Italian family of artists, architects and collectors . Pietro Bagatti Valsecchi (b Milan, 15 April 1802; d Milan, 27 Nov 1864) was adopted by Baron Lattanzio Valsecchi and assumed the latter’s surname and inherited his estate. He gained a degree in mathematics and physics but later devoted himself to painting miniatures on ivory, enamel, glass, metal and porcelain, specializing in these techniques in Paris and Geneva. Returning to Milan, he soon gained considerable recognition for such work and took part in major exhibitions. In 1837 he presented a group of works at the Salon in Paris, including a miniature copy on ivory of Francesco Hayez’s Mary Queen of Scots Mounting the Scaffold (1827; Milan, Bagatti Valsecchi Col.) and a copy on porcelain of Francesco Podesti’s Raphael’s Studio (Milan, Bib. Ambrosiana). In 1842 he was made a noble of the Austrian Empire for his artistic achievements, and the Emperor Ferdinand acquired one of his paintings on porcelain, ...
Laura Mattioli Rossi
(b Quebec City, March 10, 1795; d Quebec City, June 21, 1855).
Canadian painter, collector and politician. After studying briefly at the Quebec Seminary, in 1812 he was apprenticed to the painter and glassmaker Moses Perce (fl 1806–48). The sale in Quebec City in 1817 of part of the collection of Louis-Joseph Desjardins (1766–1848), which comprised altogether about 200 European Old Master paintings, had a decisive effect on Légaré’s career. He bought a number, which he cleaned and restored himself, and, as an almost entirely self-taught artist, found them a valuable source of inspiration, technical example and income: many of his early commissions were for large copies of religious pictures from the collection. He painted about 100 religious works but in 1828 won an honorary medal for an original secular composition, the Massacre of the Hurons by the Iroquois (Quebec, Mus. Qué.)
Légaré’s oeuvre (over 250 oils on canvas and on paper) was considerably more diverse and ambitious in subject-matter than that of such contemporaries as Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, Antoine Plamondon and Théophile Hamel, who favoured portraiture and religious painting. He was the first Canadian-born painter to specialize in landscapes, for example ...
Ralph M. Cleminson
(b Denisovka, Arkhangel province, Nov 19, 1711; d St Petersburg, April 15, 1765).
Russian scientist, writer, entrepreneur and administrator. Born into a relatively humble family in the far north of Russia, he was sent to Moscow in 1731 to study at the Slavo-Graeco-Latin Academy, and he transferred to the Academy University in St Petersburg in 1735. The following year he went to Germany (until 1741), studying principally in Marburg and Freiburg. In 1745 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the Academy University, the first Russian to hold such a post. One of the most brilliant scholars in Europe, he is chiefly renowned for his achievements in the natural sciences; he also worked on Russian history, his Rossiyskaya grammatika (‘Russian grammar’; St Petersburg, 1757) was of paramount significance in the standardization of the Russian literary language, and he was also influential as a writer of verse. He was the driving force behind the foundation of Moscow University by his patron Count ...
M. N. Baudouin-Matuszek
(b Troyes, Jan 22, 1689; d Nogent sur Seine, Nov 9, 1747).
French nobleman, administrator and patron. He was the son of Jean Orry, a master glassmaker, who held the appointment of secretary to the king (1701) and other high offices. Under Louis XV, Philibert became Contrôleur-Général des Finances (1730) and Directeur-Général des Bâtiments (1737), posts from which he was dismissed in 1745 in a controversy over contracts for army commissaries. As financial controller, he introduced a strict budgetary regime, which ushered in a period of economic prosperity in France. In his role as master of the king’s buildings (see Maison du Roi §II), he gave a free hand to the king’s leading architect but, in response to the fiscal crisis caused by the War of Austrian Succession, curtailed expenditure on the Bâtiments. He was also in charge of royal arts and factories and instituted the annual Salon exhibitions of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. Anxious to prevent capital from leaving France for the purchase of porcelain from the Far East or Meissen, Orry borrowed from the Royal Treasury in ...
Richard C. Mühlberger
(b Dordrecht, March 4, 1710; d The Hague, May 7, 1792).
Dutch painter, glass engraver, printmaker, collector and dealer. He studied with the Dordrecht artist Adriaen van der Burg (1693–1733) from c. 1725 until van der Burg’s death. On 16 October 1733 he began entries in the first of two professional diaries (Dordrecht, Mus. van Gijn) that record in unusual detail the activities of his career until 16 November 1753. In 1733 he took on his first pupil. He taught regularly for the rest of his life: among his pupils were Jan van Os, Joris Ponse (1723–83), Wouter Dam (c. 1726–c. 1785), Gerrit Malleyn (1753–1816), Nicolaas Muys (1740–1808), Jacobus Perkois (1756–1804) and his own great-nephew, the marine painter Martinus Schouman (1770–1848).
In 1736 Schouman became one of the founder-members of the Dordrecht Brotherhood of St Luke, a private society formed for the discussion of art. He gave an exhibition there and was official engraver to the Brotherhood. He also belonged to drinking and debating clubs, and through them and the Brotherhood he met many of the prominent citizens of Dordrecht. In ...
Jane Shoaf Turner
(b Amsterdam, 1641; d Amsterdam, May 18, 1724
Dutch collector, dealer and artist . He was trained by Pieter Janssen as a glass-engraver and was active as a dealer in glass until 1687, when he became one of Amsterdam’s most important saleroom brokers and appraisers and began to deal in other forms of art. By 1690 he had become one of the leading dealers in paintings, drawings and prints, counting not only Dutch collectors but also foreigners among his clientele, for instance Prince Eugene of Savoy. Long before this, from c. 1660, however, he had himself begun to collect drawings, prints and books. He owned drawings by mostly Dutch artists, such as Gerrit Berckheyde, Cornelis Bega, Jan Both, Pieter van Laer, Jan Noordt and Jacob Backer, and no less than seven volumes of drawings by Rembrandt. He seems to have applied his mark, a cartouche printed in black with the initials I.P.Z. (see Lugt), to drawings that passed through his hands as well as into his own collection. He also generally inscribed the name of the artist on each sheet, though at times he was deliberately optimistic with his attributions, especially with drawings said to be by Italian artists. He often bought prints and drawings already assembled in albums, which he then broke up and reconstituted into new ‘series’ that included individual items that were more difficult to sell. His print collection was more wide-ranging, with examples by Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French and German artists. Again, however, ...