Saturday, July 03, 2010

Robert Adam & John Singleton Copley


July 3, 1728 – Robert Adam, Scottish neoclassical architect, interior designer and furniture designer, was born in Kircaldy. "Robert Adam was the son of William Adam, Scotland's foremost architect of the time, and trained under him. With his older brother John, Robert took on the family business, which included lucrative work for the Board of Ordnance, after William's death. In 1754 he left for Rome, spending nearly five years on the continent studying architecture under Charles-Louis Clérisseau and Giovanni Battista Piranesi. On his return to Britain he established a practice in London, where he was joined by his younger brother James. Here he developed the "Adam Style", and his theory of "movement" in architecture, based on his studies of antiquity and became one of the most successful and fashionable architects in the country. Adam held the post of Architect of the Kings Works from 1761 to 1769. Robert Adam was leader of the first phase of the classical revival in England and Scotland from around 1760 until his death. He influenced the development of Western architecture, both in Europe and in North America. Adam was not content with providing houses for his clients but very ready to design the fittings and accessories as well."

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July 3, 1738 – Colonial portraitist John Singleton Copley was born. "John Singleton Copley (1738[1] – 1815) was an American painter, born presumably in Boston, Massachusetts and a son of Richard and Mary Singleton Copley, both Irish. He is famous for his portrait paintings of important figures in colonial New England, depicting in particular middle-class subjects. His paintings were innovative in their tendency to depict artifacts relating to these individuals' lives. According to art historian Paul Staiti, Copley was the greatest and most influential painter in colonial America, producing about 350 works of art. With his startling likenesses of persons and things, he came to define a realist art tradition in America. His visual legacy extended throughout the nineteenth century in the American taste for the work of artists as diverse as Fitz Henry Lane and William Harnett. In Britain, while he continued to paint portraits for the élite, his great achievement was the development of contemporary history painting, which was a combination of reportage, idealism, and theatre. He was also one of the pioneers of the private exhibition, orchestrating shows and marketing prints of his own work to mass audiences that might otherwise attend exhibitions only at the Royal Academy, or who previously had not gone to exhibitions at all. Boston's Copley Square, Copley Square Hotel and Copley Plaza bear his name."

Copley's portrait of silversmith Paul Revere

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