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Alexandra Skliar-Piguet

[Père André]

(b Châteaulin, Finistère, May 22, 1675; d Caen, Feb 26, 1764).

French priest, philosopher and writer. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1693, studied theology in Paris, then philosophy at the Collège de Clermont, and he was ordained a priest in 1706. He was a great scholar, who knew Greek, Latin and Hebrew; he devoted himself to philosophical research and poetry, at the same time teaching for the Society of Jesus in numerous institutions of learning in France. A staunch Cartesian, Père André inevitably incurred the hostility of the Society, which was wedded to Scholastic doctrines and Aristotelian philosophy. His innovative philosophical opinions and his suspect theology caused him to suffer various penalties, including imprisonment (1721). Under duress, he made a submission and in 1726 was appointed Royal Professor of Mathematics at Caen, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Père André is best known for his Essai sur le beau (1741), one of the earliest ...


French, 18th century, male.

Born 1724, in Paris; died 13 April 1806, in Paris.

Painter, draughtsman, writer and administrator. Religious subjects, portraits, animals, still-lifes (including flowers, fruit, game), cats, decorative motifs.

Jean-Jacques Bachelier was a pupil of Jean-Baptiste Pierre. He later became the director of painting at the Manufacture de Sèvres (Sèvres Porcelaine Factory), and founded the École Royale Gratuite de Dessin, an independent school of industrial arts, where he worked very successfully as a painter of flowers and still-lifes. The school, intended for young artisans aspiring to make a living in the applied arts, taught ornamental design, architecture, and the drawing of the human figure, animals and plants. He also tried his hand at biblical subjects. His works include: ...


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....


Valerie Mainz

[Fontenay] [Bonafous, Louis-Abel]

(b Castelnau-de-Brassac, Tarn, 3 or 4 May 1736; d Paris, 28 March 1806). French writer. He was the son of a lawyer; having been a pupil of the Jesuits, he joined that Order in 1752 but was never ordained priest. He became in his turn a teacher at Jesuit colleges, first at Albi and then at Tournon. When in 1762 the Jesuit Order was suppressed in France, he moved to Paris and became a writer, publishing under the name of Abbé de Fontenai and continuing to wear clerical dress. In 1777 he published a Dictionnaire des Artistes that was, as the author acknowledged in his preface, extremely derivative of Pierre-Jean Mariette’s Abécédario. It differed from it, however, in that Fontenai also recounted the lives of some actors, dancers, musicians, watchmakers and other craftsmen. He expressly stated that the aims of the dictionary were to present worthy models for other artists to emulate; to outline the history of art for interested amateurs; and to give pleasure by including amusing anecdotes....


Italian, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 28 June 1674, in Rome; died 5 March 1755, in Rome.

Painter, engraver, musician, scholar. Religious subjects, portraits.

Pierleone Ghezzi was the son and pupil of Giuseppe Ghezzi. He was commissioned by Pope Benedict XIV, together with L. Garzi, F. Trevisani and B. Luti, to paint, among other things, a series of ...


Howard Caygill

(b Königsberg, Feb 2, 1700; d Leipzig, Dec 12, 1766).

German philosopher. He was the first of the philosophers influenced by Johann Christian von Wolff (1679–1754) to establish a place in Wolff’s system for the fine arts. He attended the universities of Königsberg and Leipzig in the early 1720s, where he wrote theses on Wolffian topics. In 1730 he published his enormously influential Versuch einer critischen Dichtkunst. This essay brings together traditional poetics, the theory of taste and Wolffian philosophy. Although he employed the traditional framework of commenting on Horace’s Ars poetica, Gottsched focused on the relation between taste and perfection: perfection is rational, the unity of a manifold, but may be ‘obscurely perceived’ by taste. His relaxation of the stern rationalism of Wolff was insufficient for the Zurich critics Bodmer and Breitinger, generating a controversy that rumbled on into the 1750s. It was also unacceptable to the later generation of romantic aestheticians, notably Goethe, who found his compromise between the rules of art and the demands of taste still too restrictive....


Howard Caygill

(b Königsberg [Kaliningrad], Aug 27, 1730; d Münster, June 21, 1788).

German philosopher and theologian. After travels that included sojourns in London and Riga, he based himself in his native city from 1759, occupying minor posts and acting as a Christian gadfly to the German Enlightenment. He separated himself from Kant with the esoteric Sokratische Denkwürdigkeiten (1759), which spurned the philosophy and recondite style of the Enlightenment. His differences were further developed in the first, and perhaps most influential riposte to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, the Metacritik über den Purismum der Vernunft (1784), which questions how it is possible to criticize reason without assuming its validity, and claims that reason was already abstracted from language.

A similar argument informs Hamann’s main work in the philosophy of art, the ‘Aesthetica in Nuce’, one of the Kreuzzuge des Philologen (1762). This essay, subtitled ‘a rhapsody in cabbalistic prose’, attacks the abstract theories of imitation proposed by German ...


(b Nancy, Jan 1, 1719; d Padua, Oct 9, 1805).

French art historian and writer. He began as a captain in the service of Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg (d 1756). He mastered numerous languages and travelled in Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Living the life of an adventurer, he was frequently in debt, for which he was imprisoned in 1750; it is not certain how he obtained his barony. He was the friend of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who visited him in Naples in 1767. In 1764, when Sir William Hamilton (i), British Plenipotentiary in Naples, began to form his important collection of ancient vases, d’Hancarville was entrusted with the task of cataloguing them. The first volume of The Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities, from the Cabinet of the Honble Wm Hamilton etc was published in Naples in 1766 and aroused Winckelmann’s admiration; the second volume appeared in 1770, and the last two in 1776. The frontispiece and the vignettes, by ...


Petra Schniewind-Michel

(b Lübeck, Dec 24, 1707; d Alt-Döbern [Niederlausitz], nr Dresden, Jan 23, 1791).

German art scholar and collector. At school in Lübeck he became acquainted with the ideas of Leibniz and Christian Wolff; from 1724 he studied law and literature in Leipzig. There he developed an interest in the Enlightenment thinking of Johann Christoph Gottsched and in art, particularly the many private collections. In 1730 he became a private tutor in the Dresden house of the elector’s court poet Johann Ulrich König. Two years later he published a treatise on morality, Die wahren Absichten des Menschen. Heinecken then became steward at the house of the minister, Graf Sulkowsky. After Sulkowsky’s fall Graf Heinrich von Brühl, the most powerful man at the Saxon court, took on Heinecken as librarian and private secretary. In 1737 he translated Longinus’ On the Sublime from the Greek. In this work Heinecken pointed to the importance of ancient art theory long before Winckelmann, attracting much attention and the enmity of Gottsched. Under Brühl’s protection Heinecken, who was without wealth, was knighted, awarded the Alt-Döbern estate and managed Brühl’s estates, factories and finances. He was promoted to Oberamtsrat at the Saxon court; his unusual expertise in art and his clear judgement caused the king, ...


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, ...


Italian, 18th century, male.

Born 1703, in Pisa, to English parents; died 16 August 1778, in Florence.

Painter, engraver, scholar. Religious subjects, portraits.

Hugford studied art in Florence.

Florence (Church of S Felicità): St Raphael

Florence (Mus.): several paintings


Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

(b Dresden, March 2, 1718; d Dresden, Nov 28, 1789).

German architect, teacher, theorist and landscape designer. He was first taught mathematics and the rudiments of architecture by his uncle, Christian Friedrich Krubsacius (d 1746), a lieutenant-colonel in the engineers’ corps. He received further training from Zacharias Longuelune and Jean de Bodt. In 1740 he held the post of ‘Kondukteur’ in the building department at Dresden. From c. 1745 he collaborated in the designs of the chief state master builder, Johann Christoph Knöffel. After Knöffel’s death, Krubsacius became the favoured architect of Heinrich, Graf von Brühl, at that time the most important architectural patron in Saxony. In 1755 he was appointed Electoral Court Master Builder, a position created especially for him. He went on a study trip to Paris in 1755–6, at Brühl’s instigation. After the outbreak of the Seven Years War in 1756, his scope for architectural employment deteriorated, so he turned to teaching. In 1764 he became Professor of Architecture at the newly founded Dresden Kunstakademie. His most important work was Schloss Neschwitz (...


Franco Bernabei

(b Monte dell’Olmo, nr Macerata, June 13, 1732; d Florence, March 31, 1810).

Italian antiquary and art historian. He studied in Jesuit schools in Fermo and later in Rome, where he entered the Order of St Ignatius. His education was mainly classical, although it also included philosophy and mathematics. While in Rome he taught classical literature in Jesuit schools, concurrently absorbing the Neo-classical theories of Johann Joachim Winckelmann and Anton Raphael Mengs. When the Jesuit Order was suppressed in 1773 he was in Siena, where he had been sent for health reasons. In 1775 Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany (1747–92) appointed him curator of the antiquarian section of the Uffizi, Florence. This initiated a period of intense activity cataloguing, classifying and enriching the collection. In 1782 his catalogue of the reorganized gallery was published. In the meantime he travelled throughout Tuscany, not only doing research into the archaeological background required for this work but coincidentally broadening his interest in modern art. The combination of his early literary and linguistic interests with his new research on bronzes, gems and antique statues, which in that region were mostly Etruscan, inspired his ...


David Watkin

(b Manosque, Provence, Jan 22, 1713; d Paris, April 5, 1769).

French Jesuit priest, diplomat and writer. Laugier is celebrated in the history of 18th-century taste as the most influential of those who advocated a return to first principles in architecture. In his Essai sur l’architecture (1753) he argued that architects should always have before them the primitive hut as a reminder of the origins of architecture. This programme for a new architecture of radical simplicity was welcomed by those anxious to rid architecture of Baroque ornament, as well as by the supporters of Rousseau’s plea for a return to nature. The Essai caused such a stir outside France that it was translated into English in 1755 and German in the following year. Laugier produced an expanded edition of his Essai in 1755; he published the 12-volume Histoire de la République de Venise, depuis sa fondation jusqu’à présent in 1759–68, and Observations sur l’architecture in 1765.

The second edition of ...


Valeria Farinati

(Cristoforo Ignazio Antonio)

(b Venice, bapt Nov 28, 1690; d Padua, Oct 27, 1761).

Italian architectural theorist, teacher and writer. He was one of the most original Italian theorists of the 18th century, his ideas on functionalism later being viewed as precursors of Modernist principles. He came from a family who had close connections with the Venetian Arsenal and military engineering. After completing his initial studies at the monastery of S Francesco della Vigna, Venice, in 1706 he became an Observant Friar Minor in Dalmatia. In 1709 he was transferred to the monastery of S Maria in Aracoeli in Rome, where he continued his studies in philosophy, science, theology, Greek and French. He remained in Rome for about four years, during which time he developed his interest in art and architecture; he was then transferred to the monastery of S Biagio in Forlì. From 1715 to 1720 he lived in Verona, where he began teaching astronomy, physics and mathematics to Veronese noblemen, and philosophy to the novices of the monastery of S Bernardino. Also in Verona he contributed to an edition of the works of the French humanist Marc-Antoine Muretus (...


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...


Jacques Dubois

(b Château de Soulage [Soulatgé], Aude, Jan 16, 1655; d Paris, Dec 21, 1741).

French monk and writer. After serving in Germany in the French army of Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, he entered the scholarly Maurist community of Benedictines, making his profession in 1676; he went on to specialize in studies of the Greek Fathers, pursuing these in various abbeys and in Paris. Among his many works in this field is an edition of the writings of St Athanasius (1698) and the Paleographia graeca (1708), an important catalogue of Greek manuscripts. Shortly after publication of the former he went to Rome. On his return he published Diarium italicum (1702), a journal of his travels, the popularity of which led to several translations.

About 1693 Montfaucon began patiently to gather together all available prints and drawings of antique and early medieval art and artefacts he could find. By the early 1720s he reckoned he had between 30,000 and 40,000 of them—the largest corpus by then ever assembled. His aim as an historian was to attempt for the ‘Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman and Gallic nations and numerous others’ what he had achieved, through examination of their manuscripts, for the world of the Greek Fathers. The eventual result was his ...


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 ...


Gregor M. Lechner

(b Wangen, Allgäu, Nov 24, 1670; d Ottobeuren, Oct 20, 1740).

German churchman, writer and patron. He entered the Order of St Benedict in 1688 and studied philosophy and theology at Ottobeuren and at the Benedictine university at Salzburg. He was ordained a priest in 1694 and began pastoral work in Tisis, Vorarlberg. His first theological writings date from 1702. Having served as agriculturalist (1703–10) to the abbey of Ottobeuren, he was elected the 52nd abbot of Ottobeuren on 8 May 1710. In 1711 he became regional governor, in 1712 imperial councillor and hereditary chaplain and in 1718 praeses (president) of the Benedictine congregation at Salzburg. He is regarded as the second founder of Ottobeuren through his commissioning (1711) of an extensive building programme (see Ottobeuren), in which the architecture mirrors the mind and faith of its builder, being a synthesis of Benedictine order and freedom, severity and serenity, individual and community, nature and art, worldliness and spirituality. The building marks the flowering of German late Baroque monastery architecture in the prestigious, imperial style. The exact progress of the building of the monastery and its new church can be reconstructed from the 14 surviving volumes of the Abbot’s diaries (Ottobeuren, Benedictine abbey; Munich, Bayer. Haupstaatsarchv), which are divided into political, ecclesiastical and economic sections. Portraits of ...


Janet Southorn

(b Bologna, 1660; d Bologna, Nov 8, 1727).

Italian art historian. He became a member of the Carmelite order and took up residence at the Bolognese convent of S Martino, where he devoted himself to a life of study. A natural sympathy for art had led him first to an admiration for painting and later to an appreciation of drawings, which he collected, together with prints and books. Art also provided him with his principal subject for research and his dedicated studies earned him honorary membership of the Bolognese Accademia Clementina.

Orlandi’s most influential publication was the Abecedario pittorico, published in 1704. It was the first Italian collection of artists’ biographies to be organized alphabetically (grouping artists by first name, not surname). Unlike his predecessor Carlo Cesare Malvasia, author of the Felsina pittrice (1678), Orlandi did not restrict himself to Bolognese artists, choosing instead to be international in scope and to include also the artists of antiquity. He consulted most if not all of the recognized authorities, among them Giorgio Vasari, Giovanni Baglione, Carlo Ridolfi, Ludovico Vedriani, the author of the ...