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Article

Alessandro Conti

(b Siena, c. 1820; d Florence, 1867).

Italian restorer. He worked in Florence from 1845. He is known for his manual, published in 1866, in which he frequently disagreed with Conte Giovanni Secco-Suardo. Although it lacks the clear presentation of the latter’s work, Forni’s handbook is nevertheless one of the most valuable manuals of 19th-century restoration. Apart from an over-extensive list of recipes and an inexact approach to bibliography and information, it reflects a more modern working context than Secco-Suardo’s work and devotes much space to the restoration of medieval paintings, as well as dealing with different methods of rescuing, restoring and transferring wall paintings, probably based on advice provided by Gaetano Bianchi. Forni is known to have worked on Cosimo Rosselli’s Adoration of the Magi (Florence, Uffizi) and Pontormo’s Venus based on a cartoon by Michelangelo (Florence, Accad.).

Manuale del pittore restauratore (Florence, 1866) G. Incerpi: ‘Conservazione e restauro dei quadri degli Uffizi nel periodo lorenese’, ...

Article

(b Stuttgart, Feb 2, 1789; d Hassfurt, Sept 28, 1865).

German architect, painter, sculptor, printmaker and writer. He belonged to a large family of artists descended from Franz Joseph (Ignatz Anton) Heideloff (1676–1772), who was a sculptor and possibly also a painter. He was trained by the architect Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret, the sculptor Johann Heinrich von Dannecker and the painter Johann Baptist Seele. He also studied mural painting as assistant to his father, Victor (Wilhelm Peter) Heideloff (1757–1817). As a young man he became interested in Gothic and Romanesque architecture, and while he was in Mainz in 1814 he made the acquaintance of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (reg 1826–44), who employed him as his architect until 1821. In 1822, having settled in Nuremberg, he was appointed curator of the city’s historical monuments; he used this position to encourage widespread interest in early German art and to rescue many examples from destruction. He also taught at the local Polytechnische Schule from its foundation in ...

Article

Alessandro Conti

[Igino]

(b Siena, July 18, 1866; d Siena, Jan 23, 1946).

Italian forger, restorer and writer. He is best known for his autobiography, a broad panoramic portrait of life in provincial Italy at the end of the 19th century, which conveys something of the disquiet concerning the loss of Italy’s prestige. He also worked as a skilful forger and restorer at a time when the distinctions between the two activities were blurred. Much of his success as a forger was due to the fact that he imitated either the works of lesser painters (such as Sano di Pietro) or the undistinguished works of more famous artists, which could deceive even a connoisseur. A typical example is his copy of Cecco di Pietro’s Agnano polyptych (Pisa, Mus. N. S Matteo), created as a fraudulent substitution for the original (Rome, Pal. Venezia). Few of Joni’s fakes have stood the test of time, despite the fact that he was in contact with such critics and collectors as Francis Mason Perkins and Robert Langton Douglas. Research into collecting and the art market in late 19th-century America has identified Joni’s role as a restorer in such works as ...

Article

Marianne Frodl-Schneemann

(b Hanau, nr Frankfurt am Main, Sept 15, 1780; d Vienna, Oct 28, 1856).

Austrian painter, teacher and Curator of German birth. From the age of ten, Krafft studied at the Hanau Akademie while at the same time continuing his school education in Hanau. In 1799 he went to Vienna with his sister and studied at the Akademie for three years with the history and portrait painter Heinrich Füger. At this time Krafft painted mythological subjects, made copies from older works and produced several self-portraits that already reveal his capacities in this genre, for example Self-portrait (1799; priv. col., see Frodl-Schneemann, pl. I). The dream-like atmosphere of total absorption, which Krafft often achieved through his use of the techniques of early German painting, constitutes one of the most striking aspects of his portraits from the turn of the century. From 1802 to 1804 he was in Paris, where he studied with Jacques-Louis David and François Gérard. The work of these two, together with that of Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Antoine-Jean Gros, was to influence Krafft’s later work when he returned to Vienna. David’s realist tendencies in painting had a fundamental effect on Krafft’s artistic output, and it was through Krafft that this realism contributed to a development towards Biedermeier art in Vienna. In ...

Article

Jaynie Anderson

(b Affori, 1799; d Milan, Jan 11, 1867).

Italian painter, restorer and museum director. The son of an impoverished innkeeper, from the age of 10 he was supported by a Milanese family called Brocca, who financed his education at the painting school in the Brera, Milan. There he studied with Giuseppe Longhi to become a painter of sentimental genre-pieces and fashionable portraits. After graduating he was employed as a restorer by the Abbate Massinelli, a priest from Bergamo, who had acquired a collection of pictures (later bought by Edward Solly) from churches and religious institutions in Lombardy. Molteni then studied at Bologna with Giuseppe Guizzardi (1779–1861), a well-known restorer, and returned to Milan in the 1820s. Elected a member of the Accademia di Brera in 1839, he became Consigliero Ordinario in 1851 and was given a studio there. This was frequented by such museum directors as Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (i), such dealers as Otto Mündler and such private collectors as Sir ...

Article

Alessandro Conti

(b Bergamo, 1798; d Bergamo, 1873).

Italian writer and restorer. He wrote the most important 19th-century handbook on the restoration of paintings. Heir to the 18th-century tradition of studying the physical and chemical aspects of art, Secco-Suardo was able to explain problems with a clarity that makes his work still irreplaceable. The manual was probably compiled after 1858, when he gave up his administrative duties for the Austrian government. The first part of the text appeared in 1866 but the entire work was published only posthumously in 1894, and the world it mirrors is that of the restorers who worked for the great collectors of the first half of the 19th century. According to Secco-Suardo, the primary concern of restoration should be the visual pleasure of a painting rather than strict conservation, and the restorer must endeavour to conceal the distinction between the old work and the new. Any additions should imitate the original and repainting should be removed only if of poor quality, though in certain circumstances a colour that has become badly altered may be repainted. When it comes to the appearance of paintings, Secco-Suardo shows a typically Romantic taste for patina as a means of showing age. His link with the methods practised in the first half of the 19th century can also be seen in his recommendations for the transfer of frescoes: he merely advises on their removal, with no regard for their character as painted plaster and with none of the consideration that Gaetano Bianchi had shown for them as part of a building’s polychrome decoration....

Article

David Cast

(b London, 1771; d Brighton, Nov 5, 1843).

English connoisseur, museum curator and picture restorer. He was born into a Huguenot family long settled in London that claimed connection with the French noble family of the name of Seguier. He first trained as a painter under Philippe-Joseph Tassaert (1732–1803), and also possibly under George Morland, a family friend, and worked as a professional artist specializing in topographical views of London and making copies of Old Masters. Following his marriage to the wealthy Ann Clowden, he gave up painting and turned his attention to connoisseurship, providing help to collectors of pictures. His clients included G. Watson Taylor, Sir Charles Long (later 1st Baron Farnborough), Sir Robert Peel and, most importantly, George IV, whom he advised on collecting Dutch and Flemish pictures (London, Buckingham Pal., Royal Col.). He was also appointed Conservator of the Royal Picture Galleries by George IV, a position he retained under William IV and Queen Victoria. For many years Seguier was Superintendent of the British Institution, London, holding summer exhibitions of Old Masters and winter exhibitions of contemporary painters. With his brother ...