace Museum. In 1963 he became British ambassador to the Philippines and was largely responsible for organizing the Manila Trade Pottery Seminar (1968), to which he also contributed five of the nine discussion monographs. From 1972 to 1974, as British ambassador to China, he played an important part in promoting the Chinese archaeological exhibition The Genius of China, held in London at the Royal Academy in ...

Article

(b Amsterdam, Aug 13, 1820; d Amsterdam, March 17, 1889).

Dutch writer, critic and collector. He was raised in a cultivated and artistic merchant family but preferred writing to commerce. In addition to serving as an editor of the Volksalmanak voor Nederlandsche Katholieken, he published the Dietsche Warande. His lifelong advocacy of Roman Catholic emancipation is reflected in many of his short stories (written under the pseudonym Pauwels Foreestier) concerning Catholic life in 17th-century Holland. In 1876 he was appointed professor of aesthetics and the history of art at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldenden Kunsten, Amsterdam. An architectural preservationist and an important critic of the art and architecture of his time, he asserted that art should serve a religious function, as it had during the Middle Ages. It should be social, idealistic and transcendental. In his ideal society the arts would form a harmonious unit under the heading of architecture. His brother-in-law P. J. H. Cuypers was the leading Dutch architect of the day, whose career was assisted by Alberdingk Thijm’s advocacy of Gothic Revivalism in architecture. Alberdingk Thijm was particularly opposed to the painters of the Barbizon and Hague schools, whose work he considered to have no underlying purpose. Rather, he preferred the Düsseldorf school, which displayed a knowledge of history and literature. His large collections reflected his philosophical orientation. His numerous 17th and 18th-century Dutch paintings, mostly by minor masters, represented all the genres. He also owned a large collection of drawings and prints, as well as books, manuscripts and religious art from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, which included a Gothic ciborium, a Byzantine crucifix and embroideries on silk, which were dispersed at auction after his death (Amsterdam, Muller, ...

Article

Howard Colvin

(b Westminster, London, Jan 1647 or 1648; d Oxford, Dec 14, 1710).

English architect and scholar. The son of Henry Aldrich, later auditor to James, Duke of York, he was educated at Westminster School, London, and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated as a BA in 1666 and an MA in 1669. He remained in Oxford for the rest of his life, becoming in 1682 a canon of Christ Church and in 1689 Dean of the College and Cathedral. From 1692 to 1695 he served as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University.

Aldrich was a highly accomplished man who was well known for his learning in many fields. He edited Greek and Latin texts, wrote a standard book on logic, and also published works on mathematics, music and architecture. He had a large library that included books on antiquities and many architectural and other engravings. He left his library to Christ Church, where it remains, but directed that all his personal papers were to be destroyed. As a result, relatively little is known about his architectural interests and activities. However, there is reason to think that he had visited France and Italy, and he was certainly regarded by contemporaries as an authority on architectural matters. He was himself an excellent draughtsman and made the drawings for the allegorical engravings that decorate the Oxford almanacks for ...

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Article

[Pierre Urbain]

(b Paris, 1859; d Paris, 1937).

French writer and collector. He wrote for a number of journals including Le Figaro, Le Voltaire and L’Evénement. He was the first to use the term Neo-Impressionism in a French publication (L’Evénement, 10 Dec 1886) after its use by Félix Féneon in September in Art moderne in Brussels. His attitude to the emerging Neo-Impressionist movement was somewhat equivocal. In Paris (13 Aug 1888) he wrote of Seurat as ‘the man of great achievements who is in some danger of having the paternity of his own theory wrested from him by ill-informed critics or unscrupulous colleagues’. Although he admired Seurat, he had grave doubts about the effect of his theories on other artists, claiming (in the same article) that they had ‘spoilt some great talents, painters like Angrand and Signac’. His comments particularly infuriated Paul Signac and caused tension within the group. He also wrote on the work of the ...

Article

[Alfonso, King of Germany]

(b Toledo, Nov 23, 1221; reg 1252–84; d Seville, April 4, 1284).

Spanish ruler and patron. He was a man of wide learning, a legislator and a poet. Although moderately successful in the Reconquest, following the tradition of his father Ferdinand III, King of Castile and León (reg 1217–52), he provoked opposition by raising taxes and seeking election as Holy Roman Emperor (1256).

Alfonso sponsored translations of Arab writings on astronomy and astrology. He himself composed works of history, poetry and law. His Cantigas de Santa María, a collection of over 400 poems, which survive in four manuscripts (Madrid, Escorial, Real Bib. Monasterio S Lorenzo, MSS B.I.2 and T.I.1; Madrid, Bib. N., MS. 10069; Florence, Bib. N. Cent., MS. B.R.20), were written in Galician over a period of 25 years ending in 1279. The songs of the Virgin are accompanied by an important and extensive series of over 1000 small genre scenes ‘structured like a modern comic-strip to tell the song’s narrative visually’ (Burns). Bullfights and street scenes are shown; battles depict both Christians and Muslims, and several pictures reveal Alfonso himself (he considered himself to be a troubadour of the Virgin Mary, ...

Article

(b Venice, Dec 11, 1712; d Pisa, May 12, 1764).

Italian patron, collector and writer. The second son of a wealthy Venetian merchant, he was educated in Bologna, where he studied under the eminent scientists Eustachio Manfredi and the Zanotti brothers. Afterwards he travelled in the Veneto and developed a particular admiration for the works of Veronese, Guido Reni and Andrea Palladio. In Florence in 1733 he was impressed by the art of Titian and Fra Bartolommeo. He then spent a year in Rome, where the ancient monuments and paintings by the Caracci and Domenichino had a considerable impact on him. There, too, he made the acquaintance of the scholar and antiquarian Giovanni Gaetano Bottari. A period in Paris led to contacts with Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, an early champion of Newton’s principles, and with Voltaire and the collectors Pierre Crozat and Pierre-Jean Mariette. Then in England in 1736 he was a social success; during this visit Jonathan Richardson made two portrait drawings of him (London, V&A). After a further stay in Paris, with Voltaire, he spent a year in Milan and Venice and published a popular exposition on Newton’s discoveries in optics, ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[‛Alī Wijdān; Wijdan]

(b Baghdad, Aug 29, 1939).

Jordanian painter and art patron. She studied history at Beirut University College (formerly Beirut College for Women), receiving a BA in 1961. In 1993 she took a PhD in Islamic Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After serving in the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representing her country at United Nations meetings in Geneva and New York, Ali founded the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Jordan in 1979 and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in 1980 (see Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of). In 1988 she organized in Amman the Third International Seminar on Islamic Art, entitled ‘Problems of Art Education in the Islamic World’, and in 1989 she organized the exhibition Contemporary Art from the Islamic World at the Barbican Centre, London. In 2001 she founded the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan, and has received numerous awards in recognition of her work in the arts....

Article

Donatella L. Sparti

(b Terni, after 1559; d Rome, ?Nov 29, 1652).

Italian writer, historian and collector. He produced about 38 novels and several comedies, although his literary works have been little studied. In Perugia he was a member of the Accademia degli Insensati, under the name Tenebroso. He is documented as having been in Rome in the late 16th century as secretary to Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini (later Pope Clement VIII) and chief Apostolic Notary. At his home on the Pincio hill he accumulated a substantial collection, containing scientific instruments, examples of flora and fauna, a picture gallery, a large collection of Kleinkunst, medals, and a vast assortment of drawings by contemporary artists especially Annibale Carracci. The collection was accompanied by a rich library. The organization and contents of the collection are described by Angeloni himself in a manuscript in Venice (Fletcher, 1974). From 1634 his nephew Giovanni Pietro Bellori lived in the house; Angeloni educated him in art, literature and antiquities, and introduced him into the circle of classicist artists with whom he had formed a relationship, more in the role of erudite mentor than that of patron....

Article

Andrew McClellan

[Billarderie d’Angiviller, Comte de la; Flahaut, Charles-Claude]

(b Saint-Rémy-sur-l’Eau, Jan 24, 1730; d Altona, nr Hamburg, Dec 11, 1809).

French administrator. His brief but distinguished military career led to the Dauphin Louis, son of Louis XV, by whose side he had served at the Battle of Fontenoy (1745), entrusting him with the education of the royal princes, including the Duc de Berry, the future Louis XVI. Flahaut’s many years of faithful service were rewarded with his appointment as Directeur-Général des Bâtiments du Roi after Louis XVI’s accession in 1774. Although nothing in his background had prepared him for his new responsibilities—he was of pure military stock and unlike his predecessor, the Marquis de Marigny, had not been groomed in the arts—he proved an excellent civil servant: efficient, imaginative and, above all, devoted to the King. Of all 18th-century Directeurs des Bâtiments, he alone merits comparison with Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s great minister.

D’Angiviller is best known for his attempts to revitalize history painting and sculpture (see...

Article

Olivier Michel

[Gondrin, Antoine-Louis de Pardaillan de]

(b Paris, Nov 5, 1665; d Paris, Nov 2, 1736).

French administrator and patron. He was the son of the Marquis de Montespan, whose wife, Françoise Athénais de Mortemart, became one of the mistresses of Louis XIV. During the prominence of her successor Mme de Maintenon, d’Antin pursued an undistinguished military career, and it was only after his mother’s death in 1707 that his gifts as a courtier were rewarded with the post of governor of the Orléanais and, in 1708, with that of Directeur-Général des Bâtiments du Roi (see Maison du Roi, §II). His predecessor, Jules Hardouin Mansart, had been termed Surintendant; d’Antin held this amplified title from 1716 to 1726, but thereafter returned to his initial designation. His dukedom was from 1710. He inherited the châteaux of Bellegarde (Loiret), Oiron (Deux-Sèvres) and Petit-Bourg near Fontainebleau, and considerably embellished them.

As Directeur-Général, d’Antin’s authority extended over all artists nominally attached to the royal household, over the Imprimerie Royale, the Mint, the Gobelins, the Observatoire and all the academies except the Académie des Sciences. During the last years of Louis XIV financial difficulties inhibited state patronage of the arts, but after his death in ...

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Norman E. Land

(b Arezzo, 19 or April 20, 1492; d Venice, 1556).

Italian art critic, writer, poet and collector. He was one of the most engaging literary figures of the Italian Renaissance, known not only for his famous Lettere but also for political lampoons, erotic books and religious writings. He was the son of a shoemaker, Luca del Tura. From before 1510 until 1517 he lived in Perugia. A book of poems that he published during these years, Opera nova (1512), suggests by its subtitle, in which the author is called ‘Pietro pictore Aretino’, and by a note to the first sonnet in which he claims to be ‘studioso … in pictura’, that he had some training as an artist. About 1517 he moved to Rome, after a short period in Siena, and joined the household of Agostino Chigi. He became friendly with Raphael, Michelangelo, Sebastiano del Piombo and Jacopo Sansovino. At this time too he became known for his political lampoons. For a period Aretino was a valet to Pope Leo X; on Leo’s death in ...

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Natividad Sánchez Esteban

(b Seville, 1548; d Las Palmas, Canary Islands, 1596).

Spanish soldier, writer and collector. As a reward for his military achievements, Philip II appointed him Alférez Mayor of Andalusia, and he also received honours from the kings of France, Portugal and Poland. He became royal chronicler, which gave him access to numerous libraries throughout Spain, in which he discovered rare Spanish books dating from the Middle Ages. These were important for his La historia de la nobleza de Andaluzia, only the first part of which was published (1588). Among other things, this includes histories of Seville, Ubeda and Baeza and a genealogy of Argote de Molina’s family. Argote de Molina was also Veinticuatro of Seville, a commissioner of the Inquisition and first Provincial de la Santa Hermandad. In addition he was a member of the circle of humanists and writers around the Duques de Gelves in their villa, called La Merlina. His marriage to the daughter of the Marqués of Lanzarote obliged him to move to that island, and on the death of his wife he settled in Gran Canaria. His humanist interests led him to create a private museum in his home, a typical example of a 16th-century collection of art and exotic objects, a ...

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(b Paris, July 21, 1772; d Paris, Nov 12, 1849).

French diplomat, collector and writer . As a diplomat, in Rome, he represented the French royal princes exiled during the Revolution. Later, under the Consulate he was assistant to the diplomat and collector François Cacault in the negotiation of the Concordat with the papacy. From 1804 to 1807 he was chargé d’affaires to Queen Marie-Louise of Etruria, and after the Bourbon restoration he was secretary at the French embassies in Vienna, Madrid and, most importantly, in Rome from 1819 to 1830. His love of Italy found expression in a number of published works on Italian history and a translation of Dante’s Divina commedia. Influenced by the taste and writings of Jean-Baptiste Séroux d’Agincourt—and constrained by his limited financial means—Artaud assembled a collection of Italian primitives that was quite original in its day. It was chiefly made up of Sienese and Florentine pictures and included works then attributed to Fra Mino Turrita and to the ...

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David Howarth

(b Lichfield, May 23, 1617; d London, 18/May 19, 1692).

English antiquary, collector and writer . He was the son-in-law of William Dugdale and the beneficiary and legatee of the collections of John Tradescant the elder and younger (see Tradescant). The Tradescants were the first in Britain to create a cabinet of curiosities, both natural and artificial, with a European reputation. In 1656 Ashmole and John Tradescant the younger compiled a printed catalogue of the Tradescant rarities called Musaeum Tradescantianum, the first catalogue of its kind. In 1662 Tradescant the younger left Ashmole his cabinet. In 1666 Ashmole completed a catalogue of the collection of Roman coins in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in 1672 he published The Institution, Laws and Ceremonies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter with plates by Wenzel Hollar. In 1675 Ashmole began negotiations with the University of Oxford about donating his collections. In the spring of 1679 work began on what has come to be known as the ...

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Mercedes Agueda

(b Barbuñales, 1730; d Paris, Jan 26, 1804)

Spanish diplomat, writer and patron . He studied at the University of Salamanca and entered the Ministerio de Estado at an early age. His political career included service in the Spanish Embassy in Rome as Agente de Preces from 1766, and he rose to be Ambassador there from 1784 to 1798, when he was appointed Ambassador to Paris; a second appointment to this post lasting until shortly before his death.

Azara was a typical figure of the Age of Enlightened Despotism—a Royalist and convinced anti-Jesuit. He cultivated the 18th-century literary genre of letter-writing, corresponding with leading figures such as the statesman and general Don Pedro Pablo Conde de Aranda, the printer Giambattista Bodoni, Manuel de Roda and Bernardo de Iriarte. He was in touch with intellectual circles, and among his friends were the Spaniards E. Llaguno (d 1799) and E. de Arteaga (1747–99), Italians such as Carlo Fea (...

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Josèphe Jacquiot

[Pierre-Antoine de Rascas]

(b Aix-en-Provence, bapt 3 Feb 1562; d Aix-en-Provence, 14 April 1620). French collector and administrator. In 1602 Henry IV appointed him Maître des Cabinets de Médailles et Antiquités. His task was to reconstitute, in a hall of the château of Fontainebleau, the royal collection of medals and antiques, starting from what remained of the royal treasures after the disorders of the Wars of Religion. In order to increase the museum’s growing collection, Bagarris offered the King his own collection, consisting of 957 engraved gems, including 200 cameos. He took it back after Henry IV’s death; but in 1670 it was bought back by Louis XIV, and returned to the royal collection, enhanced by the addition of three famous intaglios: the so-called ‘Seal of Michelangelo’, attributed to Pietro Maria Serbaldi di Pescia, a Triumph of Silenus and a Cicero (all Paris, Bib. N., Cab. Médailles). Two documents highlight the importance that Henry IV attached to restoring the Cabinets des Médailles et Antiquités. The first contains the instructions that Bagarris received in ...