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Ana Maria Rybko

(b Foligno, July 23, 1739; d Rome, March 18, 1816).

Italian painter and decorator. Active in Umbria and the Lazio region, he worked initially in a Rococo language that revealed his links with the art of Rome in the first half of the 18th century, especially with Sebastiano Conca. Later he moved closer to the Neo-classical taste, always tempered by an exquisitely decorative flair. During his initial period of activity in Umbria, he produced the Virgin and Child with SS Peter and Paul (signed and dated 1775) at S Pietro in Foligno and decorated some rooms in the Palazzo Benedetti di Montevecchio (signed) and in the Palazzo Morelli at Spoleto (signed and dated 1773–5). After moving to Rome, where he was highly esteemed by Pope Pius VI, he produced decorations with grotesques and landscapes as well as biblical and mythological scenes in some of the most notable palaces of the city: at the Palazzo Chigi (1780–86; in collaboration with ...

Article

Ana Maria Rybko

(b Trapani, March 19, 1760; d Rome, Feb 16, 1821).

Italian painter. His father was a merchant in animal skins, and because of his habit of drawing on the hides Giuseppe was nicknamed ‘guastacuoi’. He had a period of apprenticeship with the sculptor Domenico Nolfo in Trapani and continued his studies in Palermo with the painter Padre Fedele da S Biagio (1717–1801) and later with Gioacchino Martorana. On returning to Trapani, he painted the picture the Virgin of Carmel Liberating the Souls in Purgatory. After a brief stay in Naples he moved to Rome, where, under the protection of Canova, he studied perspective and architectural drawing with the architect Giuseppe Barberi (1749–1809). Errante became moderately prosperous because he also executed miniatures, as well as making copies of—and restoring—Old Master paintings.

The first painting Errante completed in Rome is dated 1784: St Vincenzo, the altarpiece for SS Vincenzo e Anastasio alla Regola, which is characterized by its neat drawing and smooth tonal transitions. In the same period for the ...

Article

Simon Lee

(b Paris, 1732; d Paris, 1804).

French painter. A pupil of Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, he finished second in 1754 in the Prix de Rome competition with his Mattathias (untraced). He was approved (agréé) at the Académie Royale in 1765. He was a precocious and original artist, whose works range from historical, allegorical and religious pictures to decorative and genre pieces and portraits. His work frequently divided contemporary critical opinion. His Belisarius Begging Alms of 1767 (untraced), for example, was considered well composed by Louis Petit de Bachaumont, who admired the motif of the child begging with an upturned soldier’s helmet. Denis Diderot, on the other hand, dismissed the work as ‘a bad sketch’. Jollain’s particular aptitude was for religious subjects. At the Salon of 1769, for example, he exhibited The Refuge (untraced; oil sketch, British priv. col.), which depicts the founder of the Institute of Our Lady of Refuge in an attitude of devotional supplication; it was painted for the Order’s convent chapel at Besançon, and the chapel itself appears in the background. Jollain’s art was part of the mid-18th-century Baroque revival in French religious painting, and ...

Article

Ana Maria Rybko

(b Rome, 1690; d Rome, Oct 19, 1768).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He was apprenticed in Rome, first to Andrea Procaccini and later to Maratti. His work is characterized by a classicism derived from Guido Reni and ultimately from Raphael. According to Pio, he was ‘nourished first by the perfect milk of Maratti, and then saturated with the divine nectar of Raphael’. One of the last artists of Maratti’s school, he was also a precursor of the movement known as Proto-Neo-classicism, which flourished in the Roman art world during the 1720s and 1730s, and the inventor of the new code of portraiture that evolved from the Maratti school.

Masucci entered the competitions held by the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, and won prizes in 1706, 1707 and 1708 with the Killing of Tarpeia, the Battle between the Horatii and the Curiatii, Ancus Marcius and Accius Nevius; on becoming an academician in 1724, he painted the Martyrdom of St Barbara...

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....