Maria Cristina Chiusa
(b Philadelphia, Dec 17, 1960).
American sculptor, active in England. He obtained a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, and an MFA from Goldsmiths’ College, London, in 1988. Exploring his interest in the government of behaviour by social constraint, he first used clothes and hair as materials before turning to animal remains and casts of human organs for his increasingly unsettling work. His The Cat and the Dog (1995; London, Saatchi Gal., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 4) consists of two skinned animal hides with perfectly reconstructed heads and feet. Described by the artist as frozen smiles, the animal objects act as abstract surrogates for socially repressed bestial tendencies. Be Your Dog (1997; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 10), consisting of scalped dog ears mounted on a wall as an invitation to wear them, illustrates this theme even more forcefully. Other works by Baseman represent human body parts. Muscle (1997...
(b Tours, March 24, 1878; d 1963).
French medallist. He studied first at the school of art in Tours and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was an able and prolific follower of such medallists as Frédéric de Vernon and Oscar Roty: his decorative and sentimental plaquettes, among them Wedding (1902), First Step...
Rainer K. Wick
[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]
German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...
(b London, April 4, 1872; d London, July 10, 1953).
English sculptor and medallist. He was the son of the painter and etcher Alfred Walter Bayes (1832–1909) and brother of the painters Walter Bayes (1869–1956) and Jessie Bayes (1878–1971). He studied at the City and Guilds Technical College and the Royal Academy School in London. His early work consists of reliefs and decorative objects, and bronze statuettes, some partly enamelled, which show the influence of Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture. After World War I his work became more stylized. He executed a number of large-scale reliefs including History of Pottery through the Ages (polychrome stoneware, 1938; London, V&A) for the headquarters of Doulton’s, the ceramics manufacturers, on Albert Embankment, London, and History of Drama through the Ages (artificial stone) for the Saville Theatre (now the MGM Cinema), Shaftesbury Avenue, also in London, works which exemplify the artist’s eagerness to experiment with new materials. He worked closely with ...
John R. Melville-Jones
(b Vicenza, c. 1468; d Vicenza, 1546).
Italian gem-engraver, goldsmith and medallist. The most important part of his career was spent in Rome, where he worked for Clement VII and his successor Paul III. He also spent a short period in Venice, returning from there to Vicenza in 1530 and remaining in the latter city for most of the time until his death. In Rome he was a well-established member of artistic and literary circles, associating, for example, with Michelangelo and the humanist scholar Pietro Bembo. No specimens of his work as a goldsmith survive, but he is called ‘aurifex’ in contemporary documents and may have made the settings for his carved gems.
Belli specialized in cutting gems and crystal and in carving dies for coins and medals. Although his work demonstrates technical ability of the highest order, his talent was not an original one. His style followed that of his contemporaries working in the major arts or was governed by his study of ancient coins and gems. His best-known works are those made for his papal patrons, many consisting of or incorporating carvings in rock crystal or semiprecious stones. The most splendid of these is a silver-gilt casket adorned with 24 carvings in crystal showing scenes from the ...
Lucia Pirzio Biroli Stefanelli
(b Cremona, Oct 26, 1770; d Cremona, 1854).
Italian gem-engraver and medallist. His numerous works, almost all dispersed, are documented in literary sources. His work, executed with meticulous attention to detail, consists primarily of cameo reproductions of paintings on large size stones. His masterpiece is considered to be the Tent of Darius (1828; Cremona, Mus. Civ.), carved in white Brazilian topaz and based on the painting by Charles Le Brun (Versailles, Château). The former work was commissioned by Bartolomeo Turina of Cremona, as were Angelica and Medoro, Wealth Conquered by Cupid, the head of Niobe and Rinaldo and Armida (all Cremona, Mus. Civ.). Beltrami also received sizeable commissions from the Bonaparte family; these include portraits of Napoleon and Josephine and the Myth of Psyche, portrayed on 16 white cornelians (untraced) supplied to him for that purpose by the Empress Josephine. Other commissions were from the Austrian imperial family, among them an onyx cameo of a wreathed bust of ...
(Desiderio) [Giovanni da Castel Bolognese]
(b Castel Bolognese, 1494; d Faenza, May 22, 1553).
Italian gem-engraver and medallist. He was first instructed as a gem-engraver by his father, the goldsmith Bernardo Bernardi (1463–1553). His earliest works, which dated from the three years he spent in Ferrara at the court of Alfonso I d’Este, were an engraving on crystal of the Battle of La Bastia and steel dies for struck medals representing Alfonso d’Este and Christ Taken by the Multitude (untraced; see Vasari). By 1530 Giovanni Bernardi was in Rome, where he worked for the cardinals Giovanni Salviati and Ippolito de’ Medici. He was commissioned to produce a portrait of Pope Clement VII for the obverse of a medal struck with two different reverses: Joseph Appearing to his Brothers (e.g. Modena, Gal. & Mus. Estense; London, V&A) and the Apostles Peter and Paul (e.g. Milan, Castello Sforzesco; Paris, Bib. N.). For Clement VII he engraved on rock crystal the Four Evangelists (Naples, Capodimonte), a work that was much praised and admired; even Benvenuto Cellini, in his ...
(b Ostia, nr Rome; d Rome, 1706).
Italian medallist, active in France. At the age of 22 he travelled from Ostia to Venice and from there, at the summons of the Finance Minister Nicolas Fouquet, to Paris, where he spent many years. In 1665 he executed a bronze medal of Fouquet. He spent eight years in prison as a result of his association with Fouquet, who had been arrested in 1661 after being denounced by Jean-Baptiste Colbert; between 1671 and 1687 Bertinetti made several bronze portrait medals of Louis XIV, one of them during his time in prison. He also made bronze medals of Maria-Theresa, Dr Jacques de Sainte-Beuve and one depicting an unknown priest. Most of his works are signed Bertinet, but one of his medals of Louis XIV is signed Bertinet et Auvy. His best medals are in a Baroque style reminiscent of Gianlorenzo Bernini.DBI; Thieme–Becker L. Forrer: Biographical Dictionary of Medallists (London, 1902–30), vii, pp. 76–7...
(b Paris, Jan 17, 1913; d Paris, 1994).
French painter, sculptor, medallist and designer. He studied in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and was much influenced by his friendship with Maurice Denis. He worked principally as a painter, adopting the saturated colours of Henri Matisse in landscapes and figure studies often based on observation of ‘exotic’ cultures, notably Mediterranean and North African. In the mid-1960s a new rawness emerged in his work, derived from ‘primitive’ examples and new materials associated with his experiments in other media. He executed tapestry designs for Aubusson, posters (winning the Grand Prix de l’Affiche Française in 1984), costumes and sets for ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, reliefs and murals. In 1965 he took up medal-making, expressing in his numerous metallic works for the Paris Mint that obsession with found objects which is also evident in his large-scale sculpture and in his posters.Bénézit Roger Bezombes: Nice, débarcadère du Levant...
(b ?Reims, 1622; d Lyon, Nov 17, 1692).
French medallist and sculptor. He was working in Lyon by 1657, when he produced a medallion of Archbishop Camille de Neuville de Villeroi. Further medallions worked in wax and cast in wax or lead, in the manner of Jean Warin, show members of the Consulat of Lyon and some members of their families and date from 1658–65 (e.g. Paris, Bib. N.; Lyon, Mus. B.-A.). Bidau also carved stone sculptures for buildings in Lyon, including a Virgin (before 1658), David and Goliath (1660), an Annunciation (1665) and St Catherine (1678). His relief for the Hôtel de Ville celebrating the Peace of the Pyrenees (1660–61; in situ) was made in collaboration with the local sculptor Jacques Mîmerel (fl 1649–70); in addition Bidau provided the model for a fountain (1661) in the Place des Terreaux.
In 1671 Bidau joined the team of sculptors working for ...
(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).
Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....
(b Vienna, July 4, 1834; d London, Dec 12, 1890).
English sculptor and medallist of Austrian birth. He was the youngest son of Joseph Daniel Boehm (1794–1865), court medallist and director of the Imperial Mint at Vienna; Joseph Daniel formed a major art collection, which he used as a basis for teaching such protégés as Victor Tilgner and Anton Scharff (1845–1903) as well as his son. From 1848 to 1851 Joseph Edgar attended Leigh’s art academy (later Heatherley’s) in London and drew the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum. On his return to Vienna he enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, where he won first prize at the Modellierschule in 1855. By 1858 he had forsaken medal design for sculpture and exhibited statuettes at the Österreichischer Kunstverein. Around 1858–9 he visited Italy, where he developed a lasting admiration for early Renaissance sculpture. From 1859 to 1862 he worked in Paris and was influenced by the work of Paul Gayrard (...
Mark D. Fullerton
(fl ?2nd century
Greek sculptor and metalworker. His signature occurs on a bronze archaistic herm (Tunis, Mus. N. Bardo) from the Mahdia shipwreck that supported a statue of a winged youth identified as Eros or as Agon, the personification of athletic contests. Though the lettering of the inscription suits a date in the 3rd century
Stephen K. Scher
Italian medallist. Although he worked in the papal mint from 1580 to 1592, virtually nothing is known about his life and career, which may say something about the relative unimportance of a die-engraver, a job that he is documented as having in 1591 (‘incisore della Zecca Romana’). He seems to have moved with his brother, Emilio de’ Bonis, from Venice to Rome and signed a medal in 1574 for the inauguration of the Collegio Germanico in Rome. Thereafter, virtually all of his medals were produced for his papal employers. According to Forrer, he struck medals for Gregory XIII (1572–85), Sixtus V (1585–90; five variants), Gregory XIV (1590–91; eight variants), Innocent IX (1591; seven variants) and Clement VIII (1592–1605; four variants). As was usually the case with papal commemorative medals, an official portrait of the pontiff was established, coupled with a series of reverses devoted to significant acts or events that occurred during that particular papacy. Such medals were invariably struck and were relatively monotonous and dry in technique and style. Nonetheless, the medals of de’ Bonis do possess certain distinctive qualities. The portraits of Sixtus V, for example, are quite vigorous and capture the gruff features of this former peasant. The medal struck to commemorate the building of the Ponte Felice over the Tiber in the Borghetto section of Rome (...
Franco Panvini Rosati
(b Parma, 1508; d after 1586).
Italian medallist and goldsmith. His first signed medal was made in 1549 for Pope Paul III. Bonzagna is documented in 1554 working in the papal mint in Rome with his brother Gian Giacomo Bonzagna (1507–65) and Alessandro Cesati. He worked for the papal mint until 1575, when he prepared a medal for Pope Gregory XIII. He also worked in the mint at Parma, where he engraved the dies for medals of Pier Luigi Farnese, 1st Duke of Parma and Piacenza, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and Ottavio Farnese, 2nd Duke of Parma and Piacenza. Bonzagna also executed medals for Cardinal Federico Cesi and, in 1560, Gian Battista di Collalto. In 1561 Bonzagna worked as a goldsmith with Cesati and Gian Alberto de’ Rossi on a silver-gilt pax for Milan Cathedral. Bonzagna was one of the most prolific medallists of the 16th century. Because many of his medals were unsigned, it is difficult to distinguish his dies from those of Cesati. In some medals the obverse is by Bonzagna and the reverse by another artist. These were produced when several medals were restruck by Mazio in the 19th century. Bonzagna’s work is varied and shows considerable technical accomplishment, but his style is cold and academic....
(b Florence, 1580; d Paris, Feb 15, 1654).
Italian sculptor and bronze-founder, active in France. He was the pupil and later the son-in-law of Pietro Francavilla and accompanied his master to Paris c. 1600–04. He was appointed sculptor to the King in 1606 and was active in the royal works at the Tuileries and at Fontainebleau, where in 1604 he cast two bronze vases (Paris, Louvre) for the Perseus fountain (destr.) and made ornaments for the Tiber Fountain (fragments, Paris, Louvre). He was naturalized in 1611, the year he married Francavilla’s eldest daughter. From 1614 he assisted his father-in-law with the installation for the Pont Neuf, Paris, of the bronze equestrian statue of Henry IV (destr. 1792), begun by Giambologna and completed by Pietro Tacca. On Francavilla’s death in 1615 Bordoni inherited his royal salary and lodgings in the Tuileries. In 1618 he cast the four superb bronze slaves (Paris, Louvre) modelled by his father-in-law for the base of the Pont Neuf statue. He gave further proof of his outstanding skill as a bronze-founder when he cast Francavilla’s three bas-reliefs for the base (destr.)....
French family of medallists. Valentin Maurice Borrel (b Montataire, Oise, 24 July 1804; d Chevilly-Larue, Val-de-Marne, 29 March 1882) learnt his craft in the workshop of Jean-Jacques Barre (1793–1855). His first medal, of the dramatist Louis-Benôit Picard, was well received, and he pursued a successful and prolific career recording the main events of Louis-Philippe’s reign, the Second Republic and the Second Empire. His son Alfred Borrel (b Paris, 18 Aug 1836; d 1927) trained under François Jouffroy at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Like his father, he exhibited regularly at the Salon, where his portrait medals and his allegorical figure compositions, notably that for the Centenary of the Foundation of the School of Living Oriental Languages (1895; Paris, Bib. N.), were admired. In 1906 he became a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur.Bellier de la Chavignerie–AuvrayF. Mazerolle: ‘V.-M. Borrel’, Gazette numismatique française (1904), pp. 1–38...
(b Nagyszeben [now Sibiu, Romania], Aug 13, 1906; d Budapest, Jan 27, 1990).
Hungarian sculptor, medallist, draughtsman, engraver and painter. In 1922 he moved from Transylvania to Győr, Hungary, where, while preparing to become a painter, he learnt the craft of goldsmithing and engraving from his father. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, in 1928–9. He also spent considerable time during these years in Italy and southern France. His taste was influenced mainly by Classical work. The drawings and paintings from this period can be regarded as preparation for his career as a sculptor, although it was not until the early 1930s that he took up full-time sculpting. At first he produced copper embossings. In 1938 a trip to Transylvania inspired him to create larger copper reliefs, such as Women Hired to Mourn (1939; Pécs, Pannonius Mus.). His first stone statue Mother (Győr, Xantus János Mus.) was sculpted in 1933. Partly because of the nature of the material, and also because of his deep knowledge of ancient Egyptian and Greek sculpture, his figure sculptures are built from basic, essential forms. His success as a sculptor enabled him in ...
Erich G. Ranfft
(b Perleberg-Brandenburg, June 29, 1871; d Berlin, Jan 2, 1938).
German medallist, sculptor and writer. He trained in medal arts and sculpture at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Frankfurt am Main (1891–7) and in Paris (1897–9) at the Académie Julian. He dedicated himself to making medals and assimilated the naturalistic and Impressionist styles current in French art, as in his baptismal medal Let the Child Come to Me (1898–9; Frankfurt am Main, Mus. Ksthandwk). In 1899 Bosselt began to gain considerable public recognition in Germany for his medals, which after 1901 became more stylized and decorative. By 1905 he had produced a large body of work, including medals and several plaques of, mainly commissioned, portraits and exhibition notices. In addition, he promoted the revival of medal arts in Germany through his published writings. He was also widely known as a gifted Jugendstil craftsman as a result of his stay from 1899 to 1903 at the Künstler-Kolonie in Darmstadt, where he developed a close friendship with fellow worker Peter Behrens. Bosselt’s output in Darmstadt consisted of jewellery and domestic items of decorative metalwork, which feature sculpted bronze figurines (e.g. table lamp, ...