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Philip Attwood

(b Schavli, Kovno [now Kaunas], June 12, 1871; d New York, April 5, 1924).

American medallist of Lithuanian origin. He trained as a seal-engraver under his father and worked as a jewellery engraver and type cutter. In 1890 he went to New York, where he worked as a die engraver of badges, and in 1898 to Paris to study at the Académie Julian and later with Oscar Roty. He first exhibited medals in the early years of the 20th century. The influence of Roty is apparent in the low relief and soft-edged naturalism and also in the inclusion of flat expanses of metal in his designs. He occasionally ventured into sculpture, as in the Schenley Memorial Fountain (bronze; Pittsburgh, PA, Schenley Park), but he was best known for his medals and plaquettes, both struck and cast, and his sensitive portraits assured his popularity. The powerful head of President Roosevelt on the Panama Canal medal (bronze, 1908) and the tender Shepherdess plaquette (electrotype, 1907...

Article

Marco Collareta

[Foppa, Cristoforo]

(b Mondonico, nr Pavia, c. 1452; d between Dec 6, 1526 and April 1, 1527).

Italian goldsmith, coin- and gem-engraver, jeweller, medallist and dealer. Son of the goldsmith Gian Maffeo Foppa, from 1480 he served at the Milanese court with his father, eventually becoming personal goldsmith and jeweller to Ludovico Sforza (il Moro), Duke of Milan. In 1487 Caradosso was in Florence, where his appraisal of an antique cornelian was highly esteemed. He worked in Hungary in the service of King Matthias Corvinus, probably in August 1489; a later visit to the court was cut short by the King’s death (1490). Between 1492 and 1497 Caradosso travelled to various Italian towns to buy jewels and other precious objects for Ludovico il Moro. He visited Rome, Viterbo and Florence early in 1496, when the Medici family’s possessions were sold off after the expulsion of Piero de’ Medici (1471–1503) from Florence.

After the fall of Ludovico il Moro in 1500, Caradosso remained for some years in Lombardy. In ...

Article

Philip Attwood

[Crocker, Johann]

(b Dresden, Oct 21, 1670; d London, March 21, 1741).

British medallist of German birth. Trained as a jeweller, he arrived in England in 1691 and learnt the art of die-engraving. He became assistant engraver at the Royal Mint, London, in 1697, the year in which he executed a silver and bronze medal for William III symbolizing the State of Britain after the Peace of Ryswick (see Hawkins, Franks and Grueber, ii, pp. 192, 499). Such medals as those commemorating the accession and the coronation (both gold, silver and bronze, 1702; see hfg, ii, pp. 227–8) of Queen Anne, together with the medal celebrating the Battle of Blenheim (silver and bronze, 1704; see hfg, p. 256), ensured that he was given the post of Chief Engraver at the Royal Mint when it became vacant in 1705. For the next 30 years he produced single-handedly most of the British official medals, as well as engraving the dies for the coinage of Queen Anne, George I and the first issue of George II. He also modelled a large cast medallic portrait of ...

Article

Josephine Withers

[Juli]

(b Barcelona, Sept 21, 1876; d Arceuil, March 27, 1942).

Spanish sculptor, metalworker, draughtsman and jeweller. As a sculptor he pioneered a technique of working directly with metal in the 1930s and is particularly known for his abstract forged and welded open-form constructions in iron, bronze and silver (see Head, c. 1935.)Although he incorporated both Surrealist and Constructivist elements in his work, González was independent of any movement. He made a significant contribution to the ‘truth to materials’ discourse of his time and was an important example for David Smith as well as Anthony Caro, Eduardo Chillida and other sculptors working with welded metal after World War II.

González and his brother Joan (1868–1908) received their initial sculptural training from their father Concordio González (1832–96), a sculptor and metalworker. In 1892 the brothers attended evening classes in drawing at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona but it was in 1897, after frequenting Els Quatre Gats (the meeting-place for the most progressive artists in Barcelona), that Julio considered becoming a painter. In ...

Article

(fl 1482–1522).

Italian bronze-founder. Born into a well-known Venetian family, he is mentioned in 1482, first as a goldsmith and then as a jeweller, which suggests that he might have been carving hard stones. In 1484 he was employed at the Mint as an engraver of dies. Exiled in August 1487 for his part in an inheritance fraud, he was recalled from Ferrara in September 1488 to cast the equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni from the clay model left by Verrocchio at his death. He completed the casting, putting his signature on the girth strap (alexander leopardus v.f. opus), and designed and executed the high pedestal with marble columns and bronze frieze himself. His execution of the pedestal clearly shows his familiarity with the Classical orders. The monument was erected in the Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo in 1494. He was employed again at the Mint in January 1496, working as master engraver of dies alongside ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

[objets de vertu]

Decorative work in a fine material (e.g. glass, porcelain, semi-precious stones, silver or gold) that is attractive because of its antiquity, beauty and quality of workmanship. ‘Vertu’ (It. virtù) refers to a taste for curios or other works of art. The traditional form objets de vertu combines French and English spellings; as the Italian sense of ...

Article

Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....

Article

Stephen K. Scher

(b Milan, 1515–19; d Madrid, Sept 23, 1589).

Italian medallist, sculptor, gem-engraver and jeweller. Nothing is known of his background and early life. His family apparently came from Trezzo-sull Adda but were living in Milan at the time of his birth. By 1550 he had achieved a level of fame that deserved mention in the first edition of Vasari’s Vite. His activities in Milan, in which city he lived until 1555, included gem-engraving and the fabrication of objects in precious and semi-precious stones for Cosimo I, Duke of Florence. Several letters in archives in Florence, dated 1552, 1572 and 1575, describe this work and the difficulties Trezzo experienced in receiving payment. Between 1548 and 1578 Jacopo produced eleven medals, including variants, eight of which are signed. The first of these is the medal of the Cremonese engineer Gianello delle Torre, of which one example (Florence, Bargello) bears the date 1548. Although not signed, it has been attributed both to Trezzo and to ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Chigwell, Essex, May 25, 1959).

English painter, sculptor and video artist. He studied in London at the Chelsea School of Art (1978–81) and Goldsmiths’ College (1983–5). From the mid-1980s his work has addressed the traditions and values of British society, its class system and organized religion. The range of approaches he has adopted reflects his wish to have a broad appeal and highlights his roots in a tradition of British left-wing thought. In the early 1990s he began using a personal enthusiasm for horse racing as a theme through which to explore issues of ownership and pedigree. Race Class Sex (oil on canvas, four parts, each 2.3×3 m, London, Saatchi Gal.), consists of four highly finished renderings of thoroughbred race-horses. As well as evoking the equestrian portraiture of George Stubbs, these works also direct attention toward issues of identity and the inheritance of social structures. This thematic culminated in A Real Work of Art...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Arizona, 1950).

American jeweler, sculptor, painter, and silversmith, of Mescalero Apache–Navajo descent. White Eagle began his career as a silversmith under the tutelage of legendary Navajo artisan Fred Peshlakai , at age five, learning by observation and developing an artistic understanding of Peshlakai’s aesthetic approach. At nine, he began making and selling his own jewelry at Union Square in Los Angeles. Later moving to Palm Springs, CA he continued to generate and sell his jewelry on the street under the date palms trees.

Always handmade, his jewelry pieces used the finest available quality of semi-precious stones. Singular details and features demonstrated his exclusive and unique artistic vision and styling. In 1973, the Yacqui artist, Art Tafoya, began a silversmith apprenticeship with White Eagle, studying the hand-stamped old style embossing skills of jewelry; he continued the historic creation of extraordinary designs.

Bold and substantial, White Eagle’s jewelry balanced a focal fluid turquoise stone against deeply carved flora and linear design lines. His pieces represented transcultural combinations of traditional Navajo silver interwoven with mainstream expectations of Native American style. He daringly counterbalanced mixed semi-precious stonework with irregular fusions of silver positive space. Smooth, amazingly detailed stamp work combined with bent offset features providing an overall asymmetrical daring quality....

Article

Richard Kerremans

(b Brussels, April 16, 1858; d Brussels, Dec 13, 1929).

Belgian jeweller, designer and sculptor . The son of the master goldsmith Louis Wolfers (1820–92), he graduated from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1875 and entered his father’s workshop as an apprentice, where he acquired a comprehensive technical training. Influenced by the Rococo Revival and Japanese art, in the 1880s he created sensitively curved pieces in gold and silver decorated with asymmetrically distributed floral motifs, which heralded the Art Nouveau style (e.g. ewer, Le Maraudeur, c. 1880; Brussels, Musées Royaux A. & Hist.). After 1890 he produced two kinds of work: goldsmithing and jewellery designs for production by Wolfers Frères and one-off pieces that were produced to his own designs in the workshop that he had established c. 1890–92. Typical of the latter are Art Nouveau goldsmiths’ work and jewellery (e.g. orchid hair ornament, 1902; London, V&A), crystal vases carved into cameos and ivory pieces. Ivory was then in plentiful supply from the Congo, and from ...