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Baillet de Saint-Julien, Louis-Guillaume, Baron  

E. D. Lilley

(fl 1748–73).

French critic and poet . He was one of the earliest Salon critics, publishing between 1748 and 1757 his commentaries on the exhibitions of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture—often anonymously, because of harsh censorship. An abiding principle in his sometimes contradictory stance is that artists should base their work on nature rather than slavishly following Classical antiquity or the Old Masters: in this he sided with his immediate precursor, the Abbé Jean-Bernard Le Blanc, against the founder of French art criticism, Etienne La Font de Saint-Yenne. He believed that critics should develop an understanding of artists’ techniques and problems, here anticipating Denis Diderot and parting company with Le Blanc. He devoted as much attention to developing a critical methodology, often by attacking fellow critics, as to analysing works of art on exhibition; in this he was typical of his time. He particularly admired Jean-Siméon Chardin, Maurice-Quentin de Latour, Claude-Joseph Vernet and Jean-Baptiste Oudry, none of them an exponent of history painting, the genre that stood highest in the traditional academic hierarchy. He became increasingly ready to criticize adversely, but his comments on individual works tend to be banal, whether he is praising or blaming. He praised the efforts of the Direction des Bâtiments du Roi (the French government’s arts administration) to promote the visual arts through regular exhibitions and generous commissions, and he exhorted wealthy individuals similarly to provide worthwhile work for artists....

Article

Campbell, Colen  

T. P. Connor

(b 1676; d London, ?Sept 13, 1729).

Scottish architect and writer. He was the key propagandist for the Palladian revival in early 18th-century England (see Palladianism). First as an architectural publisher and then as an architect, he did as much as any contemporary to determine the lines of development of secular architecture for a generation.

Campbell was a nephew of Sir Hugh Campbell of Cawdor, Nairnshire, and his first career was as an advocate in Edinburgh, where he began to establish a reputation at the outset of the 18th century. Between c. 1708 and 1712 Campbell abandoned his legal practice to begin a career as an architect in London. By December 1708 he was in London hoping to become Master of the [Royal] Works in Scotland. This post, then unpaid, was currently held by James Smith, an architect by whom Campbell was to be significantly influenced. It is known that Campbell had been abroad before ...

Article

Murr, Christoph Gottlieb von  

Angela Lohrey

(b Nuremberg, Aug 6, 1733; d Nuremberg, April 8, 1811).

German publisher, writer and art historian. After obtaining a doctorate in law from the University of Altdorf, he travelled (1756–7) to Strasbourg, the Netherlands and England, where he met well-known figures in science, art and politics. In 1758 he set off again from Nuremberg to Vienna and northern Italy. Besides his employment as a Nuremberg weighmaster and customs official from 1760, Murr wrote about German art history and culture. He also published various magazines such as the weekly Der Zufriedene (Nuremberg, 1763–4), the Journal zur Kunstgeschichte und zur allgemeine Litteratur (Nuremberg, 1775–89) and the Neues Journal zur Literatur und Kunstgeschichte (Nuremberg, 1798–9). Stimulated by his wide-ranging correspondence with leading figures within and outside Europe, these contained many articles on the art history and culture of other countries. His work also encompassed linguistic surveys, political and historical subjects and writings about the Jesuit order. He was the author of 82 titles, though his own literary experiments remained insignificant. Murr became a member of the Königliches Historisches Institut, Göttingen, in ...

Article

Ploos van Amstel, Cornelis  

P. Knolle

(b Weesp, Jan 4, 1726; d Amsterdam, Dec 20, 1798).

Dutch timber merchant, collector, printmaker, print publisher, draughtsman and art theorist. He was one of the most important Dutch dilettanti of the 18th century. His interest in art began at an early age, and from the age of 12 he was taught drawing by Norbert van Bloemen (1670–1746). Two years later he began to learn the timber trade with Johannes Bontekoning, in whose firm, Bontekoning and Aukes, he became a partner in 1756. Ploos’s first mezzotint dates from that year. He made drawings throughout his life, in a technically skilled rather than original style, and designed book illustrations. In 1758 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Cornelis Troost.

In the meantime Ploos van Amstel assembled a fabulous collection of drawings (he possessed over 7000 when he died), prints (including many topographical prints of Amsterdam), paintings, sculptures, enamels, medals, coins, scientific instruments and optical tools, and manuscripts and printed books. His special interest in drawings, particularly those by Dutch artists from the 17th and 18th centuries, is reflected in his ...