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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

Ingrid Sattel Bernardini

(b Gotha, Dec 27, 1725; d Vienna, March 23, 1806).

German sculptor, painter and architect. He was the son of a court gardener who worked first in Gotha and then in Württemberg. He was originally intended to become an architect; in 1747 Duke Charles-Eugene of Württemberg sent him to train in Paris where, under the influence of painters such as Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher, he turned to painting. The eight-year period of study in Rome that followed prompted Beyer to devote himself to sculpture, as he was impressed by antique works of sculpture and was also influenced by his close contacts with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and his circle. He also served an apprenticeship with Filippo della Valle, one of the main representatives of the Neo-classical tendency in sculpture. In 1759 Beyer returned to Germany, to take part in the decoration of Charles-Eugene’s Neues Schloss in Stuttgart.

In Stuttgart Beyer made an important contribution to the founding and improvement of facilities for the training of artists, notably at the Akademie, and to manufacture in the field of arts and crafts, particularly at the ...

Article

Philippe Sorel

(b Chalon-sur-Saône, Aug 30, 1735; d Paris, Dec 9, 1814).

French sculptor, draughtsman and painter. He probably first trained in Chalon, under the sculptor Pierre Colasson (c. 1724–70); later he studied in Paris at the school of the Académie Royale, under Simon Challes. In 1766 he travelled to Italy, remaining there until 1770. The art of Raphael and his school and the Fontainebleau school influenced Boichet’s art (e.g. Agrippina Bearing Germanicus’s Ashes, Lille, Mus. B.-A.) from an early date by giving his work a Neo-classical character. Boichot next worked in Burgundy, where he was responsible for architecture, sculpture and paintings at the château of Verdun-sur-le-Doubs (destr.). He also produced decorative work for the salon of the Académie de Dijon, of which he was a member; for the refectory of the abbey of St Benigne, Dijon, he executed a painting of the Triumph of Temperance over Gluttony (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.). In Paris his studio was in the Passage Sandrier off the Chaussée d’Antin. Introduced by Augustin Pajou, he was approved (...

Article

Giuseppe Pavanello

(b Possagno, nr Treviso, Nov 1, 1757; d Venice, Oct 13, 1822).

Italian sculptor, painter, draughtsman, and architect. He became the most innovative and widely acclaimed Neo-classical sculptor. His development during the 1780s of a new style of revolutionary severity and idealistic purity led many of his contemporaries to prefer his ideal sculptures to such previously universally admired antique statues as the Medici Venus and the Farnese Hercules, thus greatly increasing the prestige of ‘modern’ sculpture. He was also much in demand as a portraitist, often combining a classicizing format with a naturalistic presentation of features.

Antonio Canova was the son of Pietro Canova (1735–61), a stonecutter of Possagno. He was brought up by his grandfather, Pasino Canova (1714–94), a mediocre sculptor who specialized in altars with statues and low reliefs in late Baroque style (e.g. Angels; Crespano, S Marco). In 1770 or 1771 Antonio was apprenticed to the sculptor Giuseppe Bernardi (d 1774) in Pagnano, near Asolo, later following him to Venice. After Bernardi’s death he worked for a few months in the studio of the sculptor ...

Article

(b Florence, Sept 6, 1803; d Florence,?June 22, 1871).

Italian sculptor and painter. At the age of 12 he entered the Accademia di Belle Arti e Liceo Artistico in Florence to study painting under Giuseppe Bezzuoli, Pietro Benvenuti and Pietro Ermini (fl 1800–15) and sculpture under Stefano Ricci (1765–1837). A Self-portrait (1828; Florence, Pitti) in oil on canvas demonstrates a Romantic style learnt from Bezzuoli and anticipates Costoli’s abilities to render portraiture in sculpture. In 1828 he won a four-year stipendium, enabling him to travel to Rome. While there he produced the over life-size gesso Meneceus (1830; Florence, Pitti; marble version, 1853), which was praised for its classically rendered, idealized body when exhibited at the Esposizione di Roma in 1830. He returned to Florence and, his reputation increasing, was appointed Assistant Master of Sculpture under Lorenzo Bartolini at the Accademia in 1839. In 1842 he executed a statue of Galileo Galilei for the city’s Museo della Specola (now the ...

Article

Simon Lee

[Claude]

(b Paris, 1769; d Paris, July 1825).

French sculptor and painter. He studied sculpture with his father, Claude Gautherot (1729–1802); throughout his life he was known as both Pierre and Claude, signing his work with his surname only. He initially specialized in portrait busts of well-known figures such as Voltaire, Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot and Jean-Sylvain Bailly (all untraced). In 1787 he entered the studio of Jacques-Louis David and became his close friend. Thereafter he devoted himself completely to painting, initially choosing his subjects from his sculptural practice, as in his copies of portraits of Voltaire (after Nicolas de Largillierre) and Turgot (after Joseph Ducreux) (both 1790; St Petersburg, Hermitage). Delécluze’s description of Gautherot in David’s studio in 1796 and 1797 mentions that he was an avid Republican and that he wore a blond, powdered wig to disguise a skin disease. At the Salon of 1799 he exhibited Pyramus and Thisbe (Melun, Mus. Melun) and a year later another version of that subject (Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Mus. A.). At the Salon of ...

Article

Jon Whiteley

(b Vésoul, Haute-Saône, May 11, 1824; d Paris, Jan 10, 1904).

French painter and sculptor.

Gérôme’s father, a goldsmith from Vésoul, discouraged his son from studying to become a painter but agreed, reluctantly, to allow him a trial period in the studio of Paul Delaroche in Paris. Gérôme proved his worth, remaining with Delaroche from 1840 to 1843. When Delaroche closed the studio in 1843, Gérôme followed his master to Italy. Pompeii meant more to him than Florence or the Vatican, but the world of nature, which he studied constantly in Italy, meant more to him than all three. An attack of fever brought him back to Paris in 1844. He then studied, briefly, with Charles Gleyre, who had taken over the pupils of Delaroche. Gérôme attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and entered the Prix de Rome competition as a way of going back to Italy. In 1846 he failed to qualify for the final stage because of his inadequate ability in figure drawing. To improve his chances in the following year’s competition, he painted an academic exercise of two large figures, a nude youth, crouching in the pose of Chaudet’s marble ...

Article

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(María)

(b Puebla, 1789; d Puebla, 1860).

Mexican architect, sculptor, painter, lithographer, and teacher. He was the leading figure in Puebla in the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting, and drawing during the early 19th century. He was director of the Academia de Dibujo in Puebla from its foundation in 1814 and the first recipient of a scholarship from the academy, which allowed him to go to Paris (1824–1827), where he studied architecture, drawing, and lithography. He also visited museums, factories, and prisons, intending to introduce French developments and systems into Puebla. On his return to Mexico he devoted himself to intense public activity, architectural reform, painting, lithography, and teaching, and experiments in industrialized production. Among his most important sculptural works is the completion (1819) of the ciprés (altarpiece with baldacchino) for Puebla Cathedral, which had been left unfinished on the death of Manuel Tolsá. It combines a high altar, a sepulchral monument, and a sanctuary of the Virgin, and it is one of the most spectacular examples of Mexican neoclassicism. From ...

Article

John Wilton-Ely

Term coined in the 1880s to denote the last stage of the classical tradition in architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts. Neo-classicism was the successor to Rococo in the second half of the 18th century and was itself superseded by various historicist styles in the first half of the 19th century. It formed an integral part of Enlightenment, the in its radical questioning of received notions of human endeavour. It was also deeply involved with the emergence of new historical attitudes towards the past—non-Classical as well as Classical—that were stimulated by an unprecedented range of archaeological discoveries, extending from southern Italy and the eastern Mediterranean to Egypt and the Near East, during the second half of the 18th century. The new awareness of the plurality of historical styles prompted the search for consciously new and contemporary forms of expression. This concept of modernity set Neo-classicism apart from past revivals of antiquity, to which it was, nevertheless, closely related. Almost paradoxically, the quest for a timeless mode of expression (the ‘true style’, as it was then called) involved strongly divergent approaches towards design that were strikingly focused on the Greco-Roman debate. On the one hand, there was a commitment to a radical severity of expression, associated with the Platonic Ideal, as well as to such criteria as the functional and the primitive, which were particularly identified with early Greek art and architecture. On the other hand, there were highly innovative exercises in eclecticism, inspired by late Imperial Rome, as well as subsequent periods of stylistic experiment with Mannerism and the Italian Baroque....

Article

Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Term coined in the 19th century to describe the overwhelmingly dominant style in the fine and decorative arts in Europe and North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Neo-classicism is not one distinct style, but rather the term can describe any work of architecture or art that either copies or imitates ancient art, or that represents an approach to art that draws inspiration from Classical models from ancient Greece and Rome. The most influential theorist of Neo-classicism was the German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose major work, Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks, was translated into English in 1765. The Neo-classical style in North America was most popular from about 1780 to 1850.

Interest in Classical art and architecture has remained more or less constant throughout Western history, peaking most notably during the Renaissance and again in the 18th century. The systematic excavations and ensuing scholarship on the archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii, buried by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in ...

Article

Rotraut Krall

(b Pressburg [now Bratislava, Slovakia], Feb 17, 1717; d Leipzig, March 18, 1799).

Austrian painter, sculptor and teacher. After a two-year apprenticeship in Pressburg, Oeser moved in 1730 to Vienna, where he studied oil painting and enamel work with Jacob van Schuppen (1670–1751), Daniel Gran and Martin van Mytens II. He was introduced to architecture and painting by Francesco Galli-Bibiena, while Georg Raphael Donner, a close friend, provided lessons in sculpting and an introduction to the art of antiquity. Between 1739 and 1759 Oeser worked in Dresden, becoming a friend of the antiquarian and art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann. Oeser produced miniature paintings and portraits, which brought him wide recognition. He also carried out decorative commissions (mostly destr.)

From 1759 until his death Oeser worked in Leipzig, where he was appointed court painter and, in 1764, director of the newly founded Akademie. He was largely preoccupied with developing a flourishing practice as a decorative and ceiling painter. His principal commission of this kind was for the interior of the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig, where he painted scenes from the New Testament (...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

[Jean-Jacques]

(b Geneva, May 23, 1790; d Bougival, June 4, 1852).

Swiss sculptor, painter and composer. Prompted by his early displays of artistic talent, Pradier’s parents placed him in the workshop of a jeweller, where he learnt engraving on metal. He attended drawing classes in Geneva, before leaving for Paris in 1807. By 1811 he was registered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and subsequently entered its sculpture competitions as a pupil of François-Frédéric, Baron Lemot. A more significant contribution to his artistic formation around this time was the guidance of the painter François Gérard. Pradier won the Prix de Rome in 1813 and was resident at the French Academy in Rome, from 1814 until 1819. On his return to France, he showed at the Salon of 1819 a group Centaur and Bacchante (untraced) and a reclining Bacchante (marble; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.). The latter, borrowing an erotically significant torsion from the Antique Callipygean Venus, opens the series of sensuous Classical female subjects that were to become Pradier’s forte. In ...

Article

Pamela H. Simpson

Term referring to the romantic character underlying the use of Roman and Greek forms in the art and architecture of the late 18th century and early 19th. First used by Sigfried Giedion in 1922 and later, in an important essay by Fiske Kimball in 1944, the term is most often applied to architecture. Henry-Russell Hitchcock used it extensively as a stylistic term that defined early Neo-classicism in his volume on 19th- and 20th-century architecture. But it also can be applied to painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. The term recognizes the fundamental idea that the past evokes emotional associations. Even the seemingly rational and austere forms of Roman and Greek art could evoke sentiment.

One concept that helps explain Romantic Classicism is ‘associationism’, a principle that underlay much of the use of historical revival styles in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. When contemplating a building whose forms evoked a bygone era, the viewer made certain connections between the use of the style in the past and its appearance in the present. Thus when Thomas Jefferson chose the Roman temple, the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, as a model for the Virginia State House (...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Celaya, Oct 13, 1759; d Celaya, Aug 3, 1833).

Mexican architect, painter, engraver, and sculptor. He studied painting under Miguel Cabrera at the Real Academia de las Nobles Artes de S Carlos in Mexico City but did not graduate. He subsequently took up wood-carving and engraving. He learnt the elements of architecture from the Jesuits, who gave him a copy of the writings of Jacopo Vignola. His architecture exhibits a familiarity with the classic treatises, although he never visited Europe. Tresguerras’s first major work (1780s) was the reconstruction in Neo-classical style of the convent church of S Rosa, Querétaro, originally consecrated in 1752. The dome over the crossing is set on a drum articulated by rusticated columns, which flank a series of round-headed openings. He is also credited with remodelling the interior of the convent church of S Clara, Querétaro, and with constructing the Neptune Fountain (1802–7) in the plaza in front of it. The god stands under a triumphal arch, while water pours through the mouth of a fish at his feet. Tresguerras also completed (...

Article

Clementine Schack von Wittenau

(b Karthaus Prüll, nr Regensburg, April 14, 1839; d Munich, Dec 26, 1881).

German sculptor and painter. He trained at the Munich Akademie der Bildenden Künste, where he soon turned against the basically Neo-classicist attitudes of his teacher Max von Widnmann and turned to naturalism, following the example of Reinhold Begas. After establishing a studio of his own in 1860, he received few commissions for sculpture and turned his hand to genre painting instead. Between 1868 and 1874 he exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy in London. However, he went on to achieve wide recognition through commissions from Ludwig II and from the Munich Akademie, which made him an honorary member in 1872.

Wagmüller is considered the most important Munich representative of naturalistic sculpture; he left a substantial body of work, which displays both a knowledge of antique sculpture and scrupulous attention to living models. Even in his most mature works Wagmüller emphasized the painterly values of light and shade and rich detail, as well as clear formal construction. This combination is exemplified by his own tomb at the cemetery in Old Schwabing, a sarcophagus decorated with sphinxes supporting a seated female figure holding a child. In contrast, the decorative figures in Baroque garb modelled for ...