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Alfieri, Benedetto Innocente  

Peter Stein

(b Rome, 1699; d Turin, Dec 9, 1767).

Italian architect. Descended from an impoverished ducal family of Asti, Piedmont, Alfieri spent his first 16 years in Rome. A papal stipend enabled him to study law at the Collegio dei Nobili in Turin, after which he settled as a lawyer in Asti. Even as a successful architect in public office, he continued to make use of his legal knowledge, and in Asti and later Turin he served as mayor intermittently. Alfieri was extraordinarily versatile, with no single personal style. He worked simultaneously in three separate styles: Roman high and late Baroque; French Rococo (for decoration); and early classicism. His attitude to these styles was functional rather than historical, and his choice of which one to use usually depended on the nature of the project and the wishes of his client. Thus Alfieri built Catholic churches in Roman Baroque and Protestant churches in a puristic classicism. Piedmontese State commissions were executed in the severe manner of the Turin State style as practised by Amadeo di Castellamonte and Filippo Juvarra before him. For the royal court and the aristocracy French Rococo was appropriate. Façades of palaces were decorated in the idiom of a restrained Baroque classicism, like that which Gianlorenzo Bernini and Carlo Fontana had developed in Rome. Whatever the style, Alfieri worked with facility and elegance, blending disparate elements into ingenious, harmonious creations. He was not a great innovator, but his work anticipates in certain respects the purpose-built functional architecture of the 20th century. With his flexible use of existing architectural vocabulary, he was a first-class architect of the second rank....


José Fernandes Pereira



Bergmüller [Bergmiller], Johann Georg  

Gode Krämer

(b Türkheim, bapt April 15, 1688; d Augsburg, April 2, 1762).

German painter, teacher, draughtsman and printmaker. His frescoes and altarpieces and his teaching established him as the dominant figure in the art life of Augsburg in the earlier 18th century. He came from a family of well-known Swabian sculptors, cabinetmakers and painters, with whom he probably initially trained. The Bavarian Duke Maximilian Philip paid for him to study (1702–8) with the Munich court painter Johann Andreas Wolff, after which he was summoned by the Elector of the Palatinate to decorate the court church of St Hubertus in Düsseldorf (1708–9; destr.). In 1710 or 1712 Bergmüller frescoed the church of Kreuzpullach, near Wolfratshausen. In his request for permission to marry and for mastership in Augsburg in 1712, he referred to an otherwise undocumented stay in the Netherlands. He settled permanently in the Imperial Free City in 1713 and attended its Reichstädtische Kunstakademie from 1715. From this time he rose to become the most influential painter and teacher in Augsburg, with apprentices coming from beyond the city, including ...


Bonavia, Giacomo  

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos


(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...


Cotte, Robert de  

Robert Neuman

(b Paris, 1656–7; d Passy, Paris, July 15, 1735).

French architect and urban planner. The most influential French Baroque architect during the Régence, he was Premier Architecte du Roi between 1708 and 1734. Financial constraints limited his work for the Crown, but he built many hôtels for the nobility, involved himself in numerous urban planning schemes and was frequently consulted by patrons abroad, particularly in Germany.

By 1676 de Cotte was working for Jules Hardouin Mansart, whose brother-in-law he later became. In 1681 Hardouin Mansart was appointed Premier Architecte du Roi to Louis XIV, and during his absence from court in 1687 de Cotte first attracted the attention of the King with his own drawings for the colonnade of the Grand Trianon at Versailles. Destined to play an important role in the Service des Bâtiments du Roi, in 1689 de Cotte embarked on a trip to Italy lasting six months in order to complete his architectural education.

Although the King’s costly wars brought a temporary halt to royal projects in the 1690s, the Treaty of Ryswick of ...


Fischer, Johann Michael  

Christian F. Otto

(b Burglengenfeld, Oberpfalz, Feb 18, 1692; d Munich, May 6, 1766).

German architect. He was one of the most creative architects of the late Baroque and Rococo in southern Germany, known primarily for his churches. In these he explored two basic antithetical concepts of Western ecclesiastical design: the traditional longitudinal arrangement of the church for liturgical procession in contrast to the ideal centralized church, and the gradual revealing of sacred space in contrast to its presentation as a complete whole. In four decades of building, Fischer worked to resolve these antitheses by interconnecting large, single spaces immediately visible in their entirety to smaller, ancillary spaces experienced as fragments, by combining centralized and longitudinal axes and by integrating curvilinear with rectilinear form.

Trained as a mason by his father, Fischer’s journeyman years began in 1712 and took him through Bohemia, Moravia and Austria. In 1718 he settled in Munich, where he worked under the City Mason Johann Mayr (1677–1731) and ...


Gabrieli, Gabriel de’  

Birgit Roth

(b Roveredo, nr Bellinzona, 1671; d Eichstätt, March 21, 1747).

Italian master builder and architect. In the early 1690s he was a master builder at the court of Prince John Adam of Liechtenstein in Vienna, where he worked at the Liechtenstein town palace, firstly under Domenico Martinelli and later (1705–6) completing it to his own plans, the staircase showing his influence most strongly. Gabrieli was summoned to Ansbach in 1694 by Markgraf Georg Friedrich to submit plans for rebuilding the palace there, and while the Margrave deliberated, Gabrieli took on other commissions in Ansbach. He built a garden house (1697–9; now the Prinzenschlossen) for Privy Counsellor Georg Christian Seefried above the palace quarter. Less well preserved is his summer-house (1696–1701) for Lieutenant-Colonel Jahnus in Pfaffengreuth. Gabrieli began work on the Ansbach Palace in 1705, after the Margrave’s death. A fire in 1709 facilitated a complete remodelling, and Gabrieli, who was promoted to court architect and Director of Building in ...


García de Quiñones, Andrés  

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

(b Santiago de Compostela, Aug 9, 1709; d Salamanca, Nov 15, 1784).

Spanish architect. He was probably trained by Domingo A. de Andrade. In 1729 he moved to Salamanca, competing for work against the successful Churriguera family. He produced an excellent drawing of the north side of the incomplete Plaza Mayor, in an unsuccessful bid to be appointed overseer. In 1749, however, he achieved his aim and was made Master of Works for the town hall. With its low relief architectural articulation, it dominated the north side of the square, which, like the south side, was completed by 1755 under García’s supervision.

Between 1730 and 1745 García was appointed to build a wing for the Colegio Real de la Compañía de Jesús. He designed the exterior to blend in with the main building using the classical style of J. Gómez. The courtyard is considered a masterpiece in the Spanish Baroque style. He also designed the staircase, library and a hall with stuccoed vaults, in a style similar to that produced by French decorators such as Jean Bérain I. He also worked on the church façade, adding two slender towers with varied silhouettes, their belfries and cupolas stacked in decreasing size and decorated with stone reliefs in the Rococo style. While working at the Colegio Real de la Compañía de Jesús, García designed two altarpieces for the church and one for the sacristy. These, with their weighty volumes and undulating surfaces, are much more dynamic than those by the Churriguera family, who were known for their extravagant style. García’s more progressive, Rococo style was subsequently taken up by his son ...


Hårleman, Carl  

(b Stockholm, 1700; d Stockholm, 1753).

Swedish architect. His father, Johan Hårleman (1662–1707), was a landscape gardener who collaborated with Nicodemus Tessin the younger at Steninge Manor and on the garden at Drottningholm, near Stockholm. Carl Hårleman first trained as a draughtsman and architect at the palace works in Stockholm under Tessin and G. J. Adelcrantz (1668–1739). On Tessin’s recommendation he was sent to study in Paris and Italy (1721–6); he also visited Britain. In 1727 he was recalled to Stockholm to direct work on the Royal Palace as Tessin’s successor, and in 1741 he was appointed Superintendent. He visited France in 1731–2 and 1744–5 to recruit artists and craftsmen to work on the interiors of the Royal Palace and Drottningholm in Stockholm. Such visits also enabled him to remain in touch with French stylistic developments.

There are close connections between Hårleman’s designs for town and country houses and those of such French architects as Charles-Etienne Briseux and Jean-Baptiste Bullet. Svartsjö (...


José Fernandes Pereira



Juvarra, Filippo  

Martha Pollak

(b Messina, June 16, 1678; d Madrid, Jan 31, 1736).

Italian architect, draughtsman and designer. His work reinforced a Late Baroque classical tradition while also drawing on the leavening criticism of that tradition by Francesco Borromini. His work is characterized by clarity and directness, his architectural conceptions defined by a drastically reduced structure and complex conglomerate spaces; his surfaces were adorned with elaborate decorative systems the originality of which pointed the way to a light-hearted Rococo. In 1714 he became first architect of Victor-Amadeus II of Savoy, King of Sicily. Juvarra’s mandate was to accomplish the transformation of Turin begun in the 17th century. During a 20-year residence in Turin he built sixteen palaces and eight churches, and designed numerous church ornaments. He also designed furniture, theatre scenery and urban complexes.

Between 1693 and 1701 Juvarra worked with his father and brothers as a silversmith in Messina. He also studied there for the priesthood and was ordained in 1703. In ...


Marchionni, Carlo  

Elisabeth Kieven

(b Rome, Feb 10, 1702; d Rome, July 28, 1786).

Italian architect, sculptor, draughtsman and designer. He owed his career to the patronage of cardinals Alessandro Albani (see Albani family, §2) and Annibale Albani. Like the Marchionni family, the Albani family came from the Marches. Marchionni first trained as a sculptor, then studied architecture at the Accademia di S Luca in Rome under Filippo Barigioni, winning the first prize in 1728, his final year. Marchionni’s prizewinning drawings demonstrated his exceptional talent as a draughtsman, always far greater than his inspiration as an architect. Cardinal Alessandro Albani engaged him to build his villa in Anzio as early as 1728 and in 1734 commissioned Marchionni to design the façade of the collegiate church at Nettuno. Both are conventional works carrying the imprint of the Accademia, revealing a clear commitment to the past in their use of 17th-century architectural motifs. Marchionni worked as a sculptor between 1730 and 1748. His most interesting sculptural work is the tomb of ...


Mardel, Carlos  

José Eduardo Horta Correia

[Mardell, ?Károly]

(b ?Hungary, c. 1695; d ?Lisbon, 1763).

Architect of Hungarian origin, active in Portugal. He lived in England and France and fought as a military officer in the imperial wars in Central Europe before going to Portugal in 1733. There his part in the development of secular architecture during the reigns of kings John V and Joseph I was very important. Mardel’s style was formed essentially by central European late Baroque and Rococo and the formal secular architecture of French Classicism. As an engineer his experience was invaluable in the immense project for the reconstruction of Lisbon from 1755. His work also shows an ability to incorporate local Portuguese characteristics, and he aimed to combine the official courtly Joanine style with the vernacular Portuguese tradition of the estilo Chão or Plain Style favoured by other military engineers active in Lisbon. Mardel brought to Pombaline architecture his own elegance, lightness and imagination, qualities that stand beside the radical simplicity seen in the work of Eugénio dos Santos....


Pedrajas, Francisco Javier  

María Teresa Dabrio González

(b Priego de Córdoba, Dec 3, 1736; d Córdoba, 1817).

Spanish architect and designer. He worked mainly in the province of Córdoba and its surrounding regions as one of Córdoba’s leading exponents of the Baroque, using a style that closely relates his training to other local artists; his period of greatest productivity was between 1777 and 1784. His work is marked entirely by Rococo sensibility, and he was little influenced by Neo-classicism, although he was aware of it. His designs for altarpieces are characterized by the use of the estipíte to articulate the single-storey structures, which are surmounted by pediments. In late works, however, he often abandoned the estipíte and employed the column as a means of support. He also favoured the ornamental use of rocaille as architectural decoration. His finest existing altarpieces include the retable of the Virgin of Solitude (c. 1770; Priego de Córdoba, former convent of S Pedro), the retable of the Christ of Charity (...


Soares da Silva, André Ribeiro  

José Fernandes Pereira

(b Braga, 1720; d Braga, 1769).

Portuguese architect and designer of altarpieces. His work, which is confined to Braga and the province of Minho, combines the Portuguese Baroque tradition with elements of Bavarian Rococo in an exuberant style full of lyricism, formal invention and ingenious plasticity. It was rediscovered by Smith (1958), having long been assigned to ‘an unknown master’.

Soares was the son of a wealthy businessman of Braga. In 1737 he took minor orders and in 1738 entered the Brotherhood of St Thomas Aquinas, becoming its major-domo in 1760. It is not known where he received his training, but it is probable that he knew the Braga artist Marceliano de Araújo and that he had access to the rich repertory of forms available in contemporary Augsburg engravings, which are known to have been in circulation in Braga. His first documented work is the frontispiece to the Statute Book of the Brotherhood of the Infant Jesus and St Anne (...


Terminal figure  

[term; terminus]

Decorative carved architectural feature, also used on Baroque and Rococo furniture, consisting of a bust- or half-length human, mythological figure or animal that appears to spring from the top of a pillar, pilaster, pedestal, bracket etc. The name derives from Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries (see also Herm...


Vale family  

José Fernandes Pereira

Portuguese family of artists. They belong to a period of transition in northern Portugal, from Baroque to Rococo, when structural elements adhered to the earlier style and the elegance of form depended on the new. Their training and architectural practice were closer to those of artisans, but they did have access to Augsburg engravings that were circulating among the monastic orders in the region. For these reasons their work often reflects the conflict apparent in Portuguese art of the second half of the 18th century, which fluctuated in form and decoration between Baroque and Rococo.

(fl c. Guimarães, 1748).

Architect. He designed the impressive façade of the Lobo Machado mansion (1750–75), Guimarães. Here the lintel forms, as well as the carved, voluted and inverted pediment forms of the window cornices, are derived directly from the work of Nicolau Nasoni in Oporto, though the forms have been rearranged and given a more powerful expression; the swinging line of the cornice comes from the architecture of the neighbouring city of Braga. A related design by the same architect is seen on the façade of the church of S Domingos, the Third Order of St Dominic, Guimarães, built before ...


Veneroni, Giannantonio  

Anna Menichella

[Gianantonio; Giovanni Antonio]

(b Pavia, 1683–1686; d Broni, Apr 18, 1749).

Italian architect. He trained from 1700 to 1707 with the Milanese architect Giuseppe Quadrio and successfully completed his studies to become “engineer and architect.” His first assignments were as land surveyor for the Collegio Borromeo in Pavia and various commissions for the local aristocracy and religious orders. He also taught architecture in Pavia for a long time. Veneroni’s only consistently acknowledged work is the Palazzo Mezzabarba (1726–1732; now the town hall), Pavia, which was erected for the counts Giuseppe and Gerolamo Mezzabarba. The building is in the form of a long parallelepiped, with two separate entrances on the front; a wide staircase is situated in a block that juts out at right angles to the rear. Thoenes suggested that the original project was organized around two courts corresponding to the twin entrances and that this scheme was not fully realized. The façade is distinguished by the elegant ornament at the windows and the symmetrical portals, surmounted by wide balconies. One of the portals leads to a scenographic entrance hall with three aisles, the other to a blind wall. A giant order of pilasters divides a rhythmical sequence of round-headed windows. These forms are reminiscent of the work of Francesco Borromini, and their unexpected presence in Lombardy has led to speculation as to their source. Both Arslan and Thoenes suggested that they were derived from Roman prototypes, although Wittkower classed the Palazzo Mezzabarba as a work of the Italian Rococo. In ...