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Clare A. P. Willsdon

(b c. 1770; d Edinburgh, Feb 1843).

Scottish painter. He originally worked as a wigmaker. In the 1790s he produced topographical illustrations in Edinburgh and reputedly trained under David Allan and at the Trustees’ Academy. Turning to figure subjects c. 1800, he contributed to the development of Realism in Scottish genre. He evolved a frank but subtle style with a sensitive response to character and the nuances of light, seen in Arrival of the Country Cousins (c. 1812; Duke of Buccleuch priv. col.). His art was admired by the young David Wilkie, who based his Pitlessie Fair on Carse’s Oldhamstock Fair (1796; both in Edinburgh, N.G.). Wilkie also took up many of the subjects that Carse had already derived from Allan, such as Penny Wedding, which Carse had painted in 1819 (G. N. Statham priv. col., on dep. Edinburgh, N.G.)

Carse contributed to the exhibitions of the Society of Incorporated Artists in Edinburgh from their inception in ...

Article

(b Venice, 1637; d Venice, ?1712).

Italian painter. He trained first with Matteo Ponzoni, then with Sebastiano Mazzoni; Mazzoni encouraged the development of a Baroque style, but Celesti was also attracted by the naturalism of the tenebrists. The first known works by Celesti are mature in style, and he had already achieved considerable fame in Venice when the Doge Alvise Contarini honoured him with the title of Cavaliere in 1681. The complexity of his sources is evident in two canvases, Moses Destroying the Golden Calf and Moses Chastising the Hebrew People for their Idolatry, both painted c. 1681 for the Palazzo Ducale, Venice, and signed Cavaliere; they are influenced by Luca Giordano and by the narrative techniques of Jacopo Tintoretto. The most distinguished works of Celesti’s early period are two large lunettes that show three scenes: Benedict III Visiting St Zacharias, A Doge Presented with the Body of a Saint, and the Virtues Surrounding a Doge Holding the Model of St Zacharias...

Article

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

David Mannings

Term current in 18th-century England to describe contemporary genre pictures of a sentimental realism, in which the artist’s own whimsy played a substantial part. Samuel Johnson defined ‘fancy’ in his Dictionary of the English Language (1755) as a synonym for ‘imagination’ but also in the subsidiary senses of ‘taste’ and of ‘something that pleases and entertains’. The usual subjects for fancy pictures are children and young women represented life-size or slightly smaller, though the term, never used very precisely, has also been applied to landscape paintings having a predominant figural element of a sentimental nature. The keynote in fancy paintings is a sort of contrived innocence, sometimes with erotic overtones. In style and treatment, though not in mood, they were often inspired by the genre scenes and character studies of such 17th-century masters as Rembrandt and Murillo; analogous works by 18th-century French artists, most notably Chardin and Greuze, were also influential in the development of the type. The fancy picture is now most commonly associated with works of this kind 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 ...

Article

Richard C. Green

(b Venice, Jan 21, 1655; d Venice, Feb 3, 1704).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He was the son of the painter Giovanni Molinari (1633–87) and studied in Venice with Antonio Zanchi. His style had its origins in the naturalism and tenebrism of Neapolitan painting, introduced to Venice in the mid-17th century. Although his work always retained some traces of this naturalism, the typically violent subject-matter and intensity of the Neapolitan style were considerably tempered by the addition of classicizing elements and of rich, glowing colours. By the 1680s Molinari had developed his characteristic manner of depicting figures in poses of extreme torsion and vigorous movement, arranged in graceful compositions. His subject-matter included episodes from the Old and New Testaments, antiquity and Classical mythology. His classical idiom was most pronounced in his large canvases painted for churches, such as the Feeding of the Five Thousand (1690; Venice, S Pantalon) and the Death of Uzzah (c. 1695; Murano, S Maria degli Angeli). In the ...

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 ...

Article

B. M. Kirikov, S. G. Fyodorov and Jeremy Howard

Russian family of artists. The architect (1) Vasily Stasov was an eminent exponent of Neo-classicism. His son (2) Vladimir Stasov became a leading critic with democratic views and a champion of Realism in art.

(b Moscow, Aug 4, 1769; d St Petersburg, Sept 5, 1848).

Architect. One of the last great masters of the St Petersburg Neo-classical school along with Karl Rossi and Auguste Ricard Montferrand (1786–1858), he continued and perfected the traditions of Neo-classical monumentality and plasticity earlier developed by Ivan Starov (1745–1808), Andreyan Zakharov and Thomas-Jean de Thomon. Stasov’s buildings were characterized by strength and austerity, geometrical qualities and striking contrasts between the smoothness of the walls and the spatial, decisive quality of the order. As a rule he modified the forms of the most austere and monumental of the Classical orders: the Greek Doric. In striving for an original interpretation of traditional methods, he examined local urban planning and the natural landscape. Stasov mastered a wide range of styles; he designed both domestic buildings and ceremonial palace interiors, created large-scale buildings and introduced new metal constructions....

Article

B. M. Kirikov and S. G. Fyodorov

In 

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