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Ettore Spalletti

(b Siena, March 1, 1817; d Florence, Jan 10, 1882).

Italian sculptor and writer. He was among the foremost sculptors in Tuscany in the generation after Lorenzo Bartolini. His early experiments in naturalism attracted such hostile criticism that he was forced to abandon this style in favour of a sensual neo-Greek manner. His later works are marked by a richly expressive eclecticism.

He trained with his father, a wood-carver, and briefly attended the Istituto di Belle Arti in Siena. By 1826 or 1827 he was in Florence, where he joined the workshop of the wood-carver Paolo Sani. Dupré alternated this work with practical attempts at teaching himself, particularly drawing, as part of his ambition to become a sculptor. His first proper sculpture, a wooden figure of St Philomena, was shown in 1838 at the annual exhibition of the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, where it attracted the praise of Lorenzo Bartolini, among others. In 1840 he made a jewel casket, inspired by the interior architecture of the Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Florence, which was acquired by ...

Article

Cynthia Lawrence

(b Mechelen, March 18, 1661; dMechelen, c. 1720).

Flemish sculptor and architect. He was a pupil of Lucas Faydherbe, from whom he learnt the picturesque realism associated with Rubens’s workshop. He collaborated with the Mechelen sculptor Jan van der Steen in London before returning to Flanders and joining the Mechelen guild. Langhemans is best represented in Belgium by the works he executed for the church of St Rombout in Mechelen. The earliest is a naturalistic stone statue of St Libertus (1680) for the monument to Amati de Coriache; a dramatically gesticulating stone figure of St Mary Magdalene from the monument to Jan Baptiste and Bernard Alexander van der Zype (1701) exhibits similar tendencies. Conversely, the oak statue of the Virgin of Victory (1680), carved for the monastery of the Brothers of Charity at Kappelen, Antwerp, has a classicizing appearance, which became more pronounced in his work by c. 1700. In 1698–9 Langhemans collaborated with ...

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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 ...