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Article

Alchemy  

Laurinda Dixon

Ancient science from which modern chemistry evolved. Based on the concept of transmutation—the changing of substances at the elemental level—it was both a mechanical art and an exalted philosophy. Practitioners attempted to combine substances containing the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) in perfect balance, ultimately perfecting them into a fifth, the quintessence (also known as the philosopher’s stone) via the chemical process of distillation. The ultimate result was a substance, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, or ‘elixir of life’, believed capable of perfecting, or healing, all material things. Chemists imitated the Christian life cycle in their operations, allegorically marrying their ingredients, multiplying them, and destroying them so that they could then be cleansed and ‘resurrected’. They viewed their work as a means of attaining salvation and as a solemn Christian duty. As such, spiritual alchemy was sanctioned, legitimized, and patronized by the Church. Its mundane laboratory procedures were also supported by secular rulers for material gain. Metallurgists employed chemical apparatus in their attempts to transmute base metals into gold, whereas physicians and apothecaries sought ultimately to distill a cure-all elixir of life. The manifold possibilities inherent in such an outcome caused Papal and secular authorities to limit and control the practice of alchemy by requiring licences and punishing those who worked without authorization....

Article

Mark Jones

French medallist, engraver and illustrator. He was first apprenticed to the medallist André Lavau (d 1808) and then attended the Académie de Peinture et de Sculpture in Bordeaux. In 1786 he travelled to Paris and entered the workshop of Nicolas-Marie Gatteaux. His first great success was a large, realistic and highly detailed medal representing the ...

Article

Antico  

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Born c. 1460; died 1528, in Bózzolo.

Goldsmith, sculptor, medallist, copyist. Statues, statuettes.

Antico was from Mantua and went to Rome in 1495 and 1497. His first commission was in 1479, for a pair of medals commemorating the wedding of Gianfranceso Gonzaga to Antonia del Banzo. His first visit to Rome, in ...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

English sculptor, silversmith and illustrator. He was the son of a chaser and attended the Royal Academy Schools, London. At first he gave his attention equally to silverwork and to sculpture, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1851. An early bronze, St Michael and the Serpent...

Article

Italian, male.

Metal worker, engraver (burin).

On record as having worked on (bound or gilded) the choir books in Ferrara Cathedral.

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1920, in Paris.

Painter, lithographer, illustrator. Animals. Medals.

The son of an architect, and a gifted student of chemical engineering, Jacques Birr discovered painting at a very young age. As a Bachelor of Science, he pursued a career in the printed fabrics sector of industry. In ...

Article

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 25 November 1868, in Bordeaux; died 27 June 1947, in Paris.

Sculptor, illustrator. Statues, busts, medals.

Having chosen an artistic career, Léon Blanchot left university to train as a sculptor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, then went to Paris and settled there. He regularly took part in the Salon des Artistes Français, and became a member of this society. His main works are ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 4 January 1887, in London; died 1941.

Painter, illustrator, metal worker, textile designer. Landscapes.

Gregory Brown designed posters for railway companies, the Empire Marketing Board and for the Underground Group from 1914 to 1940. He won a gold medal for textile design at the ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

American clockmaker and silversmith. After an apprenticeship in Norwich, CT, he established a business in East Windsor, CT. He made fine longcase clocks with brass works and faces of engraved silver. His day-books and ledgers survive, and show that he made and sold only 49 clocks in the course of 20 years....

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 14 August 1888, in London; died 14 February 1929, in London.

Painter, medallist, illustrator. Portraits, landscapes.

London Group.

Sydney Carline was the son of George Carline and brother of Richard and Hilda Carline. He studied from 1907 to 1910 at the Slade School of Art in London and then in Paris. During World War I he served the Royal Flying Corps with his brother Richard and was posted to Italy, the Western Front and in the Middle East. He was appointed official war artist with the R.A.F. in ...

Article

Tadeusz Chrzanowski

Polish goldsmith, engraver and writer. He produced engraved frontispieces for J. Liberius’s book The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Sea Star (1670) and his own work St Elegius’s Life … (1687). He is noted in the guild records from 1689. Few of his silver pieces have been identified, as he did not use name marks. The impressive monstrance in St Mary’s church in Kraków is attributed to him. Works that are certainly by him include the ‘robes’ on the painting of the ...

Article

Annarosa Garzelli

Italian illuminator and goldsmith. The creator of some of the liveliest miniatures of the 15th century, his manuscripts are rich in stylistic innovation and thematic invention, sometimes elaborated in a very limited space. He worked for the most important patrons in Italy and abroad, beginning his artistic career under Cosimo il Vecchio and Piero I de’ Medici, and continuing it under Lorenzo the Magnificent. Vespasiano da Bisticci was his contact with patrons outside Florence, who included Federigo II da Montefeltro, Ferdinand I, King of Naples, Louis XI of France and Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary. Francesco decorated texts of all kinds—literary, historical, scientific, religious—and of all sizes, from small Books of Hours to huge choir-books. Amid this variety of subjects his studies of the human figure and his introduction of portraits was innovative; he also established his own approach to landscape, with results similar to those of Antonio Pollaiuolo. His inventions, however, were reserved for privately commissioned books of small size. He created a new kind of ...

Article

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1867, in Annecy; died after 1926.

Painter, watercolourist, engraver, medallist, illustrator, art writer. Portraits, scenes with figures.

André Charles Coppier exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Artistes Français and at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, of which he was a member. He was awarded silver at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in ...

Article

Czech, 20th century, male.

Active from 1912 in France; naturalised from 1926.

Born 22 October 1883, in Boskovice; died 17 October 1969, in Marseilles, France.

Painter, engraver (etching), illustrator, sculptor. Figures, nudes, landscapes with figures, still-lifes (flowers). Busts, low reliefs, medals.

Osma Group (The Eight)...

Article

Mark Jones

French family of medallists. Philippe Danfrie the elder (b 1531–5; d Paris, 1606) went to Paris in the 1550s and set up as an engraver of letter punches. He produced a number of books in partnership with Richard Breton in 1558–60 and later with ...

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 28 February 1865, in Munich; died 1954.

Painter, illustrator, engraver, medallist. Religious subjects, mythological subjects.

After doing an apprenticeship with an engraver Maximilian Dasio entered the Munich academy in 1884, where he studied under Heterich and W. von Diez. Following the success of his sets for the Deutsches Theater, he obtained a scholarship which enabled him to stay in Rome. On his return to Munich he became a teacher at the Damenakademie from ...

Article

Philip Attwood

German painter, medallist, designer and illustrator. He trained as a painter in the Munich Akademie from 1884, and initially won fame in this art with large decorative schemes on mythological or religious themes (e.g. Bacchanal, c. 1888; Munich, Villa Schülein) and portraits painted in a broad, realistic manner (e.g. ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1 May 1916, in Hanoi, Vietnam; died 1988.

Painter, engraver (wood/copper), illustrator. Murals, designs for mosaics, stage costumes and sets, posters, comic strips, decorative designs, medals, postage stamps.

After studying at the school of fine arts in Hanoi in 1935...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 7 March 1912, in St-Étienne; died 5 December 1995, in Paris.

Painter, watercolourist, engraver, lithographer, illustrator, medallist. Wall decorations, designs for tapestries, designs for mosaics, designs for stained glass, frescoes, ceramics.

Jacques Despierre entered the studio of Lucien Simon at the École Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts in Paris in ...

Article

French, 20th century, female.

Born 8 May 1939, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, draughtswoman, medallist, illustrator. Animals.

Marie-Joseph Devaux is a graduate of the École des Arts Décoratifs, the École Estienne, the École du Louvre and the École des Hautes Études, and is proficient in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Egyptian hieroglyphics. She has taught at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, worked in the Egyptian antiquities department and the Oriental department of the Louvre, and given courses at the École Estienne. She has been a teacher of the fine arts in secondary education since ...