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Amigoni [Amiconi], Jacopo  

Wolfgang Holler

(b c. 1685; d Madrid, Aug 21, 1752).

Italian painter and etcher, active also in Germany, England and Spain. He was a pioneer of the Venetian Rococo, and his peripatetic career fostered the development of an international decorative style. His oeuvre includes decorative frescoes for churches and palaces, history and mythological paintings and a few etchings. Many of his works were reproduced in prints, and these served as models for tapestries and for the decoration of clocks, wardrobes and porcelain.

Neither the place nor date of Amigoni’s birth is known, although it is likely that his parents were Venetian. He was probably taught by Antonio Bellucci and is first recorded in the Venetian painters’ guild, the Fraglia, in 1711. Amigoni’s one documented work of this early Venetian period (Zanetti), SS Andrew and Catherine (Venice, S Stae), was probably painted shortly before this date. His international career began in southern Germany, where his presence is recorded from about 1715 to 1 July 1729...


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 ...


Bossi, Benigno  

L. Fornari Schianchi

(b Arcisate di Como, 1727; d Parma, Nov 4, 1792).

Italian stuccoist, printmaker, painter and collector. Before studying anything else he learned stucco decoration from his father Pietro Luigi (d 1754), who worked in Germany from 1743 until his death. Stucco work always remained Bossi’s main activity, alongside that of printmaking, especially etching. His experiments in the latter field followed in the tradition of the great Venetian printmakers. He was encouraged by Charles-François Hutin, who was in Dresden from 1753 to 1757 and whom he followed to Milan and Parma. His first etching, based on a work by Bartolomeo Nazari (1693–1758), was done in Milan in 1758. From 1759 on he was in Parma, where he produced some plates for the Iconologie tirée de divers auteurs (1759) by Jean-Baptiste Boudard, and where he executed the stucco trophy decoration for the attic of S Pietro, the construction of which began in 1761. From this date Bossi also collaborated with the designer ...


Boucher, François  

Alastair Laing

(b Paris, Sept 29, 1703; d Paris, May 30, 1770).

French painter, draughtsman and etcher. Arguably it was he, more than any other artist, who set his stamp on both the fine arts and the decorative arts of the 18th century. Facilitated by the extraordinary proliferation of engravings, Boucher successfully fed the demand for imitable imagery at a time when most of Europe sought to follow what was done at the French court and in Paris. He did so both as a prolific painter and draughtsman (he claimed to have produced some 10,000 drawings during his career) and through engravings after his works, the commercial potential of which he seems to have been one of the first artists to exploit. He reinvented the genre of the pastoral, creating an imagery of shepherds and shepherdesses as sentimental lovers that was taken up in every medium, from porcelain to toile de Jouy, and that still survives in a debased form. At the same time, his manner of painting introduced the virtuosity and freedom of the sketch into the finished work, promoting painterliness as an end in itself. This approach dominated French painting until the emergence of Neo-classicism, when criticism was heaped on Boucher and his followers. His work never wholly escaped this condemnation, even after the taste for French 18th-century art started to revive in the second half of the 19th century. In his own day, the fact that he worked for both collectors and the market, while retaining the prestige of a history painter, had been both Boucher’s strength and a cause of his decline....


Darly, Matthias  

James Yorke

[Mathias; Matthew]

(fl c. 1740–early 1770s).

English engraver, draughtsman and drawing-master. In 1748 his premises faced Old Slaughter’s Coffee House in St Martin’s Lane, London, a favourite meeting-place for adherents of the new Rococo style. His earliest known satirical print, the Cricket Players of Europe, is dated 1741.

In 1751 he issued A New-book of Chinese, Gothic & Modern Chairs, a slight publication on eight leaves. Twelve examples with bizarre backs were described as ‘Hall Chairs’ in a reissue of 1766, but it is more likely they were intended for gardens and summer-houses. A shell-back chair (Stratford-on-Avon, Nash’s House) corresponding to one of the designs was made for the Chinese temple erected at Stratford for the Shakespeare jubilee organized by David Garrick in 1769. Five plates from a second book of chairs (c. 1751), of which no copy survives, were apparently reprinted in Robert Manwaring’s The Chair-maker’s Guide (1766). Described as ‘Parlour Chairs’, they incorporate extravagant C-scroll motifs in the backs....


Ducreux, Joseph  

Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy

(b Nancy, June 26, 1735; d Paris, July 24, 1802).

French painter, pastellist and engraver. He lived in Paris from 1760 and from 1762 kept a list of his works. Among the portraits he completed in his early years were those in pastel of the well-known connoisseurs Pierre-Jean Mariette, the Comte de Caylus and Ange-Laurent de la Live de July (all untraced), which apparently were copies after Maurice-Quentin de La Tour. Ducreux has traditionally been seen as de La Tour’s favourite pupil, while Jean-Baptiste Greuze is supposed to have initiated him into oil painting. From his age, it can be assumed that by the time Ducreux reached Paris he had already acquired a grounding in his art.

In 1769 Ducreux was selected to paint Louis XVI’s future wife, Marie-Antoinette, in Vienna. The official portrait he made (untraced) survives only in the engraving (1771) by Charles Eugène Duponchel (1748–80). Two surviving portraits of the future queen (both priv. col.) are conventional and not very expressive. Ducreux spent two years at the Austrian court. While there he also received a commission to paint the portrait of ...


Ferg, Franz de Paula  

Elisabeth Herrmann-Fichtenau

[Franz JosefPaulus]

(b Vienna, May 2, 1689; d London, 1740).

Austrian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He studied landscape painting with his father, Adam Pankraz Ferg (1651–1729), and with Josef Orient (1677–1747) and staffage painting with Johann (Hans) Graf (1653–1710). He also studied the engravings of Jacques Callot and Sébastien Leclerc (i). His early works show such subjects as harbours, markets and villages as wide vistas with many figures, trees and buildings, for example Fair with Temple and Maypole (Vienna, Belvedere). These scenes combine landscape and genre and are characteristic examples of early 18th-century Austrian panel painting, showing the influence of Dutch, Flemish and Italian models. The colours are dark, and the staffage figures in the manner of Graf are slender, with small heads and peculiarly wooden poses.

In 1718 Ferg left Vienna and went to Franconia, Bamberg, and Leipzig. There he met Johann Alexander Thiele (1685–1752), whom he accompanied to Dresden. A small self-portrait (untraced) from this period was bought by the painter ...


Fontebasso, Francesco  

John Wilson

(b Venice, Oct 4, 1707; d Venice, May 31, 1769).

Italian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He was one of the most prolific and well-known followers of Sebastiano Ricci, with whom he had his earliest training, and particularly of Giambattista Tiepolo. By the end of the 1720s he had studied in Rome (where he is documented in 1728) and Bologna (Oretti MS.); the influence of the forthright tenebrism of the Bolognese school is evident in his first independent works, such as the Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1732; Burano, S Martino). Around 1730 he was in Udine, where he studied Tiepolo’s frescoes in the cathedral and in the archbishop’s palace, and during the next few years he came into direct contact with Tiepolo, perhaps in Venice. Ricci remained influential, and in 1731 Fontebasso was engraving, in Venice, the altarpiece of St Gregory Interceding for Souls in Purgatory that Ricci had painted for S Alessandro della Croce in Bergamo. Fontebasso’s work, however, increasingly emulated that of Tiepolo, with a consequent lightening and freeing of his palette....


Gardelle, Robert, le jeune  

Anne Pastori Zumbach

(b Geneva, April 6, 1682; d Geneva, March 7, 1766).

Swiss painter and engraver. He was a member of a family of artists and jewellers in Geneva. At an early age he showed a pronounced talent for art, but as there was no school of drawing in Geneva, he moved to Germany. At Kassel, Baron von Mardefeld became his patron, sent him to Berlin and recommended him to important people at court. Gardelle is said to have painted the royal family; however, this was most probably simply a question of copying existing portraits. In 1711, on his return to Kassel, he painted from life a portrait of Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. In 1712 he travelled to Paris, where he spent a year perfecting his art in the studio of Nicolas de Largillierre. It was there that he acquired the fluid and elegant style of the French Rococo. He returned to Switzerland for good in 1713 and became a portrait painter, painting both the great and the humble, not only in Geneva but also in Berne, Neuchâtel and the Vaud. He was a very prolific artist and often executed replicas of his paintings for himself. These paintings, often in a small format (usually 240×180 mm), are particularly remarkable for their brightness of colour and their close attention to likenesses (e.g. ...


Gillot, Claude  

Marianne Roland Michel

(b Langres, April 28, 1673; d Paris, May 4, 1722).

French draughtsman, printmaker and painter. He was the son of an embroiderer and painter of ornaments, who doubtless trained him before he entered the Paris studio of Jean-Baptiste Corneille about 1690; there he learnt to paint and etch. In 1710 he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale; he was received (reçu) as a history painter five years later, on presentation of the Nailing of Christ to the Cross (Noailles, Corrèze, parish church). Although he painted other elevated subjects, including a Death of the Virgin (1715; untraced) for his native Langres, he was most active as a draughtsman and printmaker specializing in theatre and genre scenes, as well as bacchanals and designs for decorations. Gillot’s principal source of inspiration was the popular theatre; he is said to have run a puppet theatre, to have written plays and once to have been in charge of sets, machinery and costume for the opera. This interest was to have a profound effect on the art of his principal pupil, ...


Göz [Goez; Götz], Gottfried Bernhard  

Rudolf Wildmoser

(b Velehrad, Moravia, Aug 10, 1708; d Augsburg, Nov 23, 1774).

Moravian painter and engraver, active in southern Germany. After studies at a Jesuit school, from 1726–7 he was apprenticed in Brünn [Brno] to Franz Gregor Ignaz Eckstein, whose frescoes transmitted to him some of the ideas of Annibale Carracci, Giovanni Lanfranco and Andrea Pozzo. In 1729–30 Göz worked with Johann Georg Bergmüller, and from 1730 he continued his training with Johann Georg Rothbletz (fl 1719–33), finally qualifying as a painter in 1733.

After relatively small-scale frescoes (1739; Augsburg, Köpf-Haus), at the Hofkapelle in Meersburg (1741), the audience chamber of the Benediktinerabtei at Weingarten (1742), the Klosterkirche in Habsthal (1748), and the Dompropstei (deanery) in Konstanz (1749), Göz’s first major work was ceiling paintings for the Wallfahrtskirche at Birnau (c. 1749). These paintings on Marian themes, including Mary gravida, Mary as the sedes sapentiae, as the mother of piety, knowledge and hope, and also as the ...


Günther, Matthäus  

Wolfgang Holler

(b Tritschengreith [now Trischenreuth], Bavaria, Sept 7, 1705; d Haid, Bavaria, Sept 30, 1788).

German painter and etcher. He completed his apprenticeship in Murnau with Simon Bernhardt and subsequently worked under the leading south German painter Cosmas Damian Asam from 1723 to 1728. In 1730 Günther moved to Augsburg, and a year later, after marrying the widow of the fresco painter Ferdinand Magg (b 1679), he obtained his master’s licence. From this point onwards Günther’s work developed swiftly in both style and range, and records exist of his activity far beyond the frontiers of Bavaria. Günther generally spent the winter months in Augsburg, painting panel pictures and etching. In 1740 he acquired the artistic estate of the deceased Johann Evangelist Holzer, a prodigiously gifted rival, and this material became of great artistic importance to him as a source of motifs and ideas. The 1750s were very prolific years for Günther, with secular commissions through the Duke of Württemberg and religious commissions in Würzburg, Wilten or Indersdorf. In ...


Habermann, Franz Xaver  

Ebba Krull

(b Habelschwerdt, Silesia [now Bystryca Kłodzka, nr Wrocław, Poland], 1721; d Augsburg, 1796).

German draughtsman, engraver and sculptor. After an apprenticeship as a sculptor and a journey to Italy in 1746, he obtained rights of citizenship and the right to practise as a sculptor in Augsburg by marrying Maria Catharina Wörle, widow of the miniature painter. He was president of the guild of sculptors and painters from 1756–7 and was a drawing tutor at the Kunstakademie in Augsburg from 1781 until his death. Although he generally signed himself statuarius, his only known surviving sculptural work (until its destruction in the Second World War) was the front of the organ by the instrument maker Johann Andreas Stein in the Barfüsserkirche in Augsburg (1755–7; destr. 1944). The dearth of commissions for sculptors in Augsburg in the mid-18th century led him to turn to ornamental engraving. The c. 600 surviving engravings by him cover a wide range of ornamental subject-matter. Their success probably depended primarily, despite Habermann’s effervescent imagination, on their practical applicability by any artistic craftsman of the period. The engravings were published, mostly in series of four sheets, by the Augsburg publishers ...


Hutin, Charles-François  

Hélène Guicharnaud

(b Paris, July 4, 1715; d Dresden, July 29, 1776).

French painter, sculptor, draughtsman and engraver, son of François Hutin. He studied painting with François Lemoyne and in 1735 won the Académie Royale’s second prize with Rebecca Receiving from Eleazar the Presents Sent to her by Abraham (untraced). Two years later he left for Rome with his father. There, on the advice of Jean-François de Troy, the new Director of the Académie de France, he turned in 1739 to sculpture, studying under Sébastien Slodtz. In 1740, a marble head of Enobarbus (untraced) by Charles-François was among a group of sculptures sent to France from the Académie in Rome, and in the same year he modelled a small group in antique style of Faunus and Biblis (untraced). He returned to Paris in 1742 and in 1744 he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale as a sculptor. He was received (reçu) as a full member in 1747...


Hutin, Pierre-Jules  

Hélène Guicharnaud

(b Paris, 1723–4; d Schloss Muskau, Silesia, 1763).

French sculptor, draughtsman and engraver, brother of Charles-François Hutin. He was a pupil of Guillaume Coustou (i) and was working at the Sèvres manufactory in 1741. In 1748 he followed his brother Charles-François to Dresden where he assisted him with drawings for the Recueil d’estampes d’après les plus célèbres tableaux de la Galerie Royale de Dresde...


Matthieu [Mathieu], Georg David  

Volker Helas

(b Berlin, Nov 20, 1737; d Ludwigslust, Nov 3, 1778).

German painter and engraver. He received his training as a painter from his father, the Prussian court painter David Matthieu (1697–1755), and his stepmother and aunt, the painter Anna Rosina Lisiewska (?1713/16–83). He apparently travelled outside Germany and is known to have gone to Stralsund with the painter Philipp Hackert in 1762. His portraits from this period, including one of Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who married King George III of England, recall the style of Antoine Pesne.

Matthieu was appointed court painter to Duke Frederick of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1764, and he remained at the ducal residences of Ludwigslust and Schwerin until shortly before his death. The duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was totally impoverished following the Seven Years’ War between Prussia and Austria and cultural life at the strictly Pietist court was restricted. As court painter Matthieu was inundated with commissions for group or individual portraits of members of court society, which he executed diligently in simple, conventional compositions. The sitters always seem serenely cheerful, and Matthieu does not dwell on the rather muted splendour of court life. The paintings evoke the unworldly spirit of court Rococo, with little suggestion of any Enlightenment influence. There are only a few more probing portraits, painted in a naturalistic manner, for example ...


Meil, Johann Wilhelm  

Freya Probst

(b Altenburg, Oct 23, 1733; d Berlin, Feb 2, 1805).

German engraver and designer. He is regarded as one of the most important 18th-century German engravers. His father, Johann Christoph Meil, who died young, had been court sculptor in Altenburg. His stepfather, also a sculptor, directed Meil towards a career in science. At the university of Leipzig, however, Meil trained as an engraver and attended lectures on art history, art theory and philosophy. In 1752 he went to Berlin, where he met the brothers Johann Christian Hoppenhaupt and Johann Michael Hoppenhaupt II (see Hoppenhaupt family), who engaged him primarily as an engraver for their designs. Between 1752 and 1755 Meil produced a number of engravings of tables, clock-cases, chandeliers and other items in the Rococo style, based on drawings by the Hoppenhaupt brothers. Meil also designed furniture, jewellery and motifs for porcelain painting and the 12 vases that stand in front of the picture gallery in Schloss Sanssouci, Potsdam. His major field of work, however, was book illustration. He joined the circle of the poet Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and in ...


Neufforge, Jean François de  

Flemish, 18th century, male.

Born 1714, in Comblain-au-Pont; died 19 December 1791, in Paris.

Sculptor, engraver, architect.

Flemish School.

Jean François de Neufforge was a pupil of Blondel and Babel. He first worked in the Rococo manner. He published several architectural books for which he engraved the plates....


Pierre, Jean-Baptiste(-Marie)  

Alisa Luxenberg

(b Paris, March 6, 1714; d Paris, May 15, 1789).

French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and administrator. Although he painted a number of rustic genre scenes and was an occasional designer of vases and picture frames, he was principally active as a painter of large-scale history and religious works. In this aspect of his output he forms a link in the 18th-century tradition of French history painting that runs from Jean Jouvenet to the Neo-classicism of Jacques-Louis David.

Pierre’s father, a wealthy Parisian jeweller, consented to his artistic ambitions and provided financial security. Pierre studied with Charles-Joseph Natoire and won the Prix de Rome in 1734. The fresh, spirited quality of his etching Chinese Masquerade of the French Art Students in Rome (San Francisco, CA, Achenbach Found. Graph. A.), dated 1735, belies the fact that he probably did not arrive in Rome in time to witness the February carnival. Under the directors of the Académie de France in Rome, Nicolas Vleughels and ...


Quillard [Quilliard], Pierre-Antoine  

Martin Eidelberg

(b ?Paris, c. 1704; d Lisbon, Nov 25, 1773).

French painter, draughtsman and engraver, active in Portugal. He received, reportedly from the age of 11, an annual pension from the Abbé de Fleury, tutor to Louis XV. He may already have started work by this time in the Paris studio of Watteau, copying his master’s drawings and perhaps also painting portions of his canvases. Given Watteau’s temperamental instability, it seems unlikely that he stayed there long. Quillard produced a fair number of fêtes galantes in the style of Watteau, ranging from the lyricism of such paintings as the Four Seasons (Lugano, Col. Thyssen-Bornemisza) to an unusual pre-Romantic style with surging figures and dramatically twisted trees, as in Dance among the Ruins (St Petersburg, Hermitage). His later works suggest the influence of François Lemoyne and Nicolas Lancret.

Quillard competed unsuccessfully for the Prix de Rome in 1724 and 1725 and left Paris in 1726 to take up employment in Lisbon as an illustrator to the Swiss naturalist ...