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Françoise de la Moureyre

(b Paris, baptJune 10, 1646; d Paris, Dec 31, 1732).

French sculptor and bronze-caster. He came from a family of goldsmiths of Flemish origin who settled in Paris in the early 17th century. Early biographers state that he trained with Michel or François Anguier and at the Académie Royale. He spent six years at the Académie de France in Rome, where he is said to have studied above all the sculpture of Bernini. This was followed by four years in Venice. He applied for admission to the Académie in 1678, and he was received (reçu) in 1681 with a marble statuette of Polyphemus (Paris, Louvre), inspired by Annibale Carracci’s fresco in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome. From this time until 1720 he enjoyed a highly successful career in royal service and in the employ of the Church and of private clients. He devoted much energy to the affairs of the academy, eventually holding the office of Chancellor. He worked in every branch of sculpture, from monumental marble and bronze statues to small bronze statuettes and candlesticks....

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[Du Plessis; Duplessy.]

French family of goldsmiths, bronze founders, sculptors and designers, of Italian descent. Due to the similarity in name, there has been some confusion between father and son and the attribution of their work; they are now generally distinguished as Duplessis père and Duplessis fils. Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis [Giovanni Claudio Chiamberlano] (b Turin, ?1690–95; d Paris, 1774) practised as a goldsmith in Turin before his marriage in 1720 and probably worked for Victor Amadeus II. He moved with his family to Paris c. 1740, perhaps encouraged there by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier. In 1742 he was commissioned by Louis XV to design and make two large, bronze braziers, presented to the Turkish ambassador Saïd Mahmet Pasha (e.g. in Istanbul, Topkapi Pal. Mus.). From c. 1748 until his death he was employed at the porcelain factories of Vincennes and Sèvres as a designer of porcelain forms and supplier of bronze stands. He also supervised and advised craftsmen. In ...

Article

Hermann Maué

(b Biberach an der Riss, nr Ulm, March 21, 1705; d St Petersburg, Oct 27, 1763).

German gem-engraver and medallist. He trained as a goldsmith in Biberach and then learnt seal- and gem-engraving in Berne. In 1730 he travelled to Venice to work as a seal-engraver. In 1732 the antiquary Baron Philipp von Stosch set him to copying ancient carved gems in Florence. To improve his skill, Natter drew after the Antique at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, developing a style based on Classical models that was to become characteristic of his gem- carving, an example of which is his cornelian bust of Livia as Ceres (c. 1730; London, V&A). He also became one of the earliest representatives of the Neo-classical medal style. At the end of the 1730s he moved to London, where he produced several noteworthy medals, such as the portrait bust of Sir Robert Walpole (silver, copper and lead, 1741; London, BM). In 1743 the Danish Court invited him to Copenhagen, where he carved a number of gems, among which were the portrait busts in chalcedony of ...

Article

Rococo  

Richard John and Ludwig Tavernier

A decorative style of the early to mid-18th century, primarily influencing the ornamental arts in Europe, especially in France, southern Germany and Austria. The character of its formal idiom is marked by asymmetry and naturalism, displaying in particular a fascination with shell-like and watery forms. Further information on the Rococo can be found in this dictionary within the survey articles on the relevant countries.

Richard John

The nature and limits of the Rococo have been the subject of controversy for over a century, and the debate shows little sign of resolution. As recently as 1966, entries in two major reference works, the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture and the Enciclopedia universale dell’arte (EWA), were in complete contradiction, one altogether denying its status as a style, the other claiming that it ‘is not a mere ornamental style, but a style capable of suffusing all spheres of art’. The term Rococo seems to have been first used in the closing years of the 18th century, although it was not acknowledged by the ...