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(b Udine, bapt Oct 15, 1635; d Venice, May 7, 1719).

Italian painter. He was perhaps the most influential Italian portrait painter of the later 17th century. His early style was formed by his father, Valentino Bombelli, a painter in Udine, and his godfather, the Mannerist artist Girolamo Lugaro. In the early 1660s he was in Venice (Boschini; Sansovino), where he responded passionately to the brilliant colour, painterly freedom and naturalism of 16th-century Venetian artists, particularly Veronese, whose works he copied. According to Sandrart, who in 1683 provided the first significant report of Bombelli’s earliest activities, the artist was initially known as a history painter in the manner of Veronese, although no such painting by him has been identified.

Bombelli is thought to have studied c. 1663–5 with Guercino in Bologna, where he also saw portrait paintings by Cesare and Benedetto Gennari and Pier Francesco Cittadini. Sandrart wrote that at around this time Bombelli dedicated himself exclusively to portrait painting, and perhaps the earliest work that may be attributed to him is a portrait of ...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

[Santiago]

(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...

Article

Christina Improta Romano

(b Florence, Nov 8, 1669; d Florence, Feb 27, 1756).

Italian painter. He was a prolific artist, most successful as a fresco painter, who worked mainly in and around Florence. His early years are undocumented, and it is not clear with whom he trained; Gabburri (Florence, Bib. N. Cent., MS. E.B.9.5, iv, 62v-63) mentions Francesco Botti (1640–1710) as his teacher, while Luigi Lanzi specifies Giovanni Camillo Sagrestani. He was certainly strongly influenced by Sagrestani, from whom he may have found it difficult to free himself. The works of his maturity, however, are highly personal and reflect the carefree mood of 18th-century Florence, which responded to the lighter influences of the French Rococo. Apart from studies for wall decorations, the only works on canvas for which dates are documented are two tondi for S Jacopo Sopr’ Arno, Florence: Abraham with the Three Angels and a scene from the Life of St Francis (both 1718). His documented frescoes are the dome of S Verdiana (...

Article

(b Bologna, April 28, 1688; d Jan 7, 1766).

Italian painter. He was trained in the artistic climate of Emilia, as an apprentice to Marcantonio Franceschini and Donato Creti in Bologna and Carlo Cignani in Forlì. After visiting Genoa, Boni was influenced by the painting there, especially that of Lorenzo de’ Ferrari, which contributed to a greater solidity and compositional equilibrium in his own work. In Bologna he belonged to the Accademia Clementina (1720), of which he was appointed director in 1721 and 1723. He was active, both as a painter of pictures for churches and as a decorator. His vast production in Genoa includes the Agony in the Garden and the Deposition in S Maria Maddalena; the fresco Zephyr and Flora (Pal. Bali-Durazzo, now Pal. Reale), painted in collaboration with the quadraturista Tommaso Aldrovandini (1653–1736), which, with its Rococo delicacy, is considered to be one of the painter’s best works; and frescoes in aristocratic homes, such as the ...

Article

Germán Ramello Asensio

(b Valls, 1730; d Valls, 1786).

Catalan sculptor. His great-grandfather and grandfather, respectively Luis Bonifás (fl 1676; d 1697) and Luis Bonifás y Sastre (1683–1765), settled in Valls and founded an academy of architecture and sculpture. His younger brother, Francisco Bonifás y Masó (1735–1806), was also a sculptor. Luis Bonifás y Masó himself worked in a Baroque style for both the architecture of his retables and for his sculptural compositions, as can be seen in the high altar at Cubells (1764), in which the figure of St Peter recalls the work of Bernini. In the previous year, however, he had successfully applied for full admission to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, Madrid, and submitted a Neo-classical alabaster relief of St Sebastian Succoured by St Irene (in situ), clearly demonstrating that the extended Baroque strain in his work was due either to his own preference or to the demands of his clients. ...

Article

(b Castellammare di Stabia, nr Naples, 1707; d Naples, May 19, 1789).

Italian painter. A student of Francesco Solimena, Bonito became one of the most influential artists of the Neapolitan school in the 18th century. Throughout his career, but most notably during the latter part of the century when Rome was the arbiter of Neo-classicism, his style remained firmly within the rich painterly traditions of Naples. His earliest works, for example the Archangel Raphael and Tobias (1730; Naples, S Maria Maggiore), show an assimilation of elements derived from late Baroque artists working in Naples and a hesitant affinity to the tenebrism of Solimena. In other pictures of sacred subjects from c. 1730 onwards, however, he developed a personal neo-Baroque style characterized by sweeping movement, bold chiaroscuro and a saturated palette reminiscent of both Solimena and Luca Giordano. Paintings in this style, such as St Vincent Ferrer (1737; Barletta, S Domenico), St Lazarus (early 1740s; Portici, S Ciro) and Charity (...

Article

[Maria]

(b Craveggia, Feb 23, 1701; d West Wycombe, Oct 12, 1761).

Italian painter, active in England. He trained in Bologna and Venice but returned to work in the Val di Vigezzo area of his native village. He painted both on panel and in fresco but preferred working in the latter, even decorating the ceilings of his own home. Among his earliest known works are the large signed and dated panel paintings for Craveggia parish church of scenes from the Lives of SS Christopher, Roch and Lawrence (1723–7; in situ). He also frescoed the church’s main dome and side chapels (1739) and decorated the cupola of nearby S Maria Maggiore (1743). His only known student was Jean-Antoine Julien, with whom he was associated before 1748.

Around 1751 Borgnis left Italy for England at the invitation of Sir Francis Dashwood, who employed him thereafter. Two of his nine children went with him: Giovanni Borgnis (1728–?after ...

Article

Joaquín Bérchez

(b San Mateo, Castellón,?early 18th century; d Madrid, Feb 2, 1754).

Spanish sculptor and architect. In 1733 he was appointed city and diocesan architect for Cuenca, where he designed the town hall in 1734. He was subsequently summoned by the chapter of Murcia Cathedral in 1736 and appointed surveyor to the fabric and city architect. He directed works on the new façade of the cathedral (1736–49), which is really a retable in stone and decorative marbles, albeit on a monumental scale, and is scenographically designed to complement the townscape. Jacopo Vignola’s two-storey scheme for the façade of Il Gesù, Rome (see Rome, §V, 16, and figs 49 and 50), is the ultimate model, but it was modified by Bort to form a complex rhythm of fluid curves and powerful columnar projections. The wealth of fine detail recalls French Rococo—in particular Juste-Aurèle Meissonier’s design (1726) for St Sulpice, Paris—while exploiting the existing Renaissance elements of the building. The curved cresting of the façade, like an ornamental Spanish comb used to hold a mantilla in place, has a deep concave surface. Bort’s pupils executed this work, which recalls the expedients in Andrea Pozzo’s ...

Article

Ana Maria Rybko

(b Cremona, 1717; d Mantua, Dec 24, 1784).

Italian painter. He studied first in Florence under Antonio Puglieschi and Vincenzo Meucci (1694–1766). In 1735 he settled in Rome where, as a pupil of Agostino Masucci, he deepened his knowledge of the Antique and of the pictorial tradition of the 16th and 17th centuries. His paintings, executed in the classical Baroque style epitomized by Reni and Maratti, are characterized by their erudite composition, precise drawing and enamel-like colours. The large altarpiece of St Paola Leaving for the Holy Land (1745; Milan, Brera) reflects his study of the proto-Neo-classical style prevalent in Rome. He painted various religious works, mostly intended for churches in Pontremoli (Massa Carrara), from where his family derived. Among them are the Madonna with Saints (1756) and the Assumption of the Virgin, both in S Francesco, the St Francis Xavier in Ecstasy (signed and dated 1757) in S Niccolò and the ...

Article

Guilhem Scherf

(b Paris, 1710; d Parma, June 6, 1768).

French sculptor, active in Italy. He won the Prix de Rome in 1732 but left for the Académie de France in Rome at his own expense, arriving c. 1733. There he executed, among other works, a model in wax of the royal arms for the façade of the Palazzo Mancini, home of the Académie de France, and a marble copy of the Spinario (untraced). He also contributed to the sculptural decoration of S Giovanni in Laterano (Lateran Basilica). In 1741 he was in Naples and in Venice, where he may have modelled the powerful bust of Father Lodolli (terracotta, 1744; St Petersburg, Hermitage).

During a brief period in France, in 1746–8, Boudard produced statues of Prayer and Contemplation (both destr.) for the convent of St Pierre, Lyon, but by 1748 he was in Chambéry, in the service of Philip of Bourbon, who was shortly to become Duke of Parma; in ...

Article

Eleanor John

(b Paris, Nov 11, 1642; d Paris, Feb 28, 1732).

French cabinetmaker. His family were originally from Guelderland in the Netherlands and went to Paris, where his father worked as a ‘menuisier en ébène’. Boulle became a master before 1666, when he is recorded as a ‘maître menuisier en ébène’; at this time he lived and worked in the rue de Reims near Saint-Etienne-du-Mont. He was granted the royal privilege of lodging in the Galeries du Louvre on 21 May 1672, having been recommended by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as the most adept among his profession in Paris. In the same year he received the title of Ébéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi, the royal privilege allowing him to carry out the work of more than one profession; without such protection this would have been an infringement of the guilds’ rules. In 1685 Boulle employed at least 15 workmen, and by 1720 the workshop had 20 work-benches and equipment for 6 bronzeworkers. Yet despite his success Boulle was dogged by financial difficulties, and his creditors sought permission to have him arrested in the Louvre in ...

Article

Rand Carter

[Bouman, Jan]

(b Amsterdam, 1706; d Berlin, Sept 6, 1776).

Dutch architect and carpenter, active in Germany. One of many Dutch tradesmen invited to Prussia by Frederick William I, he arrived in 1732 in Potsdam, where he built the Dutch Quarter (1734–42) with its 134 red-brick and mostly Dutch-gabled houses. On the axis of the Quarter’s Kreuzstrasse, he built a ‘gloriette’ pavilion (1739) on an island in the pond known as the Bassin. Later works in Potsdam included the execution of Georg Wenceslaus von Knobelsdorff’s Französische Kirche (1752) on the Bassinplatz, modelled on the Pantheon, Rome, and the Berlin Gate (1752) in the new city wall, which was also influenced by Roman architecture. His design for the Rathaus (1753) in Potsdam was based on Palladio’s unexecuted Palazzo Angarano, Vicenza. Crowning the composition is a domeless drum with colossal Corinthian columns and attic storey, topped by the gilt figure of Atlas bearing the globe....

Article

Flavia Ormond

(b Rome, June 16, 1700; d Rome, Feb 13, 1773).

Italian sculptor. He studied under Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari and from 1725 kept a diary in which he recorded the details of his commissions. The first one he mentioned was for the marble portrait busts of Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci and Innocent XII (both Rome, SS Giovanni e Paolo), commissioned in 1725; these early busts show Bracci’s particular ability for carving individualized portraits. In 1726 he was commissioned to carve the wall memorial to Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci (Rome, S Marcello al Corso). It shows a winged figure of Fame superimposed on a pyramid in relief; Fame holds a trumpet and supports a portrait medallion of the Cardinal. Bracci frequently repeated this design during his career. With the exception of that to Benedict XIV (completed after 1769; Rome, St Peter’s), he was responsible only for the sculpture of funerary monuments, the overall designs being entrusted to architects or painters. The figures were usually carved in white marble and the pyramids and bases in coloured marble. In ...

Article

(b Prague, Oct 24, 1660; d Kutná Hora, Sept 24, 1735).

Bohemian painter. He was born into a craftsman’s family and apprenticed c. 1683–8 to Kristián Schröder (1655–1702), curator of the gallery of Prague Castle, where he met Italian and Dutch artists. Painters based in Prague who influenced him were the Swiss Johann Rudolf Bys, the Flemish Abraham Godyn (fl 1679–93) and in particular the Austrian Michael Wenzel Halbax. From Halbax, Brandl derived a style employing chiaroscuro and remarkably substantial figures; from Michael Willmann and Jan Liška (c. 1650–1712) he adopted a freehand dynamic manner. His early works include St Mary Magdalene (1693; Mníšek pod Brdy, St Wenceslas) and the Annunciation (1697; Prague, N.G., Convent of St George); the influence of Halbax is particularly apparent c. 1700, in works such as the Beheading of St Barbara (1699; Manětín, St Barbara), but Brandl gradually advanced towards far more plastic portrayals in vividly contrasting colours, e.g. the ...

Article

Ivo Kořán

[Mathias Bernhard]

(b Sautens, Feb 24, 1684; d Prague, Feb 15, 1738).

Bohemian sculptor of Tyrolean birth. With Ferdinand Maximilián Brokof he was the foremost Baroque sculptor in what is now the Czech Republic and a leading practitioner in central Europe of the dynamic style of Gianlorenzo Bernini.

Braun probably made a study journey to Italy, travelling to Venice, Florence and Rome, where he would have encountered the sculpture of Bernini and his followers. He is said to have met his future patron Franz Anton Graf von Sporck, for whom he later worked in Bohemia, at Bolzano in 1704. His first known work, commissioned by the Cistercian nuns of Plasy, is a sandstone group of the Vision of St Lutgard (1710) on the Charles Bridge in Prague. In this dynamic work, which, in contrast to earlier statues on the bridge, is designed to be seen from a multiplicity of viewpoints, St Lutgard with outspread arms is embraced by Christ’s right arm, disengaged from the Cross. The group already has all of the characteristic qualities of Braun’s sculpture: the stone has the appearance of solidified lava or frozen water, the composition is dramatic and non-axial, while light, seen through openings in the group, is used as a component in the creation of constantly changing visual effects. A second stone group on the bridge, representing ...

Article

(b Speyer, 1709; bur; Mannheim, Dec 21, 1760).

German painter, draughtsman and etcher. Trained by Johann Georg Dathan (1703–c. 1748) in Speyer, he was a court painter in Mannheim from 1733 until his death, from 1755 gallery director and from 1757 a privy councillor. Of the religious works that, as a court painter, he was obliged to produce, the only ones that survive are frescoes (spandrel paintings) depicting the Four Quarters of the World (after 1748; Mannheim, former Jesuit church of SS Ignaz und Franz Xavier) and ceiling paintings in Electress Elizabeth Augusta’s library in Schloss Mannheim.

Brinckmann’s landscapes show two opposing trends. On the one hand, there are small, detailed picturesque landscapes in courtly or rural settings with suitable accessories, often with many figures. According to the terms of his contract, he had to produce two such paintings each year; typical examples are the Court Gardens at Mannheim (1745) and Wolfbrunnens near Heidelberg...

Article

Camillo Semenzato

(b Belluno, July 20, 1662; d Belluno, Oct 25, 1732).

Italian sculptor and draughtsman. He worked almost exclusively in wood. His first teacher was his father, Jacopo Brustolon (d 1709), also a sculptor, and he then trained with the painter Agostino Ridolfi (1646–1727). In 1677 Andrea was sent to Venice to the workshop of Filippo Parodi, to whose elegance, dynamism and technical virtuosity he was always indebted, although he soon established his own style. Brustolon came from an alpine area that had a long tradition of craftsmanship in wood. His achievement was to transpose techniques that had been associated with everyday craftsmanship on to the highest artistic level.

Brustolon went to Rome, probably in 1679. In 1685 he signed a contract for the execution of the altar of the Souls in S Floriano at Pieve di Zoldo, which suggests that he was already settled in Belluno even while maintaining contacts with Venice. In 1695 he presented a model of a door (unexecuted) for the chapel of the Tesoro at the Santo in Padua, a chapel that had been designed by ...

Article

Mario Buhagiar

(b Haz Zebbug, 1698; d 1725).

Maltese painter. He was the son of a stone-carver and spent most of his life in Valletta. In many respects the artistic heir of Alesso Erardi, whose pupil he may well have been, he was, after Francesco Zahra, the most significant representative of the Maltese Baroque school. His work is uneven in quality, and his paintings often contain weak and arid details, which reflect the provincial insularity of his art. His most ambitious undertaking was the vast composition of the ...

Article

A. I. Komech

[Yanka; Yakushka] (Grigor’yevich)

(b Nikol’skoye-Sverchkovo village, nr Moscow; fl 1690–1704).

Russian architect. He was active in Moscow, and his distinctive brick buildings, displaying a picturesque, tiered treatment of volumes with an abundance of white-stone decorative details, are highly characteristic works of the contemporary Moscow school of architecture. The decorative handling of the orders, complex, frequently broken profiles, bold, inset, carved ornamentation with foliage and fruit motifs, and the overall liveliness of the composition are all features characteristic of Naryshkin Baroque (named after the Naryshkins, the family on whose estates in and around Moscow many of its most striking examples were built), a style that makes extensive use of western European Baroque forms but that adheres to the general tectonic rules of earlier Russian architecture. Among the best-known buildings ascribed to Bukhvostov are the church of the Trinity (1698–1704) in Troitse-Lykovo, the walls, wall-towers and gate chapel of the New Jerusalem Monastery (1690–97; destr. World War II; now restored) and the church of the Saviour (...

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Cathie C. Kelly

(b Novazzano, nr Como, c. 1651; d Rome, ?1734).

Italian architect. Following his arrival in Rome at an unknown date, he became a pupil of Carlo Fontana. His first known work was the renovation in 1695 of the theatre (destr.) in the Palazzo Capranica. In 1698 he was elected a member of the Accademia di S Luca, where he served both as an instructor of architecture and as a judge for student competitions held between 1704 and 1708. In 1702 he went to Benevento to assist in the rebuilding of the city, which had been damaged by an earthquake; in 1705 he redesigned the piazza in front of S Sofia and placed a monumental portal on an axis with the entrance of the church (destr. 1809). He restored the medieval cathedrals of Salerno (1703–4) and Aversa (1703–15); he also remodelled the interior of Albano Cathedral (c. 1720) following the model of SS Apostoli in Rome, incorporating the existing columns of the nave into large square piers articulated with pilasters. The new façade of the cathedral was articulated with a giant order derived from Gianlorenzo Bernini’s sanctuary at Galloro and Fontana’s S Maria dell’Umilità, Rome. Among Buratti’s few independent works are the new seminary in Aversa (...