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Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

Torbjörn Fulton

(b Germany, fl 1620–56; d Mecklenburg).

German stuccoist and sculptor. His few surviving works provide fine examples from a period that is sparsely represented in the history of stucco decoration in parts of middle and northern Europe. Anckerman’s first known work is in Mecklenburg, where he decorated the ceilings in the castles of Dargun (destr.) and Güstrow. In the latter a vast expanse of his relief panels (1620) survives, although some of them are 20th-century free reconstructions. His other identified works are in Sweden, where he worked for several patrons, including Queen Christina. In the 1640s he decorated the funerary chapel of General Herman Wrangel (d 1645) in Skokloster (Uppland) parish church. In this tower-like chapel he provided three stucco wall reliefs: the Battle of Gorzno (1629) (depicting the battle in which the Swedes defeated the Poles), a family tree and a decorative landscape. The Gothic vault is decorated with leaves, entwined along the ribs, a central floral motif and four figures of angels, sculpted in such high relief as to seem almost in the round. In addition there are two life-size figures representing General Wrangel, one reposing on the tomb, the other an equestrian monument set against a wall. None of the stucco is painted or gilded, and the effect of so much decoration in a small room is somewhat overcrowded; however, it succeeds in communicating the patron’s martial pride. Although there is no documentation to support identification of Anckerman as the sculptor of these works, the stylistic similarity to the documented ones in Strängnäs Cathedral strongly suggests such an attribution....

Article

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl c. 1766; d Lisbon, 1814).

Portuguese wood-carver and cabinetmaker. From 1766 he worked uninterruptedly on commissions from the royal family or under their patronage, even after the court had gone into exile in Brazil in 1807. His name is recorded from 1803 in the book of those receiving communion in Rua S Roque in the Encarnação parish where he, like many other wood-carvers, lived or had his workshop. He was licensed as a wood-carver of the Casa do Infantado and later of the royal palaces (1805). When he applied for the latter qualification, he made a list (possibly chronological) of his works prefaced by the statement: ‘As I show here, I have been serving the royal household for thirty-three years’. This key document in Ângelo’s own hand allows a fuller survey of his work than has previously been feasible (Correira Guedes, 1971). Ângelo worked principally in executing the designs of architects of the royal household or the Casa do Infantado, sometimes on his own with complete freedom and responsibility, as in the construction of the tower for fireworks on the occasion of the inauguration (...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

[Florentin, Dominique ; Riconucci, Domenico]

(b ?Florence, c. 1506; d Paris, 1565).

Italian sculptor, stuccoist, painter, engraver and mosaicist, active in France . He is mentioned for the first time between 1537 and 1540 in the accounts of the château of Fontainebleau, working on mosaics with Jean Picard (Jean Le Roux, fl mid-16th century). Barbiere rose to prominence rapidly in the team of artists assembled by Francesco Primaticcio on the royal works at the château and worked also at Troyes, where he lived for periods during his career. It is not clear, however, if he went to Troyes as a young man and established his profession there before going on to Fontainebleau with other sculptors from Troyes, such as the Julyot family (fl 16th century) and Nicolas Cordonnier, or whether he went initially to Fontainebleau in the footsteps of his fellow Florentines Rosso Fiorentino and Primaticcio and then went on to Troyes, a long-established centre of sculpture production, with craftsmen he had met at Fontainebleau (...

Article

Bauhaus  

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 ...

Article

(b Modena, c. 1490; d London, ?Feb 15, 1569).

Italian stuccoist, sculptor, painter and costume designer, active in France and England. He worked in France as a painter (1515–22), probably under Jean Perréal and Jean Bourdichon, then in Mantua, possibly under Giulio Romano, possibly calling himself ‘da Milano’. By 1532 he was at Fontainebleau and in 1533 was engaged with Francesco Primaticcio on the stuccoes and painting of the Chambre du Roi and was one of the highest paid of his collaborators. He may also have worked on the Galerie François I. He was described in 1534 as sculpteur et faiseur de masques and in 1535 made masquerade costumes for the wedding of the Comte de Saint-Pol. He was later involved in a fraud and by August 1537 was in England, where he settled. By 1540 Bellin was employed at Whitehall Palace, probably on making stucco chimneypieces, including that in the privy chamber. The following year he and his company of six were working on the slate carvings at ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b San Lorenzo, nr Reggio di Calabria, March 10, 1915; d Barto, PA, Nov 6, 1978).

American sculptor and furniture designer of Italian birth. After settling in the USA in 1930, he studied at the Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit (1936), and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI (1937–9), where he taught metalworking and produced abstract silver jewellery and colour monoprints. In 1943 he moved to California to assist in the development of the first of a series of chairs designed by Charles O. Eames. His first sculptures date from the late 1940s. In 1950 he established himself in Bally, PA, where he designed the Bertoia chair (1952), several forms of which were marketed by Knoll International. His furniture is characterized by the use of moulded and welded wire; in the case of the Bertoia chair, the chromium-plated steel wire is reshaped by the weight of the sitter. Bertoia also worked on small sculptures, directly forged or welded bronzes. The first of his many large architectural sculptures was a screen commissioned in ...

Article

Bog oak  

Gordon Campbell

Article

Daniela Di Castro Moscati

(b Asti, Sept 6, 1745; d Turin, Dec 18, 1820).

Italian furniture-maker, sculptor and ornamentalist. He belonged to a family who owned a workshop of wood-carvers and organcase-makers in Asti. In 1773 he started working for the Savoy family and the following year gained admission to the Accademia di S Luca, Turin. In the accounts of the royal family he is recorded as having supplied numerous stools, chairs, armchairs, benches, sofas, screens, prie-dieux, beds and mirrors, as well as many ornamental panels and chests-of-drawers, for the Palazzo Reale in Turin and for royal residences at Moncalieri, Rivoli, Stupinigi, Venaria and Govone. His style is best expressed when, as part of a team of architects and assistants, he was commissioned to decorate and furnish entire rooms, such as the State Rooms of the Queen and King at Stupinigi. His work is characterized by its departure from the traditional school of Franco-Piedmontese inlay and marquetry cabinetmaking in favour of a more predominant use of carving. He adhered to Neo-classical forms in their most plastic, solid and vigorous, yet elegant, expression, in which the profusion of carvings always had a symbolic, allegorical and commemorative significance, with great use of garlands, emblems and trophies. In ...

Article

Geneviève Bresc-Bautier

(b c. 1570; d Paris, March 21, 1637).

French sculptor. His father Guillaume Boudin (fl 1567–1614) specialized in carved panelling and furniture decorated in the antique taste. Thomas was apprenticed to Mathieu Jacquet in 1584 and remained with his workshop until 1595. Though he bore the title Sculpteur du Roi from 1606, his court works, including a chimney-piece (wood, 1606) for the Chambre du Roi at the Louvre, Paris, a bas-relief (bronze; destr.) for the pedestal of Pietro Tacca’s equestrian statue of Henry IV erected on the Pont Neuf in 1635, and the chimney-pieces for the Throne Room of the Hôtel de Ville, Paris (1617; destr.), and for the château of Chilly (1632; destr.) are less significant than his religious oeuvre. This includes seven high-reliefs (stone, 1610–12; in situ) around the choir of Chartres Cathedral. Their traditional, vigorously frontal composition, with the figures modelled almost in the round so that they appear to be free-standing against a plain background, is combined with a late Mannerist complication of drapery and hairstyle. Other sculptural decorations, such as the high altar of St Germain-l’Auxerrois (...

Article

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(b Braga, 1839; d Lisbon, 1897).

Portuguese wood-carver and cabinetmaker. At the age of 14 he was sent by his father to Lisbon to the workshop of Inácio Caetano, a master cabinetmaker and wood-carver who was working for the royal household at the Palácio das Necessidades. In 1862 Braga moved to the workshop of Célestin-Anatole Calmels (1822–1908), a French sculptor who had settled in Portugal, with whom he collaborated on commissions for sculpture and decorative work. In 1865 he passed the qualifying examination as a master craftsman and then designed and decorated the royal box in the Teatro São Carlos in Lisbon. In the same year he opened a workshop in the Calçada do Combro in Lisbon. One of his apprentices was José Malhoa, a naturalist painter active in the late 19th century and early 20th. Braga continued to collaborate with Calmels, and in 1867 Braga carved the two winged figures, the draperies and the crowned finial of the canopy (...

Article

Darius Sikorski

(b Urbino, c. 1524–5; d Urbino, Sept 20, 1575).

Italian stuccoist and sculptor. He enjoyed extensive patronage from the court of Guidobaldo II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, for whom he modelled fireplaces and entire ceilings representing allegories of princely prerogative and aristocratic supremacy. This practice, unusual in Italy (where stucco was generally a decorative adjunct to fresco), may be partly explained by the fact that Guidobaldo did not retain a permanent court painter.

Between 1538 and 1541 Brandani was apprenticed in Urbino to Giovanni Maria di Casteldurante, a maiolica artist, but his earliest known work (c. 1551) is the luxuriant and overcrowded stucco ceiling, modelled with five relief scenes from the Life of St Peter, in the chapel of the Palazzo Corte Rossa, Fossombrone, near Urbino, for Cardinal Giulio della Rovere (1533–78). In 1552–3 Brandani made contributions to the stucco decoration at the Villa Giulia, Rome, modelling friezes, small roundels and grotesques in the rooms left and right of the entrance....

Article

Brian Austen

(Hicks)

(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(b 1750-29-09 or 1782–3; d London, May 1, 1818).

English cabinetmaker and sculptor. He seems to have acquired an early training in sculpture from his mother, who made a display of life-size waxwork figures, exhibited in and around Birmingham from 1794. By 1798 he had gained a reputation as a portrait sculptor and soon set up independently as a ‘Miniature-painter and Portrait-modeller in Rice-paste’. His brother, William Bullock, opened a ‘Cabinet of Curiosites’ in Birmingham in 1800, moving to Liverpool in 1801. Bullock joined him there and by 1804 had gone into partnership with a looking-glass maker, William Stoakes of Church Street, Liverpool. They advertised themselves as ‘Cabinet Makers, General Furnishers and Marble Workers’ and in 1805 supplied Gothic furniture designed by Bullock to Cholmondeley Castle, Ches (in situ). The following year Bullock set up on his own in Bold Street, Liverpool, selling furniture and bronze ornaments. By 1806 he had acquired the Mona Marble quarries in Anglesey and sold ‘fashionable and elegant Sculptured and Plain Chimney Pieces’ at a separate showroom in Church Street....

Article

Alison Manges Nogueira

Monumental, marble paschal Candlestick of the late 12th to early 13th century with reliefs signed by Nicolaus de Angelo and Vassallettus now in S Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome. The imposing column (h. 5.6 m), adorned with six registers of reliefs and surmounted by a fluted candle holder, rests upon a base of sculpted lions, sphinxes, rams and female figures. The upper and lower reliefs bear vegetal and ornamental patterns while the three central registers portray Christ before Caiaphas, the Mocking of Christ, Christ before Pilate, Pilate Washing his Hands, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension. The culminating Easter scenes reflect the paschal candle’s function during the Easter season as a symbol of Christ resurrected, as evoked in an inscription on the base. A second fragmentary inscription refers to the unidentifiable patron’s desire for commemoration. A third inscription identifies Nicolaus de Angelo as the master sculptor and Petrus Vassallettus as playing a secondary role. Both were active in the second half of the 12th to the early 13th century and came from leading families of Roman sculptors: the Vassalletti and Cosmati (Nicolaus’s family). The candlestick is the only work signed by and securely attributed to Nicolaus and the scope of his contribution remains uncertain. A plausible theory attributes the base and first register to Petrus, based upon similarities to works signed by him and ascribed to his family, such as the cloister of S Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and the narthex of S Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. Nicolaus probably executed the Christological scenes, distinguishable for their more dynamic, expressive figures and decorative chisel work, and appropriate for the master sculptor because of their centrality and significance. Early Christian sarcophagi and Carolingian ivories may have provided models for the figural types. This form of paschal candlestick was probably inspired by Roman columnar monuments carved with triumphal scenes....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

Vanina Costa

(b Saverne, Lower Rhine, March 17, 1862; d Strasbourg, 1932).

French sculptor, decorative artist and draughtsman. He moved to Paris with his family after the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and worked as an ornamental sculptor in a cabinetmaker’s studio in 1878. In the early 1880s he befriended painters such as Georges Seurat, Claude Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec. He is best known for the small number of pieces of furniture made before he became Director of the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg in 1920. These objects had more in common with sculpture than with the work of traditional cabinetmakers. He often made use of female nudes in his furniture, not as decoration but literally as construction, for example in one of his earliest works, a wooden table (h. 760 mm; Paris, Maurice Rheims priv. col., see exh. cat., p. 98), in place of conventional legs he used carved human figures depicted as if supporting the table-top with their uplifted arms.

Carabin’s interest in the female form is further attested to by life drawings. Apart from the furniture, he also produced small decorative objects and medals (e.g. a commemorative medal for the magazine ...

Article

Cassone  

Ellen Callmann and J. W. Taylor

[It.: ‘chest’]

Term used for large, lavishly decorated chests made in Italy from the 14th century to the end of the 16th. The word is an anachronism, taken from Vasari (2/1568, ed. G. Milanesi, 1878–85, ii, p. 148), the 15th-century term being forziero. Wealthy households needed many chests, but the ornate cassoni, painted and often combined with pastiglia decoration, were usually commissioned in pairs when a house was renovated for a newly married couple and were ordered, together with other furnishings, by the groom. Florence was the main centre of production, though cassoni were also produced in Siena and occasionally in the Veneto and elsewhere.

The earliest cassoni were simple structures with rounded lids, probably painted in solid colours, such as the red cassone in Giotto’s Annunciation to St Anne (c. 1305; Padua, Arena Chapel). The earliest known chests with painted designs are all from the same shop (e.g. Florence, Pal. Davanzati, inv. mob. 162). Like the much more numerous contemporary chests with gilded low-relief in pastiglia (...