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Article

Abildgaard, Nicolai Abraham  

Jens Peter Munk

(b Copenhagen, Sept 11, 1743; d Frederiksdal, Copenhagen, June 4, 1809).

Danish painter, designer and architect. His paintings reveal both Neo-classical and Romantic interests and include history paintings as well as literary and mythological works. The variety of his subject-matter reflects his wide learning, a feature further evidenced by the broad range of his creative output. In addition to painting, he produced decorative work, sculpture and furniture designs, as well as being engaged as an architect. Successfully combining both intellectual and imaginative powers, he came to be fully appreciated only in the 1980s.

He studied at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1764–72), and in 1767 he assisted Johan Edvard Mandelberg (1730–86) in painting the domed hall of the Fredensborg Slot with scenes from the Homeric epic the Iliad. In 1772 he was granted a five-year travelling scholarship from the Kunstakademi to study in Rome. During his Roman sojourn he extensively copied works of art from the period of antiquity up to that of the Carracci family. His friendships with the Danish painter Jens Juel, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel and the Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Fuseli placed him among artists who were in the mainstream of a widespread upheaval in European art. In these years Abildgaard developed both Neo-classical and Romantic tastes; his masterpiece of the period is ...

Article

Aigner, Chrystian Piotr  

Andrzej Rottermund

(b Puławy, June 1756; d Florence, Feb 8, 1841).

Polish architect and writer, also active in Italy. He probably studied in Rome in the late 1770s and returned to Italy in 1785–6 under the aegis of Stanisław Kostka Potocki, a collector and amateur architect with whom he collaborated throughout his life. In 1786 Aigner and Potocki refronted the church of St Anna, Warsaw, using a giant composite order on high pedestals. The political turmoil of the 1790s disrupted Aigner’s career, but during his second phase of creativity (1797–1816) he won fame through his work on the great estate of the Czartoryski family at Puławy, on the Vistula west of Lublin, the most important centre of cultural life in Poland during the Enlightenment. Aigner had already erected the Marynka Palace there in 1790, a variation on the Petit Trianon at Versailles, France, and from 1798 he began to add ornamental buildings to go with the new Picturesque layout of the Puławy gardens: a Chinese pavilion, a Gothick house and a peripheral Temple of the Sibyl with a shallow dome. In ...

Article

Albertolli, Ferdinando  

Giuliana Ricci

(b Bedano, Nov 11, 1780; d Milan, April 24, 1844).

Swiss architect, printmaker, designer and teacher, nephew of Giocondo Albertolli. He married Giocondo’s daughter Maria. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan and won the first prize for design in 1806. From 1804 he taught design and architecture at the high school in Verona and in 1807 became professor of design at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice. In 1812 he succeeded his uncle as professor of design at the Brera, where he taught almost until his death. His publications drew on his stay in Verona and in Venice; he also travelled to Tuscany, Rome, Greece and London (where he went to gather material on some Greek friezes for publication) and, according to his uncle’s account, to Naples and Paris.

In 1838 he became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and in 1843 was nominated a member of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. He constructed some buildings in Genoa (from ...

Article

Albertolli, Giacomo  

Giuliana Ricci

(b Mugena, nr Lugano, 1761; d Milan, Jan 6, 1805).

Swiss teacher and architect, nephew of Giocondo Albertolli. He studied at the Accademia di Brera and finished his training at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Parma. Of his collaboration with Piermarini, of which he boasted, only his contribution to decorations for the Festa della Federazione (1797) is documented. From 1783 he was in Parma, in 1793 in Verona and in 1797 in Padua, where he taught at the seminary as an instructor in civil architecture. He was subsequently employed as public works architect and as inspector and director of the school of architecture in the university in Padua. Dismissed as a francophile by the Austrian government after the Treaty of Campoformio (1797), he went to Milan where he was appointed to the chair of architecture in 1798. In 1799 he was suspended from his post on the return of the Austrians and was reappointed on the return of the French. In his teaching, he introduced the study of Greek antiquities, as illustrated in the publications of Le Roy, James Stuart and Nicholas Revett. From ...

Article

Albertolli, (Giuseppe) Giocondo  

Giuliana Ricci

(b Bedano, July 24, 1742; d Milan, Nov 15, 1839).

Swiss architect, decorator and teacher. He was educated in Aosta and was then sent by his father to Parma to stay with his uncle, a stuccoist. He finished his training in the local Accademia di Belle Arti where he was awarded prizes in 1766 and 1768. He worked first in Parma, executing decorations in S Brigida (1765), decorations from a design by Ennemond-Alexandre Petitot for a triumphal arch (1768, destr. 1859) for the wedding celebrations of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, and Maria Amalia of Austria and ceiling decorations in the palace of the Duca di Grillo (begun 1769). From 1770 to 1775 Giocondo carried out the stuccowork in the Gran Salone of the villa of Poggio Imperiale, outside Florence, for Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany. French designs were sent from Vienna, and the resulting room, later painted white, recalls the Petit Trianon, Versailles, though the scale is very large, with a Corinthian order of pilasters along the walls. These serve to mark off the garlands, trophies and low reliefs in frames that are applied in decoration. During his time in Florence he became familiar with Tuscan stuccowork of the 15th and 16th centuries, which was fundamental for his future career. Giocondo’s personal style was also influenced by a visit he made to Rome, Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum. On that occasion he executed models of Corinthian capitals for the church of the Annunciation in Naples for the architect ...

Article

Bandinelli, Baccio  

Charles Avery

[Brandini, Bartolomeo]

(b Gaiole in Chianti, Oct 17, 1493; d Florence, Feb 7, 1560).

Italian sculptor, painter and draughtsman. He was the son of Michelagnolo di Viviano (1459–1528), a prominent Florentine goldsmith who was in the good graces of the Medici and who taught Cellini and Raffaello da Montelupo. Baccio remained loyal to the Medici, despite their being in exile from 1494 to 1513, and this led to a flow of commissions after the elections to the papacy of Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici) in 1513 and of Clement VII (Giulio de’ Medici) a decade later; after Cosimo de’ Medici became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1537, these increased still further. This political stance made him unpopular with most Florentines, including Michelangelo, who were Republican at heart, and this lay at the root of much of the adverse criticism—not always justified—that greeted Bandinelli’s statues.

Baccio seems to have had an ambitious and impatient temperament, which led to frequent changes of master and of direction when he was learning his art. Until ...

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Bauhaus in America  

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

After the closure in 1933 of the Bauhaus in Berlin, its staff and students dispersed. Many found their way to the USA, where they became highly influential teachers as well as artists and architects. The pedagogical methods developed at the school, particularly in the preliminary course, became commonplace in all levels of art education, as the former centrality in America of life drawing to instruction in the visual arts was now challenged by experimentation with abstract principles of composition and the qualities of individual materials.

Josef and Anni Albers family were the first Bauhäusler to immigrate to the USA. They arrived in 1933 and quickly took up positions at Black Mountain College, NC. In 1950 Josef became chair of the department of design at Yale University, New Haven, CT, from which he retired in 1958. His increasingly rigorous investigations into geometry and colour culminated in a series of paintings entitled ...

Article

Beaux-Arts Institute of Design  

Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

American organization dedicated to improving the quality of architectural education. Incorporated in 1916 by the architect Lloyd Warren (1867–1922), the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design (BAID) was an outgrowth of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects (SBAA; 1894–1942) established by his brother Whitney Warren (1864–1943) with Thomas Hastings and Ernest Flagg who had all studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and were nationally recognized American architects. BAID was dedicated to the improvement of architectural education by providing a centralized location for the distribution and judging of design problems. Architecture schools and private ateliers located throughout the United States developed projects based on the programs created by BAID. The student work was then sent to the headquarters in New York to be judged. An award system of medals and mentions cited the work considered most deserving by the jury of distinguished architects. The award winning projects published in ...

Article

Behrens, Peter  

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Hamburg, April 14, 1868; d Berlin, Feb 27, 1940).

German architect, designer and painter. Progressing from painting and graphics to product design and architecture, Behrens achieved his greatest successes with his work for the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), in which he reconciled the Prussian Classicist tradition with the demands of industrial fabrication.

After attending the Realgymnasium in Altona, he began his painting studies in 1886 at the Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe. From there he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Ferdinand Brütt. In December 1889 Behrens married Lilli Krämer, and the following year the couple moved to Munich, where he continued his studies with Hugo Kotschenreiter (1854–1908). Behrens was one of the founder-members of the Munich Secession (see Secession, §1) in 1893 and, shortly afterwards, a founder of the more progressive Freie Vereinigung Münchener Künstler, with Otto Eckmann, Max Slevogt, Wilhelm Trübner and Lovis Corinth. He also joined the circle associated with the magazine Pan, which included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Meier-Graefe, Franz Blei, Richard Dehmel and Otto Eckmann....

Article

Bergler, Josef, the younger  

Roman Prahl

(b Salzburg, May 1, 1753; d Prague, June 25, 1829).

Austrian painter, printmaker, draughtsman, illustrator and teacher, active in Bohemia. He was taught by his father, the sculptor and painter Josef Bergler the elder (1718–88), and, during his stay in Italy, by Martin Knoller in Milan and Anton von Maron in Rome. An accomplished portrait painter, he was employed as official painter by bishops and cardinals at Passau and painted a number of altarpieces in Austria and especially in Bohemia. He helped establish the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (1800), which placed a new emphasis on draughtsmanship, composition and Classical subjects and models. As the first Director of the Academy, Bergler won new academic prestige for art in Bohemia and, for himself, a privileged position in obtaining commissions such as the Curtain at the Estates Theatre (sketches, 1803–4; Prague, N.G., Convent of St Agnes). He also published albums of engravings intended as models (Compositions and Sketches...

Article

Beyer, Christian Friedrich Wilhelm  

Ingrid Sattel Bernardini

(b Gotha, Dec 27, 1725; d Vienna, March 23, 1806).

German sculptor, painter and architect. He was the son of a court gardener who worked first in Gotha and then in Württemberg. He was originally intended to become an architect; in 1747 Duke Charles-Eugene of Württemberg sent him to train in Paris where, under the influence of painters such as Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher, he turned to painting. The eight-year period of study in Rome that followed prompted Beyer to devote himself to sculpture, as he was impressed by antique works of sculpture and was also influenced by his close contacts with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and his circle. He also served an apprenticeship with Filippo della Valle, one of the main representatives of the Neo-classical tendency in sculpture. In 1759 Beyer returned to Germany, to take part in the decoration of Charles-Eugene’s Neues Schloss in Stuttgart.

In Stuttgart Beyer made an important contribution to the founding and improvement of facilities for the training of artists, notably at the Akademie, and to manufacture in the field of arts and crafts, particularly at the ...

Article

Black Mountain College  

Mary Emma Harris

Experimental liberal arts college at Black Mountain, NC, open from 1933 to 1957. In the 1940s and early 1950s Black Mountain College was a centre for a group of painters, architects, musicians and poets associated particularly with the development of abstract art and performance and multimedia work, crossing many disciplines. It was founded by John Andrew Rice (1888–1968) and a group of students and faculty from Rollins College, Winter Park, FL. It was located in the Blue Ridge Assembly Buildings, c. 29 km east of Asheville, NC, until 1941, when it moved to nearby Lake Eden until its closure. The progressive ideas of John Dewey influenced the integration of formal education with community life, the absence of conventional grades and credits and the central importance accorded to the arts. The college was owned and administered by the faculty. The setting was modest, and fewer than 1200 students attended in 24 years....

Article

Blondel, (Nicolas-)François  

Christopher Tadgell

(b Ribemont, Somme, 1628; d Paris, Jan 21, 1686).

French engineer, architect, teacher and writer. He was born to a newly ennobled member of the household of the queen-mother, Marie de’ Medici. He joined the army and became a military engineer, attaining the rank of Maréchal de Camp by 1652. In that year he was seconded by one of the secretaries of state for foreign affairs, the Comte de Brienne, to accompany his son on a comprehensive Grand Tour of Europe. On his return in 1655 Blondel was equipped with an unrivalled range of first-hand experience that recommended him for a diplomatic career, although the following year he was appointed Professor of Mathematics at the Collège de France. Diplomatic missions took him to Prussia, Sweden and Turkey and, while waiting on the Sultan, he visited Greece and Egypt. He was ambassador to Denmark in 1659–63. Thereafter he rejoined the armed services and was assigned to the navy as an engineer responsible for port and coastal defences in Normandy and Brittany, most notably transforming Saintes and constructing the new port and arsenal of Rochefort....

Article

Blondel, Jacques-François  

Dana Arnold

(b Rouen, Jan 8, 1705; d Paris, Jan 9, 1774).

French architect, theorist, teacher and writer, nephew of Jean-François Blondel. Although he was also a practicing architect (see §2 below), Jacques-François Blondel made a considerable contribution to the development of architectural theory in France in the latter part of the 18th century and was arguably the most outstanding teacher of architecture of the period.

He received his early training in architecture from his uncle and continued his studies under Gilles-Marie Oppenord, from whom he acquired a knowledge of the Rococo. His earliest published writings were his contributions to Jean Mariette’s practical manual L’Architecture française (Paris, 1727–38). His earliest independent publication, De la distribution des maisons de plaisance et de la décoration des édifices en général (1737–8), is essentially a compendium of the early phases of the Rococo, addressing the question of style and including the work of Robert de Cotte and Jean-François Blondel.

In 1742 Blondel received permission from the Académie d’Architecture in Paris to open his own private school, the ...

Article

Blythe, S(ydney) W(allace) T(homas)  

Richard Blythe

(b London, Nov 13, 1905; d Hobart, Jan 1, 1985).

Australian architect of English birth. In 1918 Blythe obtained a scholarship to attend the London County Council School of Building (later known as the Brixton School of Building). Blythe’s family moved to Tasmania in 1921, where he continued his architectural training at the Hobart Technical College (HTC) while articled to local architect William Rudolph Waldemar Koch. Between 1925 and 1930 Blythe worked for the Electrolytic Zinc Company and the Public Works Department (PWD), Tasmania. In 1927 Blythe received an honourable mention for his Beaux-Arts inspired entry in the Australian Canberra War Memorial Competition.

Towards the end of 1930 Blythe returned to London. In 1933 he was awarded second place in the Building Centre Cottage Competition and in 1934 he returned to Tasmania to a position with the PWD. Between 1935 and 1949 Blythe designed all the principal PWD buildings in Tasmania. Of particular note are the many schools that Blythe designed, including the Ogilvie High School (...

Article

Boito, Camillo  

Giuliana Ricci and Amedeo Bellini

(b Rome, Oct 30, 1836; d Milan, June 28, 1914).

Italian architect, teacher, restorer and writer. Boito was an important figure in many ways in the cultural life of Italy, and especially Milan, in the second half of the 19th century. He not only taught at the Accademia di Brera and the Istituto Tecnico Superiore for nearly 50 years but also took part in competitions (both as competitor and adjudicator), wrote articles on architecture and restoration for newspapers and periodicals, as well as numerous reports for private individuals and the government, and was active in numerous professional associations. He also served on numerous commissions, particularly after his appointment as Director of the Accademia di Brera in 1897.

Giuliana Ricci

Boito entered the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice in 1850 and won a prize there in 1852. In 1854 he entered the Studio Matematico at the Università degli Studi in Padua, and in 1855 he qualified as a professional architect. In ...

Article

Brown, Vernon  

Ian J. Lochhead

[Akitt]

(b London, March 23, 1905; d Auckland, Jan 28, 1965).

New Zealand architect of English birth. He was educated at Highgate School, London, and arrived in New Zealand in 1927. After working for several architectural firms in Auckland, he began his own practice in 1937. From 1945 he taught at the School of Architecture, University of Auckland. During the 1940s and 1950s he designed a series of simple, austere timber-frame houses clad in dark-stained weatherboards with low-pitched roofs, for example Redwood House (1943), Orakei, and Melville House (1947), Epsom. The plans of these houses were economical and rigorously organized, while construction techniques and details were those commonly available. Brown was one of the first New Zealand architects to discover in the principles of the Modern Movement the key to an authentic architectural idiom for his own time and place. Through his example as a practising architect and as a teacher, he exerted a strong influence on a generation of post-World War II New Zealand architects, encouraging them to find their own identity rather than relying on imported concepts and styles....

Article

Butler, Howard Crosby  

Lawrence E. Butler

(b Croton Falls, NY, March 7, 1872; d Paris, Aug 13, 1922).

American archaeologist and teacher. After receiving his MA in 1893 from Princeton University with a fellowship in archaeology, Butler studied architecture at Columbia University. From 1895 until his death he held various appointments at Princeton in architecture, archaeology, and art: his teaching of architecture as one of the fine arts led to the creation of the Princeton School of Architecture, of which he became the founding director in 1922. He was one of the most influential American archaeologists of his time, owing to his discoveries in Syria and at Sardis. His work in Syria was inspired by Melchior de Vogüé’s explorations there in the 1860s. Butler organized and led an American expedition in 1899 with the intention of verifying, photographing, and adding to the list of de Vogüé’s sites. His work in Syria continued until 1909 and resulted in several important publications on the early Christian architecture. In 1910 he began excavating at Sardis, uncovering the Artemis Temple and a number of important Lydian objects, until ...

Article

Cerato, Domenico  

Giuliana Mazzi

(b Mason, nr Vicenza, ?4 ?Aug 1715; d Padua, May 30, 1792).

Italian theorist and architect. He was adopted by his probable natural father, Conte Francesco Cerato Loschi, who had him educated by the Jesuits in Vicenza and from 1733 at the Padua Seminario. Although destined for a career in the church, he established a school (1748) open to young skilled workers of all social classes to teach them the fundamental rudiments of architecture within ten months. His teaching method was based on the ‘intrinsic rules of building’. At the same time his own career as an architect seems to have been devoted to minor alterations in layout and restorations in which he employed architectural solutions influenced by Palladio. He altered a doorway of the Palazzo Civena Trissino, Vicenza, and carried out alterations to the Seminario Vecchio, the church and convent of the Jesuits and the convent of S Felice, all in Vicenza. In the region of Vicenza he worked at the Villa Appollani (now Zordan), Altavilla Vicentino, and at the Villa Piovene (now da Schio), at Castelgomberto, among others....