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Angela Lohrey

(b Nuremberg, Aug 6, 1733; d Nuremberg, April 8, 1811).

German publisher, writer and art historian. After obtaining a doctorate in law from the University of Altdorf, he travelled (1756–7) to Strasbourg, the Netherlands and England, where he met well-known figures in science, art and politics. In 1758 he set off again from Nuremberg to Vienna and northern Italy. Besides his employment as a Nuremberg weighmaster and customs official from 1760, Murr wrote about German art history and culture. He also published various magazines such as the weekly Der Zufriedene (Nuremberg, 1763–4), the Journal zur Kunstgeschichte und zur allgemeine Litteratur (Nuremberg, 1775–89) and the Neues Journal zur Literatur und Kunstgeschichte (Nuremberg, 1798–9). Stimulated by his wide-ranging correspondence with leading figures within and outside Europe, these contained many articles on the art history and culture of other countries. His work also encompassed linguistic surveys, political and historical subjects and writings about the Jesuit order. He was the author of 82 titles, though his own literary experiments remained insignificant. Murr became a member of the Königliches Historisches Institut, Göttingen, in ...

Article

Howard Caygill

(b Berlin, March 18, 1733; d Berlin, Jan 8, 1811).

German writer and publisher. As an apprentice bookseller in Frankfurt an der Oder in the late 1740s, he attended Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten’s lectures on aesthetics. His first and only important critical work, Briefe über den jetzigen Zustand der schönen Wissenschaften in Deutschland (Berlin, 1755), earned him the friendship of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Moses Mendelssohn for its irenic posture in the controversy over aesthetics between Joachim Christoph Gottsched and the Zurich School. However, Nicolai is significant less for his own writings than for publishing some of the most influential critical journals of the German Enlightenment. The Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und freien Künste (1757–62), Briefe, die neueste Literatur betreffdend (1759–65) and Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek (1765–1806) printed the aesthetic and critical writings of Lessing and Mendelssohn, among other leading philosophers and critics. Nicolai’s own chief contributions to art history are his pioneering texts on art and artists in Berlin. The ...

Article

(b Weesp, Jan 4, 1726; d Amsterdam, Dec 20, 1798).

Dutch timber merchant, collector, printmaker, print publisher, draughtsman and art theorist. He was one of the most important Dutch dilettanti of the 18th century. His interest in art began at an early age, and from the age of 12 he was taught drawing by Norbert van Bloemen (1670–1746). Two years later he began to learn the timber trade with Johannes Bontekoning, in whose firm, Bontekoning and Aukes, he became a partner in 1756. Ploos’s first mezzotint dates from that year. He made drawings throughout his life, in a technically skilled rather than original style, and designed book illustrations. In 1758 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Cornelis Troost.

In the meantime Ploos van Amstel assembled a fabulous collection of drawings (he possessed over 7000 when he died), prints (including many topographical prints of Amsterdam), paintings, sculptures, enamels, medals, coins, scientific instruments and optical tools, and manuscripts and printed books. His special interest in drawings, particularly those by Dutch artists from the 17th and 18th centuries, is reflected in his ...