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Bernard Aikema

[Giannantonio]

(b Venice, April 29, 1675; d Venice, Nov 5, 1741).

Italian painter. With Sebastiano Ricci and Jacopo Amigoni he was the most important Venetian history painter of the early 18th century. By uniting the High Renaissance style of Paolo Veronese with the Baroque of Pietro da Cortona and Luca Giordano, he created graceful decorations that were particularly successful with the aristocracy of central and northern Europe. He travelled widely, working in Austria, England, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

His father, a glover, came from Padua. At an early age Pellegrini was apprenticed to the Milanese Paolo Pagani (1661–1716), with whom he travelled to Moravia and Vienna in 1690. In 1696 Pellegrini was back in Venice, where he painted his first surviving work, a fresco cycle in the Palazzetto Corner on Murano, with scenes from the life of Alexander the Great and allegorical themes on the ceiling. Here his figure style is clearly derived from Pagani, but the effects of light and the free handling suggest the art of Giordano or even Cortona, whose work Pellegrini could not then have known. By contrast, brushwork in a series of paintings of the ...

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Roger White

(b Woodford, Essex, 1714; d London, Sept 27, 1788).

English architect and sculptor. His father Robert (1690–1742), a master mason and monumental sculptor with a successful business in and around the City of London, apprenticed him at the age of 18 to the sculptor Henry Cheere. On completion of the apprenticeship he was given ‘just money enough to travel on a plan of frugal study to Rome’, but his studies there were cut short by news of his father’s death. On his return home he found the family finances in disarray; nevertheless he took over his father’s yard and soon prospered, even though it was some time before the debts were paid off. His own reputation as a sculptor was sufficiently advanced by 1744 for Parliament to commission from him a monument to Capt. James Cornewall in Westminster Abbey, London. In the same year he won the commission for the carved pediment of the Mansion House, London (a building on which his ...

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William Garner

(fl 1752–61; d Dublin, 1790).

Irish stuccoist. He is a typical example of the many plasterers working in Dublin during the mid-18th century whose work remains largely unidentified. In 1752 he was described as a plasterer when admitted as a freeman of the City of Dublin. In 1756 he was paid £534 for ‘plaistering and stucco’ in the city’s Rotunda Hospital, where it is thought he decorated the staircase ceiling. In 1761 he worked at 9 Cavendish Row and at 4 and 5 Parnell Square, three houses built by Bartholomew Mosse (1712–59), Master Builder of the Rotunda.

West is variously described in legal documents as plasterer, Master Builder and merchant, and it is known that he developed property in Lower Dominick Street, Granby Row, Great Denmark Street and City Quay. He built 20 Lower Dominick Street before 1758, and the ceilings there can be attributed to him. Various motifs in the hall—serrated acanthus in high relief and birds holding flowers—are also to be found in the staircase hall of 56 St Stephen’s Green. This latter work is crowded and crudely modelled, though the ceiling of Lower Dominick Street’s hall is one of the most daringly conceived and freely modelled Rococo ceilings in Dublin. Here, trophies of musical instruments, caryatids and birds standing on pedestals are close in treatment to those in the Rotunda Chapel. At Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh, the dining-room ceiling is similar to that in the back drawing-room of 9 Cavendish Row, with its flat acanthus set within robust rectangular mouldings. Although West is popularly associated with the bird motifs found in Dublin Rococo plasterwork, few are actually to be found in the houses where he is known to have worked. Nothing by West can be dated later than ...