BECAUSE Frederic George Stephens (Fig. 12) was one of the seven founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, we frequently encounter his name in general surveys of the movement, but he is invariably discussed only long enough to establish his Pre-Raphaelite pedigree, or to be identified as the model for the central figures in John Everett Millais's Ferdinand lured by Ariel (1849) and Ford Madox Brown's Jesus washing Peter's feet (1852-56).
IN his essay of 1870 on the Sevres porcelain from the collection of Madame du Barry, Charles Davillier observed of the porcelaine à émaux that 'you can still find at the Sevres factory the steel dies (matrices) once used to stamp out the decorative patterns in gold leaf which were then applied to the porcelain'. This claim was repeated by Henry Havard and Marius Vachon in 1889, but without any additional comment as to the precise number of dies. Last year I was asked by several researchers, all of them encouraged by these published statements, if the dies concerned were still to be found at Sèvres. My first reaction was to answer that I had never heard any mention of them there; but, just to reassure myself, I made a point of going round all the workshops in search of them. I found nothing, and thought it safe to conclude that the dies had disappeared.
WILLIAM Burges (1827-1881) , lately the subject of an exhibition and a monograph, is recognised as one of the leading High Victorian architect-designers. The discovery of a previously unknown sideboard designed by Burges, a recent donation to The Detroit Institute of Arts, contributes significantly to the study of his inimitable Gothic Revival furniture. The proper identification of this sideboard necessitates an examination of early Burges furniture and the re-interpretation of the documentation previously associated with other published Burges pieces.
IT has recently been pointed out, in the pages of this Magazine, that one of the monochrome figures painted by Correggio on the sottarchi of the dome of S. Giovanni Evangelista in Parma represents Jesse, not Aaron. The subject of this note is another, arguably less forgivable, case of mistaken identity in a Correggio cupola. As was correctly stated by Vasari, the principal figure in the south-west squinch of his Parma Cathedral fresco, now invariably called St Thomas, is in fact St Joseph (Fig.29).
NICOLAS de Largillierre (1656-1746) is best remembered today as a painter of elegant portraits of the financiers, aldermen and noblesse de la robe of Louis XIV's and Louis XV's Paris. How-ever, the early part of his career was spent in England, where he emigrated after matriculating in the Antwerp painters' guild in 1673/74. He stayed about five years on this occasion, returning briefly in 1686. Unfortunately, only one securely attributable portrait painted in England was thought to have survived: the unfinished sketch of 1686 for a portrait of James II in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
A silver gilt épergne has come to light (Fig.33) which was designed by James Wyatt and made by the hardware manufacturers. Matthew Boulton and John Fothergill at their Soho Manufactory near Birmingham.2 The épergne was supplied to Sir Robert Rich in 1776.
HENRY Fuseli has been described by Gert Schiff as a classicist in spite of himself. This description seems especially fitting when one considers Fuseli's painting of the Nightmare painted in 1781 and exhibited in 1782 (Fig.37). In an essay, to which this note is greatly indebted, the painting was discussed at length by Nicolas Powell, who showed that the Nightmare was 'more typical of its period and less in advance of it than might be supposed. Still, it is perhaps surprising to find that such a seemingly original work of art is in fact rooted in the classical tradition and, as will be proposed here, in a way more strongly than hitherto perceived.