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Article

Bandelwerk  

Gordon Campbell

Article

Biennais, Martin-Guillaume  

Donna Corbin

(b Lacochère, Orne, April 29, 1764; d Paris, March 26, 1843).

French cabinetmaker and silversmith. The silver and silver-gilt produced in his workshop rivals that of his contemporaries Henri Auguste and Jean Baptiste Claude Odiot. By 1789 Biennais had established himself at 283, Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, as a cabinetmaker and tabletier (a dealer in and maker of small objects). After 1797 Biennais, no doubt encouraged by the dissolution of the guild system, expanded his business to include the manufacture of silver. During the Consulate Biennais became Napoleon’s personal silversmith, although he may have provided Napoleon with silver as early as 1798, when it is said that he supplied him with a nécessaire de voyage prior to his Egyptian campaign (1798–1801) and trusted him to pay for it on his return.

Biennais produced large amounts of silver for Napoleon and his family, including, in 1804, the crown and sceptre for his coronation and a number of nécessaires of different types, remarkable for the combination of forms of varying shapes and sizes that are ingeniously accommodated in a restricted space. One (...

Article

Biller family  

Fabian Stein

[Bühler]

German family of goldsmiths, furniture-makers and engravers. Lorenz Biller (i) (fl c. 1664–85) achieved prominence with works for Emperor Leopold I, for whom he made a centrepiece with a knight on a horse (1680–84; Moscow, Kremlin, Armoury) that was sent to Moscow as an ambassadorial gift. Lorenz Biller (i)’s sons, Johann Ludwig Biller (i) (1656–1732), Albrecht Biller (1663–1720) and Lorenz Biller (ii) (fl c. 1678–1726), supplied silverware of the highest quality to several German courts, especially that of Prussia, for which Albrecht made large wine-coolers and ‘pilgrim’ bottles (1698; Berlin, Schloss Köpenick). The strongly sculptural style of these pieces suggests familiarity with the work of Andreas Schlüter. Albrecht Biller’s abilities as a sculptor are also evident in his reliefs and in seven splendid silver vases he supplied to the court of Hesse-Kassel (c. 1700; Kassel, Hess. Landesmus.). The silver vases ordered by the court usually followed French fashions, yet the form and lavish decoration of these pieces are quite different. A pair of vases by ...

Article

Consulate style  

Term used to describe the continuation in the decorative arts of the Neo-classical style (see Neo-classicism) in France between 1800 and 1805 under Napoleon Bonaparte (First Consul; 1799–1804). His Consulate was an era of renewal in the furniture, porcelain and metalwork industries in France (see France, Republic of, §VI, 4), greatly encouraged by the patronage of Napoleon, who sought a model for his position in the magnificence of ancient Rome. While little actual building took place, the period was important for such changes in interior decoration as the lavish use of draperies—begun during the 1790s—that established the Consulate and the Empire styles (for illustration see Empire style); although these terms were invented by later art historians to denote the change in political systems, in fact the styles to which they refer are virtually indistinguishable. Furniture was similar to that of the preceding Directoire style...

Article

Cousinet family  

Clare Le Corbeiller

French family of silversmiths. René Cousinet (c.1626–92) was made a master in 1652 or 1654. An Orfèvre du Roi, he received payment between 1666 and 1684 for silver furniture (destr. 1689) made for Louis XIV, including mirror-frames, large repoussé chargers, containers for orange trees and chandeliers.

Two of René Cousinet’s sons were associated with the Swedish court of Karl XII (reg 1697–1718). Jean-François Cousinet (fl 1686–c. 1711) became a master in Paris in 1686, but lived in Stockholm from 1694 to 1711. While there he executed a silver baptismal font (1696–1707; Stockholm, Kun. Slottet), designed as three caryatid putti emerging from a triangular pedestal and supporting a large shell-form basin. His brother, Nicolas-Ambroise Cousinet (fl 1696–c.1715), became a master in Paris in 1696, but no silver by him is known. In 1703 he moved to Versailles, having been employed the previous year by ...

Article

Denière, Guillaume  

Gordon Campbell

(fl 1797).

French bronze-caster who established a factory in Paris c. 1797. He produced sculptures, candelabra and furniture (both bronze furniture and wooden furniture with gilt-bronze mounts), but increasingly came to specialize in clocks, sometimes in collaboration with a bronze-caster called Matelin, with whom he made various objects for the American president James Monroe, including the Hannibal clock (...

Article

Dinglinger, Georg Friedrich  

German, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 17 May 1666, in Biberach; died 24 December 1720, in Dresden.

Miniaturist, enameller, goldsmith. Portraits.

This artist worked at the court in Dresden.

Berlin: Portrait of a Woman (miniature)

Article

Empire style  

Hans Ottomeyer

The name derives from the first French Empire under Napoleon I (see Bonaparte family, §1). The dates defining the period of the Empire historically (1804–14) and the duration of the style itself are at variance: the early phase, referred to by contemporaries as ‘le goût antique’, was a late form of Neo-classicism and became more developed as the chaos resulting from the French Revolution subsided c. 1797. The Directoire style and the Consulate style—terms similarly derived from political periods in France—were both part of the development of the Empire style.

The term was originally applied to architecture, but because Napoleon rejected the building of new castles and palaces as wasteful, the style was especially used in interior design and decoration, later being extended to other decorative arts and fashion. There was strong conscious allusion to the civilization of imperial Rome through the building forms and motifs used by the first Roman emperors, who pursued goals of internal peace and a new order together with an expansionist military policy, as did Napoleon. Personal taste and comfort became of secondary importance to the demonstration of wealth and power. The Empire style spread throughout Europe and acquired fresh impetus with the Napoleonic conquests....

Article

Federal style  

Damie Stillman

Architectural and decorative arts style that flourished in the USA from shortly after the acknowledgement of independence in the Treaty of Paris (1783) until c. 1820. The term is derived from the period surrounding the creation of the federal constitution in 1787 and was in use in a political sense by that year. Essentially it was a form of Neo-classicism, strongly influenced by manifestations of that style in England and, to a lesser extent, in France; but at times certain more conservative qualities inherited from the previous Colonial period are also present. The inspiration of European, and especially English, Neo-classical architecture was to be expected in a society grounded in that of 18th-century England; but an added impetus was the association often cited at the time between the fledgling American republic and the ancient Roman one.

Although a few indications of European Neo-classical influence are found in the American colonies before the Revolution began in ...

Article

Forestier family  

French family of bronze-founders. Etienne Forestier (b Paris, c. 1712; d Paris, 1768), who became a master bronze-founder in 1737, supplied bronze furniture mounts to Jean-François Oeben, André-Charles Boulle and Gilles Joubert. He cast Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis’s models for bronzes on the Bureau du Roi by Oeben and Jean-Henri Riesener (1769; Paris, Louvre). The Forestiers feature in the accounts of the Bâtiments du Roi from 1755 until the Revolution. After Etienne’s death his widow and sons Etienne-Jean Forestier and Pierre-Auguste Forestier (b Paris, 1755; d Paris, 1835) continued the Parisian bronze-founding business from a workshop in the Rue Ste Avoie, Etienne-Jean having become a master in 1764. Their customers included Louis-François de Bourbon, Prince de Conti. The Forestiers also appear frequently, particularly from 1784 to 1788, in the accounts of the Garde Meuble de la Couronne under the directorship of the sculptor Jean Hauré, regarding bronzework for King ...

Article

Galle, Claude  

Gordon Campbell

(b 1759; d 1815).

French bronze-caster and gilder. He was the son of a poultry farmer, and began work in the foundry of Pierre Foy, his father-in-law. By 1784 Galle was a major figure in his field, supplying gilt mounts for furniture by Guillaume Beneman and, through Jean Hauré, supplying the palaces of Fontainebleau, Versailles, Saint-Cloud, and Compiègne with furniture, clocks and candelabra. After the Revolution he supplied many works for Napoleon (...

Article

Gautier, Pierre Gabriel  

Swiss, 18th century, male.

Born 1755, in Geneva; died, in Paris.

Enameller.

Pierre was the son of the goldsmith Jean Gautier, and a pupil of Roux. He had a successful career painting commercial enamels.

Article

Georgian style  

Bruce Tattersall

Term used to describe the diverse styles of architecture, interior decoration and decorative arts produced in Britain and Ireland during the reigns of George I (1714–27), George II (1727–60) and George III (1760–1820). What might more accurately be named the Georgian period is, on occasion, further subdivided into Early (1714–1730s), Mid (1740s–1750s) and Late (1760s–1790s) periods. The term Regency style is applied to works of the period c. 1790 to 1830 and refers generally to the period when George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), was Regent (1811–20).

In architecture and interior design, the dominant aesthetic in Britain during the Georgian period was derived from classicism, but it took many different forms. The English Baroque that was current at the beginning of the 18th century was replaced at first by what became known as Palladianism, introduced by c. 1715 and championed by ...

Article

Gothic Revival  

Georg Germann, Melissa Ragain, and Pippa Shirley

Term applied to a style of architecture and the decorative arts inspired by the Gothic architecture of medieval Europe. It has been particularly widely applied to churches but has also been used to describe castellated mansions, collegiate buildings, and houses. The Gothic Revival has also been described by many scholars as a movement, rather than style, for in the mid-19th century it was associated with and propagated by religious and political faith. From a hesitant start in the mid-18th century in England and Scotland, in the 19th century it became one of the principal styles of building throughout the world and continued in some huge projects until well into the 20th century (e.g. Episcopal Cathedral, Washington, DC, 1908–90; by G(eorge) F(rederick) Bodley and others). ‘Gothic Revival’ became the standard English term when Charles Locke Eastlake published A History of the Gothic Revival (1872). The word ‘Gothic’ had by then definitely mutated from a depreciatory epithet into the denomination of a style or period of medieval architecture. To distinguish medieval Gothic from modern Gothic, most European languages used the prefix ‘neo-’ (e.g. Dut. ...

Article

Groff, Guillielmus or Guillaume de  

Flemish, 18th century, male.

Born 1680, baptised on 13 November 1676 in Antwerp; died 16 August 1742, in Munich.

Sculptor, metal caster, stucco artist, cabinet maker.

Guillielmus de Groff began his artistic training in Paris in 1700. He entered the service of Louis XIV in ...

Article

Jünger, Johann J.  

Austrian, 18th century, male.

Enameller, metal chaser.

Jünger worked in Vienna until 1780, and collaborated with his brother Christoph von Jünger. Two Sèvres-style pots preserved in Vienna are signed J. Jünger 1778.

Vienna (Österreichisches Mus. für Angewandte Kunst): two pots

Article

Louis XVI style  

Monique Riccardi-Cubitt

Term loosely referring to a decorative style in France that first emerged in the 1750s and was fully developed before Louis XVI succeeded to the throne in 1774. In 1754 the engraver Charles-Nicolas Cochin II (see Cochin, Charles-Nicolas, II) appealed to craftsmen for a return to the restraint and discipline of the Antique, an appeal that reflected the larger philosophical and artistic movement of the Enlightenment. Between 1749 and 1751 Cochin undertook a tour of Italy in the company of Abel-François Poisson de Vandières (later the Marquis de Marigny and the future Directeur des Bâtiments du Roi), the architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot and the Abbé Le Blanc, which furthered the interest in the Antique. The discovery of Herculaneum (1738) and Pompeii (1748) was followed by numerous publications on antiquity, among them Cochin’s own work, Observations sur les antiquités de la ville d’Herculanum (Paris, 1754) and ...

Article

Marcellini, Carlo Andrea  

Alison Luchs

(b Florence, c. 1644; d Florence, June 22, 1713).

Italian sculptor, stuccoist and architect. After training in Florence as a goldsmith, he studied with the painter Felice Ficherelli. In 1671 he went to Rome, having been chosen for the Tuscan Accademia Granducale. He studied sculpture under Ercole Ferrata and Ciro Ferri, showing a predilection for modelling rather than the marble carving expected by his patron, Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1672 he won first prize at the Accademia di S Luca for a terracotta relief of Decaulion and Pirra. He modelled the angels (1673–4) for the ciborium at the Chiesa Nuova (S Maria in Vallicella), which was designed by Ferri and cast by Stefano Benamati, and a terracotta relief of the Fall of the Giants (1674), pendant to a Niobid relief by Giovanni Battista Foggini (both Florence, Mus. Opificio Pietre Dure). When recalled to Florence in 1676, he was working on a more than life-size marble bust of ...

Article

Marques, Agostinho  

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl Braga, 1692–1717; d Braga, 1720).

Portuguese cabinetmaker and metalworker. The most outstanding characteristic of his documented works—all commissioned by religious institutions—is his use of pau preto (Brazilian rose-wood), either solid or thickly veneered on to chestnut, worked em espinhado (in a herring-bone pattern) decorated with parallel grooves, mouldings and, more rarely, with almofadados (pillow panelling). In the contracts signed by Marques with the chapter of Braga Cathedral and various convents and Misericórdia churches in northern Portugal he is referred to as the enxamblador da Cónega (joiner) responsible for executing both the woodwork and decorative metalwork of the furniture commissioned. The application of pierced and gilded brass plaques in the form of borders, rosettes in relief, enormous escutcheons and impressive handles is a constant feature of his work. He played an important role in northern Portuguese furniture-making for the uniformity of his production. He specialized in balustrades, for example those for the pulpit of the Misericórdia church in Vila do Conde (...

Article

Meissonnier, Justin Aurèle  

French, 18th century, male.

Born 1675, in Turin, Italy; died 1750, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, architect, decorative designer, engraver, goldsmith.

Meissonnier went to Paris in 1714, and was best known as a goldsmith and decorative painter. He was a brilliant ornamentalist and was made goldsmith to the king. He produced many drawings for engravings, and his works reveal the spirit and elegance of the 18th century. His style was rococo in the extreme, and was appropriate to his position as organiser of royal festivals and funerals. His design of the façade of St-Sulpice, Paris, was not used....