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Article

Christian Michel

(b Paris, March 19, 1730; d Paris, March 7, 1809).

French engraver, illustrator and writer. He came from a poor family and trained with Guillaume Dheulland (c. 1700–c. 1770) by drawing cartouches for maps. He also had lessons from Pierre-Edmé Babel, a goldsmith and designer of ornament. Having designed mainly cartouches, coats of arms and various types of ornament in the 1750s, he gained recognition as a designer of culs-de-lampe and fleurons, which were considered indispensable for all lavishly produced books. In particular, he produced 57 illustrations for La Fontaine’s Contes in the Fermiers Généraux edition (Paris, 1762) and 38 fleurons and culs-de-lampe for Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Lemire’s and Bassan’s edition (Paris, 1767–71). His long-standing acquaintance Charles-Nicolas Cochin II entrusted him with engraving two plates for the Conquêtes de l’Empereur de la Chine (1767–73; Roux, nos 227–8), an important series of large-scale prints on which the best French engravers were being employed. Large plates are, however, rare in Choffard’s oeuvre; he devoted himself mainly to book decoration, such as fleurons for the Abbé de Saint-Non’s ...

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Valencia, 1757; d Madrid, after 1807).

Spanish illustrator, printmaker and painter. He was nominated Miembro de Mérito of the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, in 1781. He made reproductive engravings of paintings and illustrated such books as Juan Antonio Pellicer’s (1738–1806) annotated edition of Don Quixote (1797), the Fábulas morales (1781–4) by Félix María de Samaniego (1745–1801) and the 1803 edition of the short stories Novelas ejemplares by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616). In his depiction (1790) of the fire in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid and in his interiors of prisons and barracks he pioneered the use of aquatint. He produced the series Caprichos y bombachadas and illustrated the title-page of Ideas y caprichos pintorescos (Madrid, 1807). He had two sons: Laureano (1802–58), an engraver, and Vicente (1796–1857), a history painter.

M. Ossorio y Bernard: Galería biográfica de artistas españoles del siglo XIX...

Article

N. A. Yevsina

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Nikol’skoye-Cherenchitsy estate, nr Torzhok, 1751; d Moscow, 2/Jan 3, 1804).

Russian architect, theorist, illustrator, poet, Musician and inventor. An enlightened dilettante and encyclopedist from a princely family, he studied architecture on his own and travelled in western Europe (1775, 1776–7), above all in France and Italy. On his return to Russia L’vov worked at the Foreign Ministry and acquired a reputation as an architect from the early 1780s. His earliest works—the Neva Gate (1780–87) of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, the single-domed cathedral of St Joseph (1780–98) in Mogilyov and the similar five-domed church (1785–96) at the monastery of SS Boris and Gleb in Torzhok—are characterized by their austere simplicity, spareness of form and pronounced monumentality. They became the model for many Russian Neo-classical churches of the late 18th century and the early 19th. L’vov’s works for St Petersburg include the Post Office (1782–9), unexecuted designs for the Cabinet on the Nevsky Prospect (...

Article

(b Oria, Apulia, 1725; d Rome, March 1798).

Italian writer. He studied in Naples, Rome and Padua and in 1761 he settled in Rome. There he began the publication of an influential series of theoretical works, beginning with a biographical encyclopedia of architects (1768). Ferdinand IV, King of Naples (reg 1759–1825), appointed him superintendent of the Farnese buildings in the Papal States, but he soon resigned this post (1780) to resume his literary career. He was friendly with José Nicolás de Azara and the painter Anton Raphael Mengs, whose art he promoted. Although Milizia advocated ‘great masses, great forms and great tracts’ in architecture, he adopted in his works a stance that was strongly opposed to the Baroque, regarding the 16th century as an age of correctness in comparison to the 17th, which he saw as an age of corruption. He criticized St Peter’s, Rome, for being divided into too many parts and denounced Michelangelo’s ...