Giovanni Battista Cipriani (Florence, 1727 – London, 1785): Production, Reproduction, and Reputation.
Last May, an audience of some 400 million worldwide watched the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. An undisputed star of the event was the Gold State Coach whose painted panels are the work of an Italian artist who moved to London in 1755 and was to spend the rest of his life in England: Giovanni Battista Cipriani.
As it is still considered the greatest collective work of 18th century England, this royal carriage will be the perfect vehicle to introduce Cipriani’s working relationships and discuss the various forms through which the artist’s talent found expression.
Although Cipriani’s reputation has undeniably dimmed during the last century, in this talk Antonella Guarracino, independent art historian, in conversation with Adrian Le Harivel, Curator of British Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, will make a persuasive case for remembering the Florentine artist’s contribution to the development of the visual arts in England and Ireland.
Giovanni Battista Cipriani
Painter, draughtsman and educator, Giovanni Battista Cipriani (Florence, 1727 – London, 1785) is considered the first exponent in England of the style that is now called ‘Neoclassical’. In London, where he moved in 1755 and lived for the rest of his life, the Florentine artist became well established owing to his familiarity with the Old Masters and the Antique and working at the crossroads of decorative and fine arts.
Cipriani’s classical designs, considered to perfectly compliment the restrained architecture of William Chambers and Robert Adam, became particularly associated with the interiors created by the two British architects.
One of the most prolific draughtsmen of his generation, Cipriani made drawings for medallions, concert tickets, illuminated tableaux, and theatre sets. A founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768, Cipriani designed the first diploma of the Royal Academy Schools. The diploma was engraved, like so many of his designs, by his fellow Italian Francesco Bartolozzi.
Antonella Guarracino graduated from Università degli Studi di Firenze with an MA in History of Art and started her career as Educational Specialist for the Florentine State Museums. After acquiring from LUISS Business School a professional qualification in Media Communication for the art sector, she has been involved in the design of educational materials and the organisation of public programmes of engagement and learning in Rome and Dublin.
She is currently working as an independent art historian and online course designer.
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