Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

House-painter and decorator, of Dublin. John-Baptist Cuvillie (or Couvillé) was presumably the son or other close relative of the the Dublin organ builder of the same name who supplied an organ by Renatus Harris of London for Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, in 1698.(1) Strickland gives the following account of his life in a note to the entry on John Vandermere in A Dictionary of Irish Artists:(2) 'Jean Baptist Cuvillie was admitted to the freedom of the Corporation of Painter-Stainers in 1726 on the termination of his apprenticeship to John Robinson; he was Warden of the corporation in 1750 and Master in 1777. He died on 16 September 1788. He was a connoisseur and collector and…invented a composition for chimney-pieces, tables, etc. The catalogue of his sale says: "Mr Cuvillie spent many years in bringing these imitations of the most rare marbles to perfection; they are in general equal to nature in durability and polish, and will be found very well worth the notice of gentlemen in the building line."' Strickland is presumably referring to the sale of Cuvillie's composition chimney-pieces after his death, which was advertised in Faulkner's Dublin Journal for 20-23 September 1788. In 1762 Cuvillie purchased from Dublin Corporation a lot of land in the Astons' Quay/Fleet Street area for £40.10s.(3)

John-Baptist Cuvillie was probably the father of James Cuvillie (d. 1763?)(4), who married Elizabeth Wotton, in the parish of St Peter's and St Kevin, Dublin, on 10 February 1737,and was the father of another John-Baptist (b. 1738), as well as James (b. 1739), Samuel (b. 1747) and Louise (b.1749).(5)

Address: 22 Charlemont Street at time of death.


(1) http://www.cccdub.ie/friends/news/2004/2-summer/11-organs-past-&-present.html (2008). He supplied another organ by Renatus Harris for St Finbarr's cathedral in Cork in 1710 and is mentioned in the Kilkenny Chapter Acts on 24 May 1704 and 1 Aug 1712 in connection with the organ at Kilkenny cathedral (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44). He also made the organ case in St Michan's C of I church *Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 240).
(2) W.G. Strickland, A Dictionary of Irish Artists (1913), II, 478.
(3) CARD XI, 101.
(4) The funeral of a James Cuvillie took place on 27 May 1763, but this could also refer to his son James.   A James Cuvillie was a subscriber to Thomas Malton's, The Seats and Demesnes of the nobility and gentry of Ireland (Dublin, 1783-1794).
(5) Information from www.familyseach.org .

1 work entries listed in chronological order for CUVILLIE, JOHN-BAPTIST *

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Date: 1783
Nature:  JBC supplies specimens of 5 different types of scagliola ('Porphyry – Brocketelli – Sciena [–] Verd Antique, and Jasper') to Michael Shanahan as possible finishes for the interior decoration of the Mussenden Temple; 'if the Columns or pilasters within the Temple were finish in like any of the above Specimens it would be one of the finest things in England or Ireland'.
Refs:  Letter from Michael Shanahan to Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry, 2 May 1783 (PRONI D2798/2/24) (reference from Peter Fox, Jun 2020)