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Article

Abildgaard, Nicolai Abraham  

Jens Peter Munk

(b Copenhagen, Sept 11, 1743; d Frederiksdal, Copenhagen, June 4, 1809).

Danish painter, designer and architect. His paintings reveal both Neo-classical and Romantic interests and include history paintings as well as literary and mythological works. The variety of his subject-matter reflects his wide learning, a feature further evidenced by the broad range of his creative output. In addition to painting, he produced decorative work, sculpture and furniture designs, as well as being engaged as an architect. Successfully combining both intellectual and imaginative powers, he came to be fully appreciated only in the 1980s.

He studied at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1764–72), and in 1767 he assisted Johan Edvard Mandelberg (1730–86) in painting the domed hall of the Fredensborg Slot with scenes from the Homeric epic the Iliad. In 1772 he was granted a five-year travelling scholarship from the Kunstakademi to study in Rome. During his Roman sojourn he extensively copied works of art from the period of antiquity up to that of the Carracci family. His friendships with the Danish painter Jens Juel, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel and the Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Fuseli placed him among artists who were in the mainstream of a widespread upheaval in European art. In these years Abildgaard developed both Neo-classical and Romantic tastes; his masterpiece of the period is ...

Article

Aigner, Chrystian Piotr  

Andrzej Rottermund

(b Puławy, June 1756; d Florence, Feb 8, 1841).

Polish architect and writer, also active in Italy. He probably studied in Rome in the late 1770s and returned to Italy in 1785–6 under the aegis of Stanisław Kostka Potocki, a collector and amateur architect with whom he collaborated throughout his life. In 1786 Aigner and Potocki refronted the church of St Anna, Warsaw, using a giant composite order on high pedestals. The political turmoil of the 1790s disrupted Aigner’s career, but during his second phase of creativity (1797–1816) he won fame through his work on the great estate of the Czartoryski family at Puławy, on the Vistula west of Lublin, the most important centre of cultural life in Poland during the Enlightenment. Aigner had already erected the Marynka Palace there in 1790, a variation on the Petit Trianon at Versailles, France, and from 1798 he began to add ornamental buildings to go with the new Picturesque layout of the Puławy gardens: a Chinese pavilion, a Gothick house and a peripheral Temple of the Sibyl with a shallow dome. In ...

Article

Antoine, Jean-Baptiste  

French, 18th century, male.

Died 30 January 1778, in Paris.

Painter, teacher.

Article

Bachelier, Jean-Jacques  

Simon Lee

(b Paris, 1724; d Paris, April 13, 1806).

French painter, writer and administrator. A pupil of Jean-Baptiste Pierre, he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale in Paris in 1750 and received (reçu) as a painter of flowers in 1752 on presentation of a Portrait of the King in a Medallion Surrounded by a Garland of Flowers and Attributes of the Arts (untraced). He was essentially a flower and animal painter; as a successor to Jean-Baptiste Oudry he played a key part in the continuation of a precise and polished type of still-life painting. Yet Bachelier also had pretensions towards becoming a history painter, a status he achieved officially in 1763 when he was admitted to the category of history painters at the Académie on the strength of his Death of Abel (Auxerre, Mus. A. & Hist.), for which he substituted a Roman Charity (Paris, Ecole N. Sup. B.-A.) in 1764.

Bachelier exhibited regularly at the Salon from ...

Article

Baltard, Louis-Pierre  

Dominique Bertin

(b Paris, July 9, 1764; d Paris, Jan 22, 1846).

French architect, painter, engraver, and teacher. Louis-Pierre Baltard was a pupil of Antoine-François Peyre and began working with Richard Mique in 1784 on the design of the garden of the Petit Trianon. In 1788 he left for Italy, where he painted, drew, and engraved as well as studying antique monuments; he also met Percier and Fontaine there. He was in France again in 1791, where he presented himself primarily as a painter (his début at the Salon was in 1791) and held the position of scenery designer at the Opéra from 1792. In 1793 he became a military engineer and presented various fortification plans. He subsequently obtained a post as professor of architecture when the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris was created in 1796. Under the Consulate, he was the engraver for the publication documenting the Egyptian expedition. Baltard’s architectural career really began under the first Empire, a period when he became the architect of the Panthéon and subsequently of prisons, food depots, and markets in Paris. In ...

Article

Bergler, Josef, the younger  

Roman Prahl

(b Salzburg, May 1, 1753; d Prague, June 25, 1829).

Austrian painter, printmaker, draughtsman, illustrator and teacher, active in Bohemia. He was taught by his father, the sculptor and painter Josef Bergler the elder (1718–88), and, during his stay in Italy, by Martin Knoller in Milan and Anton von Maron in Rome. An accomplished portrait painter, he was employed as official painter by bishops and cardinals at Passau and painted a number of altarpieces in Austria and especially in Bohemia. He helped establish the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (1800), which placed a new emphasis on draughtsmanship, composition and Classical subjects and models. As the first Director of the Academy, Bergler won new academic prestige for art in Bohemia and, for himself, a privileged position in obtaining commissions such as the Curtain at the Estates Theatre (sketches, 1803–4; Prague, N.G., Convent of St Agnes). He also published albums of engravings intended as models (Compositions and Sketches...

Article

Beyer, Christian Friedrich Wilhelm  

Ingrid Sattel Bernardini

(b Gotha, Dec 27, 1725; d Vienna, March 23, 1806).

German sculptor, painter and architect. He was the son of a court gardener who worked first in Gotha and then in Württemberg. He was originally intended to become an architect; in 1747 Duke Charles-Eugene of Württemberg sent him to train in Paris where, under the influence of painters such as Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher, he turned to painting. The eight-year period of study in Rome that followed prompted Beyer to devote himself to sculpture, as he was impressed by antique works of sculpture and was also influenced by his close contacts with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and his circle. He also served an apprenticeship with Filippo della Valle, one of the main representatives of the Neo-classical tendency in sculpture. In 1759 Beyer returned to Germany, to take part in the decoration of Charles-Eugene’s Neues Schloss in Stuttgart.

In Stuttgart Beyer made an important contribution to the founding and improvement of facilities for the training of artists, notably at the Akademie, and to manufacture in the field of arts and crafts, particularly at the ...

Article

Blondel, Jacques-François  

Dana Arnold

(b Rouen, Jan 8, 1705; d Paris, Jan 9, 1774).

French architect, theorist, teacher and writer, nephew of Jean-François Blondel. Although he was also a practicing architect (see §2 below), Jacques-François Blondel made a considerable contribution to the development of architectural theory in France in the latter part of the 18th century and was arguably the most outstanding teacher of architecture of the period.

He received his early training in architecture from his uncle and continued his studies under Gilles-Marie Oppenord, from whom he acquired a knowledge of the Rococo. His earliest published writings were his contributions to Jean Mariette’s practical manual L’Architecture française (Paris, 1727–38). His earliest independent publication, De la distribution des maisons de plaisance et de la décoration des édifices en général (1737–8), is essentially a compendium of the early phases of the Rococo, addressing the question of style and including the work of Robert de Cotte and Jean-François Blondel.

In 1742 Blondel received permission from the Académie d’Architecture in Paris to open his own private school, the ...

Article

Brodowski, Antoni  

Krystyna Sroczyńska

(Stanisław)

(bapt Warsaw, Dec 26, 1784; d Warsaw, March 31, 1832).

Polish painter and teacher. He studied for a short time under Jean-Baptiste Augustin in Paris between 1805 and 1808, returning later to Paris at the end of 1809 and remaining until the autumn of 1814 as a bursar of the Chamber of Public Education of the Duchy of Warsaw. He wished to study under Jacques-Louis David but was able to do so only on a part-time basis. After a brief period of study under Anne-Louis Girodet, he became a pupil of François Gérard in 1811. At this time Brodowski painted his first oil portraits, one of the best being his Self-portrait (1813; Warsaw, N. Mus.). He also started work on a large composition suggested by Gérard, Saul’s Anger at David (1812–19; Warsaw, N. Mus.), which was exhibited after his return to Warsaw at the first public fine arts exhibition in 1819, where it won first prize. The painting clearly shows the influence of David and Brodowski’s commitment to the strict canons of the French Empire style; it became a model for Neo-classical painting in Warsaw....

Article

Füssli, Johann [Hans] Caspar  

Georg Paula

(b Zurich, Jan 3, 1706; d Zurich, May 4, 1782).

Swiss writer, painter, draughtsman, collector, publisher and teacher. He probably acquired basic skills from his father, the painter Hans Rudolf Füssli. From 1724 he trained in Vienna under the influence of the work of Martin van Meytens and was introduced to antique masterpieces through plaster casts by Daniel Gran. After he had carried out several commissions as a portrait painter at the court of Baden in Rastatt (e.g. Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia (1731) and Cardinal Damian Hugo von Schöborn (1732)), other commissions took him as far away as Düsseldorf. Later he entered the service of Eberhard-Ludwig, Duke of Württemberg. From 1733 until his return to Zurich in 1736 he stayed in Nuremberg, Augsburg and Munich, where he met the painters Jan Kupecký, Georg Philipp Rugendas (i) and Johann Elias Ridinger, as well as Franz Joachim Beich and Georges Desmarées. From Zurich he kept in close touch with the most famous German, French and Italian artists and writers, among them Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Anton Raphael Mengs, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Francesco Solimena and Johann Joachim Winckelmann. His portraits were executed with craftsman-like skill and close attention to detail and realism, for example the portraits of ...

Article

Cerato, Domenico  

Giuliana Mazzi

(b Mason, nr Vicenza, ?4 ?Aug 1715; d Padua, May 30, 1792).

Italian theorist and architect. He was adopted by his probable natural father, Conte Francesco Cerato Loschi, who had him educated by the Jesuits in Vicenza and from 1733 at the Padua Seminario. Although destined for a career in the church, he established a school (1748) open to young skilled workers of all social classes to teach them the fundamental rudiments of architecture within ten months. His teaching method was based on the ‘intrinsic rules of building’. At the same time his own career as an architect seems to have been devoted to minor alterations in layout and restorations in which he employed architectural solutions influenced by Palladio. He altered a doorway of the Palazzo Civena Trissino, Vicenza, and carried out alterations to the Seminario Vecchio, the church and convent of the Jesuits and the convent of S Felice, all in Vicenza. In the region of Vicenza he worked at the Villa Appollani (now Zordan), Altavilla Vicentino, and at the Villa Piovene (now da Schio), at Castelgomberto, among others....

Article

Cipriani, Giovanni Battista  

Shearer West

(b Florence, 1727; d London, Dec 14, 1785).

Italian painter, draughtsman and designer, active in England.

Cipriani trained in Florence under the direction of the Anglo-Florentine artist Ignazio Enrico Hugford; in his early works he was also influenced by the Baroque style of Anton Domenico Gabbiani. His first commissions, for the organ screen in S Maddalena dei Pazzi, Florence, and for two altarpieces in Pistoia (both now in S Bartolomeo), are undistinguished and tentative works that still show traces of the Baroque style. His modest Self-portrait (c. 1750; Florence, Uffizi) demonstrates Cipriani’s incipient ability as a draughtsman. In 1750 he went to Rome, where he came into contact with English artists on the Grand Tour. He became friendly with William Chambers and Joseph Wilton—proponents of a Neo-classical style of architecture and sculpture respectively. In 1755 Chambers and Wilton took him to London; he settled there, marrying an Englishwoman in 1761.

In London, Cipriani was immediately in demand as one of the first exponents of a developing Neo-classical decorative style. He was an instructor with Wilton at the Duke of Richmond’s gallery in Whitehall and a member of the St Martin’s Lane Academy. He was a founder-member of the Royal Academy, where he exhibited pictures and drawings, primarily of Classical and religious subjects, between ...

Article

Couture, Thomas  

Albert Boime

(b Senlis, Dec 21, 1815; d Villiers-le-Bel, March 3, 1879).

French painter and teacher. A student of Antoine-Jean Gros in 1830–38 and Paul Delaroche in 1838–9, he demonstrated precocious ability in drawing and was expected to win the Prix de Rome. He tried at least six times between 1834 and 1839, but achieved only second prize in 1837 (entry untraced). Disgusted with the politics of the academic system, Couture withdrew and took an independent path. He later attacked the stultified curriculum of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and discouraged his own students from entering this institution. He first attained public notoriety at the Paris Salon with Young Venetians after an Orgy (1840; Montrouge, priv. col., see Boime, p. 85), the Prodigal Son (1841; Le Havre, Mus. B.-A.) and the Love of Gold (1844; Toulouse, Mus. Augustins). These early canvases are treated in a moralizing and anecdotal mode; the forms and compositional structures, like the debauched and corrupt protagonists, are sluggish and dull. Yet what made his work seem fresh to the Salon audience was his use of bright colour and surface texture derived from such painters as Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps and Eugène Delacroix, while his literary bent and methodical drawing demonstrated his mastery of academic tradition. The critics Théophile Gautier and Paul Mantz (...

Article

Cozens, Alexander  

Kim Sloan

(b Russia, 1717; d London, April 23, 1786).

English painter, drawing-master and theorist. His early years were spent in St Petersburg, where his father, Richard, originally from Deptford, was a master shipbuilder to Peter the Great. Educated in England from 1727, Cozens was studying painting in London in 1735, but in the early 1740s he appears to have returned to Russia, where he worked on improving his topographical skills. In 1746 he sailed from St Petersburg to Livorno and studied in Italy for two years. His work there consisted mainly of pencil sketches of landscape, detailed pen-and-ink drawings and washed views made around Rome and along the Ligurian coast. In Rome he studied oil painting in the studio of Claude-Joseph Vernet, whose influence can be seen not only in Cozens’s later oils but also in some of the landscapes drawn from nature during his time there. A surviving Roman sketchbook (New Haven, CT, Yale Cent. Brit. A.) shows the first evidence of his passion for devising and listing methods for drawing landscapes in various media. In ...

Article

David, Ludovico  

Robert Enggass

(b Lugano, June 13, 1648; d after July 6, 1709).

Italian painter and theorist. He went to Milan about 1665 to study painting under Francesco Cairo. A decade later he moved to Venice, where for the Lombard chapel of S Maria dei Frari he painted St Carlo Borromeo Distributing Alms to the Poor (in situ) in the dark, dramatic, fully Baroque manner of his teacher. David’s other documented works in Venice are in S Maria del Carmelo and the Palazzo Albizzi a Sant’Aponal. While in Venice he also operated a highly successful art academy, remarkably, in competition with Pietro della Vecchia, a far more successful painter. Contemporary reports indicate that ‘he contradicted della Vecchia at every turn’, and that he played down the importance of drawing, making it secondary to the painter’s own ideas. This attitude was highly radical, given that drawing was then considered the basis of an artist’s education. By May 1686 David was in Rome, where he remained for the rest of his life. His two large canvases for S Andrea al Quirinale, the ...

Article

Debret, Jean-Baptiste  

Roberto Pontual

(b Paris, April 18, 1768; d Paris, June 28, 1848).

French painter and draughtsman, active in Brazil. When very young he accompanied his cousin, Jacques-Louis David, on a trip to Italy from which he returned in 1785. He then enrolled in the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris, initially following parallel studies in civil engineering but soon devoting himself to painting. Between 1798 and 1814 he entered several of the annual Paris Salons with historical or allegorical paintings, Neo-classical in both spirit and form, for instance Napoleon Decorating a Russian Soldier at Tilsit (1808; Versailles, Château). He also collaborated at this time with the architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François Fontaine on decorative works. With the fall of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte I, whom he greatly admired, he agreed to take part in the French artistic mission which left for Brazil in 1816. He stayed there longer than the rest of the group, returning to France only in ...

Article

Devosges [Devosge], (Claude-)François, III  

Celia Alegret

(b Gray, Haute-Saône, Jan 25, 1732; d Dijon, Dec 22, 1811).

French painter, draughtsman and teacher. He was descended from a dynasty of sculptors. At the age of 14 he was painting for the Carmelite convent and the church at Gray; he then moved to Paris, where for some years he studied sculpture with Guillaume Coustou (ii). Having lost the sight of one eye in a cataract operation, Devosges was obliged to give up sculpture, but he continued with his painting, living at the home of Jean-Baptiste-Henri Deshays, Boucher’s son-in-law. During this period Devosges refused an invitation to go to Russia to teach drawing to the future Tsar Paul I. In 1760 he moved to Burgundy, where he painted and also illustrated the writings on law by Claude-Philibert Fyot de La Marche, by then many years premier président of the Parlement of Bourgogne.

Around 1764 Devosges became tutor to a society of artists who used to hire a life model. He founded in Dijon in ...

Article

Durand, Jean-Nicolas-Louis  

Werner Szambien

(b Paris, Sept 18, 1760; d Thiais, Dec 31, 1834).

French architect, teacher and writer. He was one of the most influential teachers of his time, and his radically rationalist approach, which emphasized priority of function and economy of means, was expressed in analytical writings that remained popular into the 20th century. He studied under Pierre Panseron (fl 1736) and from 1776 in the office of Etienne-Louis Boullée. He also took courses with Julien-David Le Roy at the Académie d’Architecture and participated in competitions under the guidance of Jean-Rodolphe Perronet. He twice came second in the Prix de Rome: in 1779 for a museum and in 1780 for a school. During the 1780s he worked as a draughtsman for Boullée and for the engraver Jean-François Janinet. In 1788 construction began in the Rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, Paris, of his Maison Lathuille, a building with Néo-Grec decoration but with a layout characterized by its extreme simplicity. About 1790 he executed a series of drawings entitled ...

Article

Flaxman, John  

David Bindman

(b York, July 6, 1755; d London, Dec 9, 1826).

English sculptor, designer and teacher. He was the most famous English Neo-classical sculptor of the late 18th century and the early 19th. He produced comparatively few statues and portrait busts but devoted himself to monumental sculpture and became noted for the piety and humanity of his church monuments. He also had an international reputation based on his outline illustrations to the works of Homer, Aeschylus and Dante, which led him to be described by Goethe as ‘the idol of all dilettanti’. More recently attention has focused on his models for pottery and silver, and he has emerged as an important pioneer in the development of industrial design.

Flaxman was the son of a plaster-cast maker employed by both Louis-François Roubiliac and Peter Scheemakers (ii), and at an early age he showed great promise as a sculptor, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1771–3. He had entered the Royal Academy Schools in ...

Article

García Hidalgo, José  

Ismael Gutiérrez Pastor

(b Villena, Alicante, c. 1645; d Madrid, June 28, 1717).

Spanish painter, engraver and writer. He began his training in Murcia with Nicolás de Villacis (c. 1618–94) and Mateo Gilarte (c. 1620–after 1680), who both worked in a naturalist and tenebrist style. He travelled to Rome in the 1660s and came into contact with the Italian Baroque, especially the work of Pietro da Cortona and Carlo Maratti. On his return he was first in Valencia, where the work of Jerónimo Jacinto Espinosa became a strong influence. Towards 1674 he established himself in Madrid, where he entered the circle of Juan Carreño de Miranda.

García Hidalgo’s numerous paintings were frequently signed, and he painted a good many for the Augustinian Order in Madrid, Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Santiago de Compostela and Sigüenza (e.g the Vision of St Augustine, 1680; Sigüenza Cathedral), and for the Carmelite Order in Alba de Tormes, Peñaranda de Bracamonte and Segovia (e.g. the ...