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Gertrud Seidmann

German family of gem-engravers. (Johann) Christoph Dorsch (b Nuremberg, 10 July 1676; d Nuremberg, 17 Nov 1732) was the son of Erhard Dorsch (1649–1712), who worked on glass and the cutting of armorial seals on precious stones. Christoph Dorsch studied anatomy and drawing; he turned to engraving relatively late in life yet was one of the most industrious craftsmen of his time, turning out large quantities of gems. He specialized in cutting series of dynasties and rulers from the earliest times to his own days, in cornelian, grey agate and glass, such as 252 popes of Rome (Leiden, Rijksmus. Oudhd.), 126 emperors to Charles VI and the kings of France from the Dark Ages to Louis XV (both series engraved in Bayer; examples at Leiden, Rijksmus. Oudhd.). The portraits, mostly fanciful, are derived from prints and medals. Dorsch’s daughter Susanna Maria (b Nuremberg, 1701; d...


[il Cieco da Gambassi]

(b Gambassi, 1603; d Rome c. 1664).

Italian sculptor. The son of a glassmaker, he studied under the sculptor Pietro Tacca in Florence. While in the service of Carlo I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, he was trapped in Mantua during the Austrian siege of 1630 and somehow he was blinded. According to Filippo Baldinucci, a contemporary and acquaintance of Gonnelli’s, his blindness was due to the hardships endured during the siege, not to any accident. Deprived of his livelihood, Gonnelli returned home and spent several unproductive years there. According to Baldinucci, his first completed work was a clay bust of Carlo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, begun from life ten years earlier. In time he regained his confidence and began to accept commissions.

Gonnelli’s surviving works include reliefs of the Nativity (Casole, S Maria Assunta) and the Pietà (Borgo di Colle, Santa Croce and S Bernardino all’Osservanza) and a statue of St Stephen (Florence, S Stefano), which was mentioned by Baldinucci. Because of his blindness, Gonnelli’s works were made of malleable materials such as wax and clay and were often covered with a monochrome varnish rather than painted, as was more typical of the 17th century. He is considered to be one of the last of the school of Giovanni della Robbia and to represent the provincial Italian Baroque....


(b Uelzen, c. 1563–5; d Prague, before June 27, 1623).

German gem- and glass-engraver. He was trained as a gem-engraver in Munich under Duke William V of Bavaria (reg 1579–98), probably from 1583 or 1584. No work from his early career has been identified with certainty, although the carved depiction of Ottavio Miseroni on a large rock-crystal bowl (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.) may be from this period. He seems to have first come into contact with the court of Rudolf II (reg 1576–1612) in Prague in about 1587; in 1590 he became a member of the imperial bodyguard, and in 1601 he was appointed gem-engraver of the imperial chamber, though he must have been active as a court craftsman before then; none of his engraved gems has been identified.

Lehmann is best known for introducing the technique of wheel-engraving on glass, a technique that was formerly used for cutting rock crystal and other hardstones. A prerequisite for this was high-quality Bohemian glass, and this was forthcoming from the glassworks established by the Emperor in ...