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Bernard Aikema

(b Pieve di Soligo, 1654; d Pieve di Soligo, 1726).

Italian painter, active also in Austria, Germany and England. He studied drawing with a nobleman Domenico Difnico in Sebenico (Sibenik) in Dalmatia (now part of Croatia, at that time a Venetian colony) and went to Venice around 1675. His first works were influenced by Pietro Liberi, Andrea Celesti and Antonio Zanchi, as is apparent from the large canvas showing St Lorenzo Giustiniani, first Patriarch of Venice, praying for the city’s deliverance from the plague of 1447 (c. 1691; Venice, S Pietro di Castello, choir). In the following years, in response to Veronese, his palette became lighter. The first of his contacts with Austria was made in 1692, when he executed four altarpieces depicting scenes from the lives of various saints for the church of Klosterneuburg (in situ). From 1695 to 1700 he lived in Vienna; he was back in Venice in 1700 and returned to Vienna in ...

Article

Roberto Middione

(b Naples, 1652; d Naples, 1732).

Italian painter. He specialized in still-lifes and was the final major representative of those 17th-century Neapolitan flower painters who used the decorative Baroque style with restraint and whose work anticipated the refined and delicate aspects of European Rococo. At the start of his career his work was inspired by Paolo Porpora and particularly by the early works of Giuseppe Recco. From this period survive two pairs of pendants of Carnations (Naples, Capodimonte) and Tulips (Sorrento, Mus. Correale Terranova), small paintings characterized by great attention to detail. Other youthful works feature the traditional Neapolitan still-life subject of fish (e.g. Fish, Naples, Mus. N. S Martino), where the formality learnt from Recco is combined with a romantic quality that anticipates 18th-century developments.

In mid-career Belvedere united his vein of refined sentimentality and a fanciful manner of composition with a new Baroque opulence inspired by Abraham Breughel (1631–?1680) and Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo. Examples are the inventive and subtly lit ...

Article

[Federichetto; Federiko; Ferigheto; Ferighetto]

(b ?Dalmatia or Venice, ?1677; d Görz [Gorica, now Gorizia], July 8, 1753).

Croatian painter. He belonged to a noble family who originated on the island of Brazza (now Brač) or of Lesina (Hvar) and had possessions in Dalmatia. From c. 1695 he was apprenticed in Carlo Cignani’s Bologna workshop; he assisted Cignani in painting the Assumption of the Virgin (begun 1686) in the chapel of the Madonna del Fuoco in Forlí Cathedral (in situ; for illustration see Cignani, Carlo, Conte). The classicizing style of his first known independent work, Juno (1707; Forlí, Pal. Foschi), is close to Cignani. While in Venice (1710–16), Bencovich met Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1655–1729), Prince-Bishop of Mainz, for whom he executed works for Schloss Pommersfelden: Hagar and Ishmael in the Desert and the Sacrifice of Iphigenia (both 1715; Pommersfelden, Schloss Weissenstein); the Sacrifice of Isaac (1720; Zagreb, Strossmayer Gal.); and Apollo and Marsyas (untraced). All are intensely dramatic, with elongated figures in a strange, cold light....

Article

Hannelore Hägele

(b Pfarrkirchen, Upper Bavaria, c. 1660; d Augsburg, Jan 31, 1738).

German sculptor. He was the son of the sculptor Johann Christian Bendl, with whom he trained. Having become a journeyman, he travelled for six years, probably to Bohemia and Venice. On his return he entered in 1684 the workshop in Augsburg of Johann Jakob Rill (fl c. 1686–99); on 26 November 1687 he was made a master and also became a citizen of Augsburg. He was the city’s leading sculptor during the late Baroque period; many important churches in and outside of Augsburg had sculptures by him. He worked mostly in wood, but also in stone, terracotta and stucco, and probably in ivory and metal as well. For jewellers and goldsmiths he produced models, such as a figure of St Sebastian (1714–15) and a crucifix (1716). His major work included two series of life-size statues: one, of the Apostles, for St Moritz and the other, of the ...

Article

Ksenija Rozman

[Fortunato]

(b Mekinje, nr Stein [now Kamnik], Sept 6, 1721; d Laibach [now Ljubljana], March 31, 1769).

Slovene painter. He first trained in Stein in the Austrian duchy of Carniola, where his father was a chest-maker. He was influenced by the Slovene Baroque painters Valentin Metzinger and Franc Jelovšek and by the sculptors—Francesco Robba and a group of anonymous Franciscan carvers—working around Laibach in the 1730s and 1740s. His earliest works (1750s) are preserved in the Croatian parish churches of Sinac, Lešće and Otočac and are painted in clear Baroque colours. Between 1756 and 1760 he studied at the Accademia di S Luca in Rome, receiving two first prizes for his drawings of nudes. Most of his surviving paintings, including religious scenes (e.g. St Bernard of Corleone, c. 1768; Ljubljana, N.G.) and portraits of noblemen (e.g. Baron Codelli, 1762; Ljubljana, N.G.) and clergymen, were created in the 1760s, using cool colours; they are often coarse and crude but individual in their expressive faces, shading with grey-green hues and decoratively arranged clothing. The influence of such Roman artists as Carlo Maratti, Pompeo Batoni and Anton Raphael Mengs is evident, while Central European Baroque art dominates Bergant’s iconography and colour-range....

Article

(b Brussels, May 14, 1696; d Brussels, Nov 16, 1756).

Flemish sculptor. In 1714 he entered the Guild of the Quatre Couronnés (the corporation of masons, stonecutters, sculptors and slate-quarrymen) in Brussels and served his apprenticeship with the sculptor François Delpier. In 1715 he entered the studio of Nicolas Coustou in Paris. This stay in the French capital and a subsequent period in Rome (1717–19) were to mark all of Bergé’s work, with its transitional character between late Baroque and Neo-classicism enlivened by Rococo grace. At the age of 26 he became a master in the Brussels guild and in 1737 he became the co-director of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.

Bergé worked mainly for two abbeys of the Premonstratensian order. For that of Parc, Leuven, he executed, among other works, the high altar (wood, 1728); the monument to former prelates (wood and marble, 1729); the abbot’s throne (wood, 1730); the stalls and the confessionals, together with the pulpit (oak, ...

Article

(b Königinhof an der Elbe [now Dvůr Králové, Czech Republic], Oct 23, 1718; d Vienna, Jan 15, 1789).

Austrian painter. From c. 1745 he was probably a pupil of Paul Troger, whose influence is evident in the figure style, compositional schemes and handling of light and shadow in Bergl’s early work. In 1751 and 1752 he won prizes at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, which permitted him to take on private commissions, but without assistants. His first commission was a painted series of the Stations of the Cross for the Dekanatskirche in Königinhof (see Sacromonte). Bergl’s most important works are his illusionistic frescoes, which transform not only ceilings but entire rooms into open landscapes with plants and animals. The first of these interiors was painted between 1762 and 1763 in the summer residence of the Viennese archbishop in Ober-St Veit (in situ). From 1763 Bergl worked on the great decorative programmes for Melk Abbey for about 20 years. His wall paintings in the garden pavilion at Melk (...

Article

(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 ...

Article

(b Cavallerleone [Cuneo], 1736; d Turin, Jan 7, 1796).

Italian sculptor. A royal subsidy provided by Charles-Emanuel III of Savoy, King of Sardinia, enabled him to attend the school of Claudio Francesco Beaumont in Turin. Bernero showed an early preference for papier-mâché as a medium, producing papier-mâché works for popular devotional dramas. In 1765 a second royal stipend supported a four-year continuation of his studies in Rome. There he trained with Ignazio Collino, acquiring skill in working more durable materials, such as marble and stone. Collino’s classicizing influence was not strong enough, however, to counteract Bernero’s apparent preference for Baroque effects, as is demonstrated in his dramatically swooning marble Magdalene (1770; Duomo di Casale), a typically highly charged composition. In 1770, a pivotal year, Bernero joined the Confraternity of the Company of St Luke in Turin and began to receive commissions from royal and religious patrons in Turin and other cities in Piedmont. From c. 1770 to 1772...

Article

Françoise de la Moureyre

(b Mazan, Vaucluse, Dec 15, 1650; d Mazan, Mar 25, 1728).

French sculptor. He came of a Comtat Venaissin family of sculptors of varying degrees of talent and was trained by his father, Noël Bernus (d 1702), and later by Nicolas Levray, director of the sculpture workshop at the Arsenal, in Toulon. Refusing Levray’s offer to appoint him as his successor, Bernus preferred instead to settle in his native province. He likewise declined an offer from Laurent Buty, bishop of Carpentras from 1691 to 1710, to send him to Rome to perfect his art. The period from 1692 to 1708 was the most fruitful of his career. Buty commissioned him to decorate the choir and the sanctuary (mostly preserved in situ) of the cathedral of St Siffrein in Carpentras: this work included the high altar, the tabernacle with adoring angels, a Glory imitating that executed by Bernini for the high altar of St Peter’s in Rome, the panelling for the choir and Buty’s own tomb in marble. At the same time Bernus sculpted a considerable number of statues and ecclesiastical furnishings for neighbouring churches. Little is known about his activities between ...

Article

(b Venice, fl 1693–1733).

Italian sculptor. Documents record him as working in Rome in 1693 and in Venice in 1710. Records of his activity cease after 1733, the year in which he received a commission for two candlesticks for the basilica of S Antonio (il Santo) in Padua. He produced distinctive, small-scale sculptural groups, usually in bronze, sometimes in marble. These decorative pieces, purchased avidly by 18th-century Italians and tourists to Italy, made their way into various collections in Europe and North America. Typical of his bronze groups are the Triumph of Chastity (London, V&A) and America (Baltimore, MA, Walters A. G.), both with several allegorical figures arranged in a boldly dynamic pyramid. The elongated, twisting figures are almost Manneristic in their proportions and assume difficult, seemingly weightless poses. Many of the works recall Giambologna’s sculptures; indeed Bertos made a small-scale marble copy (Turin, Pal. Reale) of Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women (Florence, Loggia Lanzi). He signed some of the bronzes. All his pieces are virtuosic, no matter what the size or number of figures included, and display Bertos’s knowledge both of the bronze statuettes of Renaissance craftsmen and of 15th-century German goldsmith’s pieces....

Article

Françoise de la Moureyre

(b Paris, bapt Nov 11, 1663; d Paris, Jan 30, 1724).

French sculptor. He was the son of the sculptor David Bertrand (d 1697), who is best known for a series of elaborate plaster overmantels, probably dating from the 1690s, of which two survive at the château of Dampierre, Seine-et-Oise. In 1694 Philippe Bertrand supplied four circular stone allegorical medallions for the Arc de Triomphe in the Place du Peyrou in Montpellier (in situ). The Baroque elaboration of their composition and drapery is also apparent, in more refined form, in the small bronze group of the Rape of Helen (e.g. Fontainebleau, Château) with which Bertrand was admitted to the Académie Royale in 1701. From 1705 he worked principally for the Bâtiments du Roi. His work under the direction of Jules Hardouin Mansart included a plaster statue of St Satyrus, one of 11 statues by various hands planned for the four circular chapels at the Invalides (c....

Article

Hans-Peter Wittwer

(Battista)

(fl late 17th century–early 18th).

Swiss-Italian stuccoist and architect. He drew up the plans for the abbey church of Muri (1694–7), Switzerland, which is regarded as the consummation of the centrally planned church and one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Switzerland. Bettini’s scheme involved reconstructing the cruciform Romanesque abbey church. The twin towers and the low choir spanned by a Gothic lierne vault were retained, but the nave was converted into an octagonal rotunda with transeptal chapels. The ends of the former aisles, at the west and east, lie outside the octagon and are used to form galleries. The eight arches defining the octagon are of equal height but unequal width. Uniformity of height is obtained in the narrower, diagonal arches by raising the imposts rather than by stilting the arches. A large saucer dome, with stucco ornamentation by Bettini, covers the rotunda, admitting light, via penetrations, from semicircular windows set on a slightly curving entablature inside, supported by folded pilasters. Bettini’s reputation is based on evidence that he produced designs for the building, while the more famous architect ...

Article

Olivier Michel

[il Creatura di Baciccia]

(b Rome, Sept 5, 1694; d Rome, March 12, 1740).

Italian painter. His father, Giovanni Bianchi, a cooper, came from Tendola, near Sarzana. Pietro Bianchi was orphaned at the age of two and was taken in by one of his older sisters, whose husband, Arrigo Giorgi, was in the service of the Marchese Marcello Sacchetti. Bianchi was apprenticed to the painter Giacomo Triga (d 1746) and then, when the latter left to complete his own training in Venice, moved to the studio of Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccia); there Bianchi acquired his nickname on account of his youth and small stature. In 1709, when Gaulli died, Bianchi moved to Giuseppe Ghezzi’s; he found Ghezzi too theoretically orientated, but at last found a true master in Benedetto Luti, whose tradition he was to continue. He won several prizes from the Accademia di S Luca during these years, and in 1713 came second in the first class (preceded only by Cosmas Damian Asam) with a magnificent drawing of a ...

Article

Dwight C. Miller

(Maria)

(b Bologna, 1692; d Bologna, 1776).

Italian painter and stuccoist. He was largely self-taught yet gifted with exceptional talent—‘such praiseworthy qualities not the fruit of long toil but of gifts with which the painter was endowed’ (Zanotti)—and thus able to establish a position among the most highly reputed artists in Bologna of his time. He was chosen four times (1734; 1748; 1767; 1773) to be the director of the prestigious Accademia Clementina of Bologna. He began his career as a stuccoist. However, impressed by the art of the quadraturista Marcantonio Chiarini (1652–1730), whose large perspective paintings he saw while working at the Palazzo Almandini, he himself began to specialize in painting perspective effects. He studied Ferdinando Galli Bibiena’s L’architettura civile (Parma, 1711) and, profiting also from his experience as an assistant to a scenery designer, Carl Antonio Buffagnotti (1660–after 1715), soon became expert in this art and began to assist the established ...

Article

John Physick

(b London, 1667; d London, Feb 1730–31).

English sculptor. He was born in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields and was sent to Flanders to the studio of a sculptor named Cozins (perhaps a member of the family of sculptors named Cosyns) and later to Rome. Back in England by c. 1689, he was employed by both Grinling Gibbons and Caius Gabriel Cibber, but he returned to Rome some years later, perhaps from 1695, and worked in the studio of Pierre Legros (ii). These journeys equipped him particularly with a knowledge of the Baroque in Rome and the works of Bernini. On his return to England, by 1700, after the death of Cibber, he was appointed by Sir Christopher Wren to undertake the major sculptural decoration of St Paul’s Cathedral, notably the pediment of the west front with its boldly dramatic representation of the Conversion of St Paul, for which he was paid £650 in 1706. He may have derived the pediment from Bernini or Legros but, since no drawings or models survive, this remains conjecture. He also carved the figures of the Evangelists and Apostles, over three and a half metres high, on the west and south fronts, receiving more than £2000, and the statue of ...

Article

John Varriano

(b Rome, April 13, 1655; d Rome, Feb 1721).

Italian architect. According to Missirini, he trained in the studio of Carlo Fontana (iv). There is also reason to suppose that Bizzacheri was associated early in his career with the late work of Carlo Rainaldi, such as S Maria di Montesanto, Rome, executed at a time when the elderly Rainaldi had himself repudiated the livelier style of his earlier years. In spite of these formative experiences Bizzacheri’s work seems relatively unencumbered by the exacting academic style of either Fontana or the late work of Rainaldi. Instead, in early commissions such as the Vivaldi Chapel (1679) in S Maria di Montesanto or the convent of S Maria Maddalena (1680–84), both in Rome, there are echoes of the works of Francesco Borromini. Bizzacheri was one of the first architects to adopt the freely handled pediments and rich ornamental vocabulary of Borromini’s Oratory of S Filippo Neri or S Carlo alle Quattro Fontane—motifs that eventually achieved widespread popularity among Rococo architects of the 18th century. In the corridor leading to the convent of S Maria Maddalena, Bizzacheri demonstrated his fondness for penetrating solids and moulding space with superimposed arches, curved walls and stucco in a manner equally prophetic of the Rococo. His perforated and imaginatively embellished screen wall (mid-1690s) at the Villa Aldobrandini, Frascati, is another example of his ability to infuse utilitarian structures with a sprightly character....

Article

Carola Hicks

English country house near Woodstock, Oxon, designed by John Vanbrugh for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. It was begun in 1705 and completed c. 1725. The gardens, initially laid out by Vanbrugh and Henry Wise, were largely redesigned in 1764–74 by ‘Capability’ Brown. Blenheim Palace is regarded as one of the finest examples of English Baroque architecture. It was a gift to the Duke from a grateful Crown and nation to commemorate his victory in 1704 over the French and Bavarians at Blenheim (now Blindheim) during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). The intention was to create a public monument symbolizing the glory of Britain and a palace fit for a hero, rather than a building on a domestic scale. This is reflected in Vanbrugh’s dramatic and monumental design, inspired by both English and French architecture, which developed the style he had begun to formulate in his earlier work at Castle Howard, N. Yorks. In both undertakings he was assisted by ...

Article

Volker Helas

(b Paris, Oct 1670; d Dresden, Jan 3, 1745).

French architect and engineer, active in the Netherlands and Germany. He trained as a civil and military architect in Paris, although it is not known who taught him. As a Protestant he left France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and went to the Netherlands, where he entered the service of William III, Prince of Orange (reg 1672–1702). After William’s accession to the throne of England he followed him there (1689) and became a captain in the artillery and engineering corps, in which capacity he was present at the Battle of the Boyne (1690); he also devoted himself to the study of civil architecture and produced a scheme for Greenwich Hospital (?1694–5; unexecuted) influenced by Libéral Bruand’s plan for the Hôtel des Invalides (1671–6), Paris.

In 1699 de Bodt accepted an invitation to serve Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg, who became Frederick I, King of Prussia, in ...

Article

Cynthia Lawrence

[Jean-François]

(b Mechelen, c. 1650; d Mechelen, 1734).

Flemish sculptor and architect. He was a pupil of Lucas Faydherbe, from whom he absorbed the influence of Rubens. Boeckstuyns became a master in the Mechelen Guild of St Luke in 1680 but may have continued to collaborate with Faydherbe. Among his commissions for Mechelen churches are three wooden confessionals with allegorical figures (1690) and the wooden gable (1712) for Faydherbe’s earlier high altar for the basilica of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Hanswijk and numerous works for the Begijnhof Church, including the north interior portal (c. 1700), the communion rails (1710) and the wooden confessionals (also attributed to Faydherbe). In 1690 he collaborated with the Mechelen sculptors Frans Langhemans and Adam Frans van der Meulen on the wooden high altar of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-over-de-Dyle. Boeckstuyns was perhaps responsible for the wooden pulpit in St Rombouts (also attributed to Michiel van der Voort I) as well as the wooden tabernacle for the altar of the Holy Sacrament (...