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Article

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

Absalon  

John-Paul Stonard

[Eshel, Meir]

(b Tel Aviv, Dec 26, 1964; d Paris, Oct 10, 1993).

Israeli sculptor. He adopted the name Absalon on his arrival in Paris in the late 1980s. During his short career he achieved widespread recognition for the 1:1 scale architectural models that he constructed of idealized living units. These wooden models, painted white, demonstrate an obsession with order, arrangement and containment, and have associations both of protective shelters and monastic cells. They were designed to be placed in several cities and to function as living-pods for the artist as he travelled. Exhibiting a series of six ‘cellules’ in Paris in 1993, he described how they were fitted both to his body and to his mental space, but were also able to condition the movements of his body in line with their idealized architecture. Although he denied their apparent utopianism, the sculptures can be viewed as the reduction of the utopian aims of early modern architecture (as seen in the work of the Constructivists, de Stijl and Le Corbusier) to the level of individual subjectivity. This suggests both the failure of architectural social engineering and its inevitable basis in subjective, anti-social vision. Absalon’s habitational units also have an element of protest. In an interview for the ...

Article

Thorsten Opper

Elaborate monument erected by Octavian (later Augustus) in 29–27 bc on the Preveza Peninsula in Western Greece, north of the present-day town of Preveza, overlooking Cape Actium, to commemorate his naval victory over Mark Antony at Actium in 31 bc. The nearby city of Nikopolis (Gr.: ‘city of victory’) was founded for the same purpose at about the same time.

According to the historian Dio Cassius (Roman History LI.i.3), after his victory Octavian laid a foundation of square stones on the spot where he had pitched his tent, which he then adorned with the captured ships’ rams. On this foundation, according to Dio, Octavian established an open-air shrine dedicated to Apollo. Suetonius (Augustus xviii.2) and Strabo (Geography VII.vii.6) corroborate this evidence, although the trophy itself (with the ships’ rams) was, according to Suetonius, dedicated to Poseidon and Mars, presumably for their help during the battle. The hill itself was, according to Strabo, sacred to Apollo, and therefore the shrine was dedicated to him....

Article

(b Northampton, Oct 5, 1917; d Gt Maplestead, Essex, April 5, 1984).

English sculptor and painter. He studied at the Northampton School of Art from 1933 to 1944. During World War II he was employed as an engineer, and after the war he spent two years teaching himself to sculpt in wood. Though he had participated in various group exhibitions during the war, it was not until 1947 that he had his first one-man show, of sculpture, at the Gimpel Fils Gallery in London. He also produced abstract paintings, but soon came to specialize in sculpture. His early sculpture of this period, such as Figure (1949–51; London, Tate), showed the influence of Henry Moore, whose works he knew from photographs. These comprised forms abstracted from natural objects, executed in wood, plaster and stone. After his one-man show he made several extended trips to Paris, where he became interested in the work of Brancusi and Julio González. In 1950 he received a Rockefeller award from the Institute of International Education to visit the USA. Having by then an established reputation, he was also commissioned to produce a 3-m high carving for the Festival of Britain in ...

Article

Christina Maurer

(b Zurich, Jan 18, 1906; d Russikon, Zurich, Jan 27, 1980).

Swiss sculptor, painter and draughtsman. He was self-taught as a draughtsman and only turned to sculpture in 1936. His early sculptural work (1936–45) mainly comprises heads and torsos in addition to heavy, life-size female nudes. These works, mainly in marble and bronze, emphasize volume and were influenced by Aristide Maillol, Charles Despiau and Wilhelm Lehmbruck. During the 1940s Aeschbacher gradually subordinated the human form to a study of the stone’s own biomorphic structure. A series of amorphous Bumps heralded the final departure from naturalism. In 1952–3 Aeschbacher started to produce Stelae, a series of colossal but slender vertical structures that were influenced by the tectonic quality of Archaic Greek masonry. This new emphasis on verticality led after 1960 to the production of lighter, more airy works. Notable examples of work from this period are Figure IV (granite, h. 3.92 m, 1967; Bregenz, Kultzent. Schendlingen); Figure I (granite, h. 3.05 m, ...

Article

Jeffrey Chipps Smith

(b ?Munich, fl 1535; d Munich, 1567).

German sculptor, mason and medallist. In 1536 he became a master sculptor in Munich and shortly afterwards entered the service of Ludwig X, Duke of Bavaria. He moved to Landshut in 1537 to work on the construction of the Italian wing of the ducal Stadtresidenz. In 1555 he travelled to Neuburg an der Donau to oversee the shipment of stone for the palace’s chimneys. He was influenced by and may have assisted Thomas Hering, the sculptor of these chimneys (See under Hering, Loy). Also in 1555 he reverted to Munich citizenship.

The few surviving examples of his sculpture show him to have been an accomplished if somewhat derivative artist. Many seem to have been commissioned by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, who paid him an annual salary from 1558 (and perhaps as early as 1551) to 1567. Aesslinger’s limestone reliefs (both 1550) of the Massacre of the Innocents...

Article

Christine Mullen Kreamer

(b Jan 25, 1930; d Lomé, Jan 4, 2010).

Togolese painter, sculptor, engraver, stained glass designer, potter and textile designer. Beginning in 1946, he received his secondary education in Dakar, where he also worked in an architecture firm. He travelled to France and received his diplôme supérieur from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A versatile artist, Ahyi is best known for his murals and for monumental stone, marble and cement public sculptures. His work reflects the fusion of his Togolese roots, European training and an international outlook, and he counts among his influences Moore, Braque, Modigliani, Tamayo, Siqueiros and Tall. His work combines ancient and modern themes and materials, maternity being a prominent topic. The messages of his larger, public pieces operate on a broad level to appeal to the general populace, while smaller works often reflect his private engagement with challenges confronting the human condition. His compositions are both abstract and figurative and evoke the heroism and hope of the two world wars, Togo's colonial period and the struggle for independence from France, as well as the political efforts of the peoples of Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine. Ahyi has won numerous international prizes, including the prize of the city of Lyon (...

Article

[il Bologna; il Varignana; il Vecchio Bolognese]

(b Varignana, c. 1460–70; d Bologna, May 12, 1539).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was the son of Giovanni da Varignana and is mentioned in a contemporary poem as a pupil of Andrea Sansovino. According to Vasari, after the discovery in 1506 of the Laokoon (1st century ad; Rome, Vatican, Mus. Pio-Clementino), Aimo participated in a contest arranged by Bramante to make the best copy in wax of the ancient marble statue for later casting in bronze. His fellow competitors were Zaccaria Zacchi, Alonso Berruguete and Jacopo Sansovino. Raphael, who had been appointed as judge, decided in favour of Sansovino.

A payment to Aimo of 21 January 1511 documents two sculptures for the lunette of the Porta Magna of S Petronio, Bologna: an archivolt relief depicting a half-length figure of Moses, and a statue of St Ambrose. The latter was commissioned to provide a symmetrical counterpart to Jacopo della Quercia’s St Petronius, which is also in the lunette. St Ambrose’s robe, held together by a clasp, is gathered up to hip level by the right hand; below this is rich drapery with numerous dish-shaped folds. The figure as a whole is stockier than della Quercia’s and stands upright in contrast to the Gothic swing of ...

Article

Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

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Samo Štefanac

[Aleši, Andrija; Alexii, Andreas; Andrea di Niccolò da Durazzo]

(b Dürres, c. 1425; d Split, 1504).

Dalmatian sculptor and architect of Albanian birth. Although he is recorded in 1435 at Zadar as a pupil of Marco di Pietro da Troia, his most important artistic influence was the Late Gothic style of Giorgio da Sebenico, with whom he worked in 1445 on Šibenik Cathedral and in 1452 at Ancona on the Loggia dei Mercanti. Between 1448 and 1460 Alessi also controlled his own workshop at Split and Rab. In 1466 he began work on his masterpiece, the baptistery at Trogir, which was finished in 1467. The chapel is rectangular in plan, covered with a barrel vault with acute angled coffers; its richly decorated interior is an eclectic blend of Late Gothic and Renaissance elements. The sculpture shares these characteristics: the Baptism of Christ over the entrance, with its elongated figures and complex drapery patterns, derives from Giorgio da Sebenico’s mannered style, while St Jerome in the Desert...

Article

Wifredo Rincón García and Alberto Villar Movellán

Spanish family of sculptors and architects.

Wifredo Rincón García

(b Priego, Córdoba, April 23, 1768; d Madrid, Nov 26, 1827).

Sculptor, also active in Italy. He was the most important and the most rigorous of the Spanish Neo-classical sculptors and the only one to achieve European renown in his lifetime. The many institutions of which he was a member included the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, Madrid, the academies of Carrara, Naples and Antwerp, the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, and the Institut de France, Paris. He created a coherent oeuvre that owed a debt both to Greek models and to the works of Antonio Canova, Pietro Tenerani and Bertel Thorvaldsen.

José Alvarez Cubero was the son of the stonemason Domingo Alvarez, who had a decisive influence on his education. Alvarez Cubero completed his training with his godfather, the sculptor of retables Francisco Javier Pedrajas, and collaborated with him in ...

Article

Richard Schofield and Janice Shell

(b Pavia, c. 1447; d Milan, Aug 28, 1522).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was principally active in Bergamo, Cremona, Milan and Pavia. His professional success, in terms of the architectural and sculptural commissions and official appointments that he received, was far greater than that of any of his contemporaries in Lombardy in the late 15th century, including Bramante. Amadeo’s influence in both fields, for example in his use of all’antica ornament of local origin, was considerable.

He was trained as a sculptor and evidently apprenticed to Francesco Solari (fl 1464–71) in Milan and at the Certosa di Pavia (see Pavia, §2, (i)). In 1466 Amadeo assisted in the decoration of the large cloister of the Certosa and was apparently responsible for the terracotta lavabo in the small cloister. His first signed work, directly influenced by the Late Gothic style of Solari, is the carved portal in the small cloister with a lunette of the ...

Article

[Bartolommeo]

(b Settignano, nr Florence, June 18, 1511; d Florence, April 13, 1592).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was a major figure in Italian art in the second and third quarters of the 16th century. His extensive travels in north and central Italy gave him an unequalled understanding of developments in architecture and sculpture in the era of Mannerism. His style was based inevitably on the example of Michelangelo but was modified by the suaver work of Jacopo Sansovino. In both sculpture and architecture Ammanati was a highly competent craftsman, and his masterpieces, the tombs of Marco Mantova Benavides and two members of the del Monte family, the Fountain of Juno and the Fountain of Neptune and the courtyard of the Palazzo Pitti, are among the finest works of the period.

Orphaned at the age of 12, Ammanati earnt his living in the ‘Academy’ of Baccio Bandinelli c. 1523–7, after which time he left Florence, which was in political turmoil, for Venice. Jacopo Sansovino had just arrived there after the Sack of Rome (...

Article

(b Chicago, June 5, 1947).

American performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman, and writer. She completed her BA in art history at Barnard College, New York, in 1969 and had her first one-woman show there in 1970, exhibiting sculptures and drawings among other works. She then trained as a sculptor at Columbia University, New York, receiving her MFA in 1972. Much of her work has built on her childhood instruction as a classical violinist, and she achieved popular notoriety in 1981 when her song ‘O Superman’ became a popular hit in England. Her first performance piece, Automotive, took place in 1972 at Town Green in Rochester, VT, and involved a concert of car horns. In 1974 she staged another music-based performance entitled Duets on Ice in which she appeared at four different locations on New York sidewalks wearing a pair of ice skates with their blades frozen in blocks of ice, and she proceeded to play one of several altered violins until the ice melted into water. In subsequent years, she has continued to work primarily as a performance artist, using projected photographs, films, texts, and music to create technologically sophisticated and elaborately staged events. Many of these performances have featured instruments of her own invention. The most famous of these was a violin with a recording head on its body and a strip of audio tape in the place of the hairs on its bow. This piece allowed her to play the human voice as an instrument by changing its speed and cadence with the movements of her arm. The most complex and spectacular of her performances, ...

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Věra Naňková

In 

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John E. Bowlt

(Andreyevich)

(b Moscow, Oct 14, 1873; d Moscow, Dec 24, 1932).

Russian sculptor, graphic artist and stage designer. He trained at the Stroganov School in Moscow (1883–91) before entering the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied under the sculptor Sergey Volnukhin (1859–1921). He graduated in 1900 before joining the Wanderers in 1902.

Andreyev was well aware of contemporary European trends in sculpture, especially the work of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Auguste Rodin, which he saw during a stay in Paris in 1900. However, he remained strongly attached to the 19th-century academic tradition, an allegiance that perhaps facilitated his acceptance of many official commissions both before and after the October Revolution of 1917. For example, he was responsible for the figure and pedestal of the monument to Nikolay Gogol’ on the Boulevard Ring in Moscow (1909; now at Suvorovsky Boulevard, 7) and for the bronze and granite monument to Aleksandr Ostrovsky (1929) in front of the Maly Theatre, Moscow. Andreyev was a principal contributor to Lenin’s Monumental Propaganda Plan from ...

Article

P. Cornelius Claussen

(fl second half of the 12th century).

Italian architect and sculptor. He was probably a member of the Paulus family of Roman marble workers (see Cosmati) and a son of Angelo de Paolo. His authenticated work lies partly outside the traditional marble-working fields of furnishing and decorating church interiors and includes building. The tower doorway of Gaeta Cathedral, Lazio, bears his signature on the keystone, set on either side of a relief of a flying eagle, the symbol of St John the Evangelist. The monumental architecture of the entrance arch is articulated by rich columns and capitals, retrieved from an earlier building; its details show familiarity both with the Antique and with contemporary Campanian sculpture. The tower was begun after 1148, and probably even after 1160.

There is evidence from drawings (e.g. G. Ciampini: De sacris aedificiis, Rome, 1693) that Nicolaus de Angelo signed the portico (destr. 1732) that once stood against the main façade of ...

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Alberto Villar Movellán

In