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Article

Susan Morris

(b Exeter, May 13, 1764; d Exeter, 1851).

English watercolourist, painter and apothecary. He was nephew of the prominent lawyer John White (1744–1825). An important patron of Francis Towne, he spent his entire career in Exeter as an apothecary and surgeon. Abbot was a keen amateur artist, taking lessons from Towne, but although he was an Honorary Exhibitor of landscape oils at the Royal Academy, London, from 1793 to 1805 and again in 1810 and 1812, he never sold a picture. His oil Fordland (1791; priv. col., see Oppé, pl. xxxii) is a plein-air study of woodland that owes much to Gainsborough’s early work in its naturalism and broken, delicate handling.

In 1791 Abbott toured Scotland, the Lake District, Lancashire, Derbyshire and Warwickshire. He toured Monmouthshire in 1797, and again in 1827, as well as Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. He also made studies of Richmond, Surrey, in 1842, but the bulk of his work was done in the vicinity of Exeter. The ...

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Hugh Belsey

(b Leics, c. 1760; d London, Dec 5, 1802).

English painter. He was the son of a clergyman and went to London to study with Francis Hayman shortly before the latter’s death in 1776; he may have completed his studies in Derby with Joseph Wright of Derby. By the early 1780s Abbott had established a busy portrait practice in London. The formula he adopted for most of his head-and-shoulder portraits can be seen in Sir William Herschel (1785; London, N. Mar. Mus.): the body is parallel to the picture plane, and the sitter’s head is moved into three-quarter profile, as if his attention has been suddenly distracted. In later portraits, such as those of fellow artists Francesco Bartolozzi (c. 1792; London, Tate) or Joseph Nollekens (c. 1797; London, N.P.G.), the sitter’s hand or some attribute balances the movement of the head. Only male portraits by Abbott are known, and his patrons were mostly drawn from the professional classes, particularly the Navy; there are several versions of ...

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Isabelle Denis

[Abel, Alexandre-Denis]

(b Douai, Jan 30, 1785; d Paris, Sept 28, 1861).

French painter. He was the natural son of Alexandre de Pujol de Mortry, a nobleman and provost of Valenciennes, but did not use his father’s name until after 1814. He trained first at the Académie de Valenciennes (1799–1803), then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and in the studio of Jacques-Louis David. At the end of 1805 it seemed he would have to end his apprenticeship for lack of money but David let him continue free of charge, so impressed had he been by Philopoemen… Splitting Wood (1806; ex-Delobel priv. col., Valenciennes). The astonishing Self-portrait (Valenciennes, Mus. B.-A.), showing the artist as the very image of a romantic hero, dates from this period.

From 1808 Abel exhibited history paintings at the Salon, making his living, however, by painting shop signs. In 1811 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome and his father subsequently permitted him to adopt his name. Thus from ...

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Andrzej Ryszkiewicz

(b Aschach, Aug 22, 1764; d Vienna, Oct 4, 1818).

Austrian painter. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna under Jakob Matthias Schmutzer (1733–1811) from 1783. On the advice of his mentor, Heinrich Füger, Abel turned from landscape to history painting, winning a gold medal in 1794 for Daedalus and Icarus (Vienna, Akad. Bild. Kst.). He was invited to Poland in 1795 by Prince Adam Casimir Czartoryski, and he produced numerous family portraits for the prince in a variety of media. In 1797 he returned to Vienna, where he taught, as well as undertaking commissions for paintings and for prints (e.g. Portrait of the Artist’s Father, see Aurenhammer, fig.).

Abel had a preference for Classical subject-matter during his early training, and this was reinforced by his stay in Rome from 1801 to 1807. During this period he painted his most important work, F. G. Klopstock in Elysium (1803–7; Vienna, Belvedere), in collaboration with his friend ...

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Jeanne-Marie Horat-Weber

(b Winterthur, Nov 14, 1723; d Berne, Oct 17, 1786).

Swiss painter, draughtsman and engraver. In 1741 he moved to Berne, where he took drawing lessons with Johann Grimm (1675–1747), whose school of drawing he took over in 1747. He visited the Bernese Oberland with Emanuel Handmann, Christian Georg Schütz (1718–91) and Friedrich Wilhelm Hirt (1721–72) in 1759 and in the same year travelled to Paris with Adrian Zingg (1734–86). This was his only trip abroad, but it determined him to work exclusively as a landscape painter. After nine months he returned to Berne, where his landscape views became popular, particularly with foreign travellers, enamoured of ‘Nature’ and keen to retain souvenirs of their travels. He was one of the first artists to portray the beauties of the Swiss countryside; his favourite subjects were the Aare Valley and views of Swiss lakes (e.g. View of Erlach on the Lake of Biel; Berne, Kstmus.). He invented a technique known as the ...

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Jens Peter Munk

(b Copenhagen, Sept 11, 1743; d Frederiksdal, Copenhagen, June 4, 1809).

Danish painter, designer and architect. His paintings reveal both Neo-classical and Romantic interests and include history paintings as well as literary and mythological works. The variety of his subject-matter reflects his wide learning, a feature further evidenced by the broad range of his creative output. In addition to painting, he produced decorative work, sculpture and furniture designs, as well as being engaged as an architect. Successfully combining both intellectual and imaginative powers, he came to be fully appreciated only in the 1980s.

He studied at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1764–72), and in 1767 he assisted Johan Edvard Mandelberg (1730–86) in painting the domed hall of the Fredensborg Slot with scenes from the Homeric epic the Iliad. In 1772 he was granted a five-year travelling scholarship from the Kunstakademi to study in Rome. During his Roman sojourn he extensively copied works of art from the period of antiquity up to that of the Carracci family. His friendships with the Danish painter Jens Juel, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel and the Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Fuseli placed him among artists who were in the mainstream of a widespread upheaval in European art. In these years Abildgaard developed both Neo-classical and Romantic tastes; his masterpiece of the period is ...

Article

D. Brême

(b Paris, 1640; d Copenhagen, Nov 16, 1715).

French painter, also active in Denmark and England. He was probably a pupil of Jacob Ferdinand Voet (1639–?1700) and practised chiefly as a portrait painter. Having failed with his first submission to the Académie Royale in 1672, he was received (reçu) as a member in 1675 on submission of portraits of the sculptors François Girardon (untraced) and Michel Anguier (Versailles, Château). As a Protestant, he fled to London (where he became a denizen in October 1681) and as a result was expelled from the Académie Royale in 1682. He may also have travelled to the Netherlands but by 1685 had settled in Copenhagen, where he became chief court painter to Christian V (reg 1670–99) and then to Frederick IV (reg 1699–1730). Most of his portraits for the Danish court were destroyed in 1794, in the fire at Christianborg Castle. In 1699 he provided painted decorations for the funeral of Christian V, and between ...

Article

Stephen Deuchar

(b Geneva, March 24, 1767; d London, Dec 27, 1849).

English painter of Swiss birth. Born into a wealthy and politically influential Huguenot family, Agasse spent his early childhood at the country estate of Crévin, where he may have developed the interest in animals and natural history that was to guide his later career as an artist in England. Agasse trained first at the Ecole du Colibri in Geneva and subsequently in Paris under Jacques-Louis David (beginning in 1787) and possibly under Horace Vernet. His early artistic output consisted chiefly of unpretentious silhouette ‘cut-outs’ in the style of Jean-Daniel Huber. At this time he also undertook a serious study of dissection and veterinary science.

Agasse first visited England in his early 20s, at the invitation of the Hon. George Pitt, 1st Baron Rivers (?1722–1803), whom he had met in either Geneva or Paris c. 1790. He stayed briefly at Rivers’s home, Stratfield Saye, Hants, before returning to Europe for another decade, then emigrated permanently to England in ...

Article

Hana Seifertová

(b Regensburg, 1667; d Regensburg, 1719).

German painter. He travelled to England, the Netherlands, France and Italy, working for longer periods in Rome, Naples and Augsburg. He was strongly influenced by French landscape painters active in Italy, such as Gaspard Dughet and Claude Lorrain. In Agricola’s paintings the balanced arrangement of the picturesque landscape elements creates a lucid pictorial structure, and unusual light effects, such as twilight or the darkness before a storm, are used to convey a particular mood. The small scale of his figures expresses the contrast between human frailty and the forces of nature. He painted with lively local colours, especially ochres and deep greens for the rich tones of earth and vegetation. The multicoloured costumes of his figural staffage provide pictorial accents and reveal the romantic orientation of his paintings. Scenes of country people at work, for example Landscape with a Millstone (Dresden, Gemäldegal. Alte Meister), express his yearning for a return to nature. Paintings representing the life of nomadic Orientals, such as ...

Article

Hugh Belsey

(b Cairnie, Forfar, Tayside, Oct 24, 1682; d London, June 4, 1731).

Scottish painter. He came from a professional background, and his maternal uncle, Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, may have provided Aikman with an introduction to Sir John Baptist Medina, under whom he studied painting in London from 1704. In 1707 Aikman set out on travels to Italy, Constantinople (now Istanbul) and Smyrna, on the proceeds made from the sale of his estate at Cairnie. When he returned to Edinburgh in 1711, he adopted a heavy Baroque style for his portraits: Sir William Carstares (c. 1712–15; U. Edinburgh, Old Coll., Upper Lib.) shows bravura, although the handling is coarse. The three-quarter-length portraits of Patrick, 1st Earl of Marchmont (1720; Mellerstain, Borders) and Sir Hew Dalrymple, Lord North Berwick (1722; Edinburgh, Parliament House) show a greater sophistication, which he may have acquired during a further trip to London in 1720.

Aikman was widely patronized, especially by the Duke of Argyll and his circle; after the Act of Union in ...

Article

Shearer West

[Vanacken, Vanaken, Joseph]

(b ?Antwerp, c. 1699; d London, July 4, 1749).

Flemish painter, active in England. In Antwerp he began painting genre scenes in the Flemish tradition, such as The Washerwomen (c. 1715; priv. col., see Edwards, fig. VI). He arrived in London with his family c. 1720 and continued to produce genre paintings as well as conversation pieces. His Interior of an Alehouse (sold London, Christie’s, 31 July 1953, lot 106; see Waterhouse, p. 377) reveals his Flemish training, although the figures are wooden and stilted and the work devoid of moralizing intent. His Covent Garden Market (c. 1726–30; version, London, Mus. London) and The Old Stocks Market (c. 1740; version, London, Bank of England) show his adaptation of this genre tradition to contemporary London scenes, and the several versions of these works attest to their popularity. Van Aken also painted portraits, such as Lady with a Fan (untraced; mezzotint, 1735). His conversation pieces include A Musical Party on a Terrace...

Article

Rüdiger an der Heiden

(b Berg, nr Starnberg, Bavaria, Jan 3, 1687; d Munich, Aug 15, 1765).

German painter and administrator. He was the son of Augustin Albrecht, a carpenter, and he was probably taught in Munich by his uncle, the painter Benedikt Albrecht (d 1730), before he went to Italy, where he is thought to have stayed in Rome and Venice. Albrecht returned to Munich in 1719 and executed his first works (all 1723–4) for the former Hofmarkkirche (now Katholische Pfarrkirche; in situ) in Schönbrunn, near Dachau. These were a ceiling fresco, Celebration of the Cross, and three altar panels, Mourning Angel (high altar), Martyrdom of St Catherine (left altar) and St Anne (right altar). He also painted two altar panels, St John of Nepomuk and St Leonard (both 1724–5; untraced), for the Katholische Pfarrkirche Mariahilf in der Au in Munich. Unlike Cosmas Damian Asam, Matthäus Günther and Johann Baptist Bergmüller, he was influenced by 16th-century Venetian and Roman models, and both in these works and in later ones he continued to look to the past for inspiration. Between ...

Article

Emmanuel Ortega

(b Texcoco; fl 1751–1803).

Mexican painter. José de Alcíbar was a prominent figure in Mexico City’s cultural scene during the second half of the 18th century, where he appears to have primarily painted portraits and religious images. One of Alcíbar’s best-known works, De Español y Negra, Mulato (1760; Denver, CO, A. Mus.), was painted as part of a casta series; a type of work that depicts the different racial groups (Spaniards, Africans, and native Mexicans) present in Mexico (see Pinturas de castas). Alcíbar is also recognized as a member of a group of artists who in 1751 aided painter Miguel Cabrera in his analysis of the miraculous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. His formal approach remained Baroque in nature while his figures and colours epitomized the sweet and soft style Cabrera introduced in the mid-18th century. Alcíbar’s Ministry of St Joseph (c. 1771; Mexico City, Mus. N.A.) best represents this approach to Novohispanic subject-matter. Alcíbar’s style is a prime example of the ‘Old School of Mexican Painting’ typical of the late 18th century that decreased in prominence due to the establishment of the Academia and its emphasis on Neo-classicism....

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G. A. Printseva

(Yakovlevich)

(b St Petersburg, 1753/4; d St Petersburg, Nov 23, 1824).

Russian painter. The son of a retired soldier, he studied from 1766 at the Academy of Arts, St Petersburg, from 1767 in the class of bird, animal, fruit and flower painting. In 1772 the rector of the Academy, the history painter Anton Losenko, drew attention to Alekseyev’s skill in rendering perspective, and Alekseyev joined the landscape class, studying under Gavriil Kozlov (?1738–91) and Antonio Peresinotti (1708–78). He graduated in 1773, and he was sent to Venice for three years to study scenery painting. There he worked under the direction of Giuseppe Moretti and Pietro Gaspari (c. 1720–85). He was not disposed to working in the traditions of the late Baroque, and he soon gave up the idea of becoming a scenery painter, deciding instead to paint landscapes and to move to Rome, where there were skilled classicist painters. He did not, however, receive the Academy’s permission, and in ...

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Janet Cooksey

In 

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Patrick Conner

(b Maidstone, Kent, April 10, 1767; d Maidstone, July 23, 1816).

English painter, engraver, draughtsman and museum official. The son of a coachbuilder, he was apprenticed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson before enrolling in 1784 at the Royal Academy Schools, London. In 1792 he accepted the post (previously declined by Ibbetson) of draughtsman to George, 1st Earl Macartney, on his embassy to China. As the embassy returned by inland waterway from Beijing to Canton, Alexander made detailed sketches of the Chinese hinterland—something achieved by no British artist previously and by very few subsequently. These sketches formed the basis for finished watercolours (e.g. Ping-tze Muen, the Western Gate of Peking, 1799; London, BM) and for numerous engravings by both himself and others. For over fifty years his images of China were widely borrowed by book illustrators and by interior decorators in search of exotic themes.

Alexander was also a keen student of British medieval antiquities, undertaking several tours in order to make drawings of churches and monuments; many of these were reproduced in the antiquarian publications of ...

Article

[Mihr ‛Alī]

(fl c. 1795–1830).

Persian painter. He produced at least ten full-size oil paintings of the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834). One of the earliest (1797–8; Calcutta, Victoria Mem. Hall), a portrait of him kneeling on a carpet, was probably sent as a present to the amirs of Sind in 1800. Two fine portraits (1803–4 and 1804–5) were painted for the Hall of the Marble Throne in the Gulistan Palace, Tehran, and a third, of the King enthroned (undated; Versailles, Château), was sent to Napoleon. These early portraits show Fath ‛Ali Shah with a squat neck and round face, but Mihr ‛Ali’s drawings improved in the first decade of the 19th century and later portraits show the King with more flattering proportions. These later paintings include portraits of the King standing (1809–10; St Petersburg, Hermitage), kneeling and holding a mace (1813–14; St Petersburg, Hermitage), and a third with the date obliterated (London, B. W. Robinson priv. col.). Mihr ‛Ali’s finest portrait, and perhaps the finest ...

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David Alexander and Stephen Deuchar

English family of artists of Danish descent. The earliest member active in England was Sefferien Alken (1717–82), who was a wood-carver, gilder and stone-carver employed by William Chambers. His son (1) Samuel Alken was an engraver. Four of Samuel Alken’s sons, Samuel Alken (1784–c. 1825), (2) Henry (Thomas) Alken, George Alken (c. 1794–?1837) and Sefferien John Alken (1796–1857), were sporting artists. In the next generation Henry Alken’s sons Samuel Henry (Gordon) Alken (1810–94), known as Henry Alken junior, and Sefferien Alken (1821–73) were also artists.

Gunnis F. Siltzer: The Story of British Sporting Prints (London, 1928, rev. 1979) S. Mitchell: The Dictionary of Equestrian Artists (Woodbridge, 1985)

David Alexander

(b London, Oct 22, 1756; bur; London, Nov 9, 1815).

Engraver. He entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, as a sculptor in 1772. In 1779...

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Peter Walch

(b Alloa, Feb 13, 1744; d Edinburgh, Aug 6, 1796).

Scottish painter and illustrator. In 1755 he was apprenticed to Robert Foulis, a printer who, with his brother Andrew Foulis, founded the Foulis Academy, Glasgow, at which Allan was a student until 1764. Allan’s association with the Foulis brothers was long and fruitful; several of his sets of illustrations in the 1780s were for books published by the brothers. In the mid-1760s Charles, 9th Baron Cathcart (1721–76), and several families, including the Erskines of Mar, provided Allan with funds that enabled him to study in Italy, considered essential at that time for any aspiring artist. He probably reached Rome by 1767 and remained there until 1777. During this period he studied with Gavin Hamilton, the leading Scottish artist resident there, and Hamilton encouraged Allan’s ambitions to become a history painter.

In 1771 Allan sent two history pictures to the Royal Academy exhibition in London: Pompey the Great after his Defeat...