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Article

[Mihr ‛Alī]

(fl c. 1795–1830).

Persian painter. He produced at least ten full-size oil paintings of the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834). One of the earliest (1797–8; Calcutta, Victoria Mem. Hall), a portrait of him kneeling on a carpet, was probably sent as a present to the amirs of Sind in 1800. Two fine portraits (1803–4 and 1804–5) were painted for the Hall of the Marble Throne in the Gulistan Palace, Tehran, and a third, of the King enthroned (undated; Versailles, Château), was sent to Napoleon. These early portraits show Fath ‛Ali Shah with a squat neck and round face, but Mihr ‛Ali’s drawings improved in the first decade of the 19th century and later portraits show the King with more flattering proportions. These later paintings include portraits of the King standing (1809–10; St Petersburg, Hermitage), kneeling and holding a mace (1813–14; St Petersburg, Hermitage), and a third with the date obliterated (London, B. W. Robinson priv. col.). Mihr ‛Ali’s finest portrait, and perhaps the finest ...

Article

Barbara Steindl

In 

Article

[Ashraf; ‛Alī Ashraf]

(fl c. 1735–80).

Persian painter. Known for a large number of painted and varnished (‘lacquered’) bookbindings, penboxes and mirror-cases (see Islamic art, §viii, 10), ‛Ali Ashraf worked in a small floral style with a characteristic motif of pansies or African violets on a black ground. His style, notable for its richness and delicacy, is derived directly from that of his teacher Muhammad Zaman but is standardized and simplified. His debt to his teacher can be seen in his signature, az ba‛d-i mu ḥammad ‛alī ashraf ast, which can be read as either ‘‛Ali [the Prophet’s son-in-law] is the noblest after Muhammad [the Prophet]’ or ‘‛Ali Ashraf is a follower of Muhammad [Zaman]’. This is the way he signed four mirror-cases with fine bird-and-flower designs (1740–1, Edinburgh, Royal Mus. Scotlandr, 1921–43; 1747, London, V&A, 758–1876; 1751–2, New York, Brooklyn Mus., 88.92; and 1755–6, London, J. Pope-Hennessy priv. col.) and a similar but undated penbox (Berne, Hist. Mus., 21–...

Article

Michelle Lespes

[Camelot]

(b Douai, Jan 12, 1702; d Paris, March 4, 1766).

French painter and collector . His father, Jean-Baptiste Havet, a doctor of Armenian origin, died when Aved was a child. He was brought up in Amsterdam by his step-father, a captain in the Dutch Guards. At 16 he is said to have become a pedlar or ‘camelot’ (hence the nickname given to him by his French acquaintances) travelling through the Netherlands, drawing portraits at fairs. In 1721, after spending short periods in the Amsterdam studios of the French engraver Bernard Picart and of the draughtsman François Boitard (1652–1722), he left the Netherlands to work in the Paris studio of the fashionable portrait painter Alexis-Simon Belle. At this time he met other notable painters including Carle Vanloo and the portrait painters Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, Jean-Baptiste Perroneau and Jean-Etienne Liotard. He also formed a deep and lasting friendship with Jean-Siméon Chardin, with whom he may have collaborated on occasion; they used similar techniques, and he may have encouraged Chardin to turn from still-life painting to figure painting in the 1730s....

Article

[Mīrzā Bābā]

(fl c. 1795–1830).

Persian painter. Reportedly a native of Isfahan, he was employed by the Qajar family at Astarabad, as indicated by a signed drawing of a dragon and phoenix (1788–9; ex-Pozzi priv. col.). After Agha Muhammad (reg 1779–97) ascended the throne, Mirza Baba worked at the Qajar court in Tehran in a wide variety of materials, techniques and scales. His oil portrait (1789–90; Tehran, Nigaristan Mus.) of the Sasanian king Hurmuzd IV (reg ad 579–90) probably belonged to a series of historical portraits, for Mirza Baba painted a second series a decade later. One of the two surviving paintings from the later series (Tehran, A. H. Ibtihaj priv. col.) shows the Saljuq ruler Malikshah (reg 1072–92) with his two ministers. Other early works by Mirza Baba include a still-life with pomegranates, watermelon and flowers (?1793–4; Tehran, Nigaristan Mus.) and an arched panel showing Shirin Visiting Farhad as He Carves Mt Bisitun...

Article

[Muḥammad Bāqir]

(fl 1750s–1760s).

Persian painter. He is known for decorations in the margins of manuscripts, copies of European prints and 17th-century paintings, and wash drawings. His subjects range from floral sprays to nudes, such as the watercolour of a sleeping nymph (1765; Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib., cat. no. 282.VI). He contributed paintings and marginal decorations to a sumptuous album (1758–9; St Petersburg, Hermitage), probably compiled for the Afsharid court historian Mirza Mahdi Khan Astarabadi. Muhammad Baqir’s punning signature there suggests that he was a pupil of ‛Ali Ashraf. Muhammad Baqir signed one of the finest marginal paintings in a smaller but similar album (1764; dispersed; sold Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 23 June 1982) and may have been responsible for all of them, which include rose sprays and copies of Susannah and the Elders. Muhammad Baqir is sometimes said to have continued to work under the Qajar ruler Fath ‛Ali Shah (...

Article

Lebanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born in Dlebta (Kesruan); died 1826.

Painter. Religious subjects, portraits.

The uncle of Kenaan Dib, in 1777, he became Superior of the monastery of Our Lady of the Fields (Dayr Saydat al Haqlé).

In a painting in the chapel of the Convent of the Saviour, he illustrated a miracle which took place in ...

Article

Lebanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Activec.1800.

Painter. Portraits.

It is not known whether he was a priest or a layman. A known work by him is the Portrait of Bishop Mikhayil Fadel II, painted in 1819. The composition and execution of this painting are traditional and timid. The priestly garments and attributes make it decorative....

Article

J. Patrice Marandel

(b Bagnolet, nr Paris, 1706; d Malta, c. 1792).

French painter. He is not documented until 1738, when he was mentioned as a private pupil of Jean-François de Troy (ii), who was then director of the Académie de France in Rome; in 1739 he became an official student at the Académie. Among his student works is a copy (untraced) of Raphael’s Fire in the Borgo (Rome, Vatican, Stanza dell’Incendio), which was mentioned by Charles de Brosses and exhibited in Paris in 1741. In 1744, for reasons that are not clear, he left Rome for Malta, remaining there for much of the rest of his career and devoting himself primarily to portraiture and genre painting. His ambition as a history painter, however, was fulfilled to a certain extent as a result of the patronage of two Grand Masters of the Order of the Knights of Malta, Manoel Pinto da Fonseca and Emmanuel de Rohan. His first dated picture executed in Malta is a ...

Article

(b La Roque d’Anthéron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Aug 19, 1777; d Paris, Feb 23, 1841).

French museum director, painter, printmaker, writer and military officer. He studied painting in Aix-en-Provence under Jean-Antoine Constantin, alongside his lifelong friend François-Marius Granet; further teachers included Jean-Jacques de Boissieu, Jean-Louis Demarne and, from 1796, Jacques-Louis David. He first exhibited at the Salon in that year. However, during the Empire he was chiefly celebrated as a soldier, writer and lover. He became Chamberlain and consort to Napoleon’s sister, Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, and was decorated for his conduct in the Portuguese and Austrian campaigns. In 1810 Charles Barimore, the most successful of his four Orientalist novels, was a great sensation in Empire boudoirs. Forbin’s most significant contributions to the history of art came when he returned to Paris after the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814.

Following his appointment in 1816 as Director of the Royal Museums, to succeed Vivant Denon, Forbin’s first concern was to minimize the repatriation of works of art acquired by force during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. In ...

Article

Jon Whiteley

(b Montpellier, Dec 15, 1807; d Paris, Aug 8, 1893).

French painter. He was trained by Eugène Devéria and Achille Devéria and made his first appearance at the Salon, in 1836, with Luca Signorelli da Cortona (Avignon, Mus. Calvet) and Flight into Egypt (untraced), the first of a number of religious pictures painted in the 1840s in the pleasant, sentimental manner of Eugène Devéria’s religious work. The Humility of St Elizabeth of Hungary (exh. Salon, 1843; Montpellier, St Louis), Conversion of the Magdalene (1845; Nogent-sur-Seine, parish church) and Adoration of the Shepherds (1846; Quesnoy-sur-Airaine, parish church) belong to an idea of the Rococo common in the 1840s. Glaize’s interest in 18th-century French art is also evident in Blood of Venus (exh. 1846) and Picnic (both Montpellier, Mus. Fabre). This element was less obvious in the 1850s. In 1852 he exhibited a scene of the savage heroism of the Women of Gaul: Episode from the Roman Invasion (Autun, Mus. Rolin), one of the first pictures on a theme that appealed to a new interest in the history of Gaul in the Second Empire. Increasingly, he adopted subject-matter favoured by the ...

Article

Nonna S. Stepanyan

[Avnatamov; Ovnatanyan; Yovnat‘anyan]

Armenian family of artists active from the 17th to the late 19th century in manuscript illumination, church decoration, iconostasis painting, portrait painting and lithography. Naghash Hovnat‘an (1666–1721) was a poet and artist who painted churches in Erevan. In 1720–21 he decorated the cathedral at Ēdjmiadzin; decorative fragments (tempera on dry plaster) have survived, as well as a scene showing King Trdat III (reg 286–330), his wife Ashkhen and his sister Khosrovidukht at prayer. Hovnat‘an’s sons Hakop and Harut‘un (birth and death dates unknown) illuminated religious books (Erevan, Matenadaran Inst. Anc. Armen. MSS, MSS 8645, 2162, 1522), decorated churches and executed oil paintings on Gospel themes in imitation of European forms. Hakop’s son Hovnat‘an (1730s–1801/2) was court painter to Irakli II (reg 1744–98), King of Georgia. He painted a series of pictures on religious subjects, as well as portraits of prominent Armenian ecclesiastical figures. In ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Muḥammad Ja‛far]

(fl c. 1800–30).

Persian painter. He was the most prolific painter in enamels at the court of the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834), but unlike his contemporaries Baqir and ‛Ali, Muhammad Ja‛far did not attach a title to his name when he signed his work. One of his earliest works is an inkpot for a penbox (1805; sold Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 25 May 1964, lot 2) decorated with busts of a young man and a girl. His most impressive pieces are large objects made for official presentation to foreign dignitaries. He enamelled several large gold dishes that are decorated with a lion and sun in the centre panel surrounded by alternating birds and floral swags. One (1813; ex-Kazrouni priv. col.; sold London, Sotheby’s, March 1954, lot 867) was presented to Sir Gore Ouseley (1770–1844), the British ambassador to Iran, and another made of solid gold and weighing more than six pounds (...

Article

Hugh Belsey

(b London, Jan 31, 1734; d Aleppo, Turkey [now in Syria], ?July 1786).

English painter, active in India. Following a varied training at Shipley’s, St Martin’s Lane, and the Duke of Richmond’s Academies, he painted portraits, reminiscent of Reynolds’s, in Oxford and the Midlands. His most ambitious portrait, stylistically similar to the work of Francis Cotes, is Lady Frances Harpur and her Son Henry (c. 1766–7; Calke Abbey, Derbys, NT). Kettle travelled to India in 1768, probably at the suggestion of Admiral Sir Samuel Cornish, who sat for him with Thomas Parry and Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Kempenfeldt in the same year (priv. col., see Milner, pl. xxi).

Kettle was one of the earliest British artists to search for a career in India. He established particularly good relations with the indigenous nobility; in Madras (1769–71) he painted the Nawab of Arcot, Muhammad ‘Ali Khan, and also native genre subjects. In 1772 he travelled to the court of the Nawab of Avadh (Oudh), Shuja‘ al-Daula, at Faizabad and painted a series of canvases, most notably the ...

Article

Barbara Steindl

German family of artists, one of whom was also a writer. Ismael Israel Mengs (b Copenhagen, 1688; d Dresden, 26 Dec 1764) was court painter at Dresden to Frederick-Augustus II, Elector of Saxony. Three of Mengs’s children became painters: (1) Theresia Concordia Mengs, (2) Anton Raphael Mengs and Juliane Charlotte Mengs (b Ústi nad Labem [Ger. Aussig], Bohemia [now the Czech Republic], after 1728; d after 1789). They received a rigorous early training in art from their ambitious and strict father, who expected all his children to become artists. Theresia Concordia was primarily a miniature painter who worked for the court in Dresden, but she lived most of her life in Rome. Juliane Charlotte was also a court painter but entered the Belvedere Convent in Marca d’Ancona, Italy, in 1765. No works have been attributed to her with certainty. Their more famous brother Anton Raphael worked in Rome, Naples and Madrid and became one of the most significant Neo-classical painters and theorists. His daughter ...

Article

(b Durham, April 26, 1777; d St Petersburg, May 4, 1842).

British painter, writer and diplomat. His family moved to Edinburgh in 1780, and there he knew the young Walter Scott and the Jacobite heroine Flora Macdonald. A battle painting owned by Macdonald inspired him to become a painter of battle scenes himself. In 1790 his mother took him to London to see Benjamin West, President of the Royal Academy, who was impressed by Porter’s sketches and arranged for him to be admitted to the Royal Academy Schools. There he made rapid progress and in 1792 was awarded a silver palette by the Royal Society of Arts for his drawing the Witches of Endor (untraced). The following year he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece for Shoreditch Church in London, and he received a number of further commissions over the succeeding years. On a visit to his grandparents in Durham he painted his only known landscape, View of Durham (untraced), which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in ...

Article

David Mannings

(b Plympton, Devon, July 16, 1723; d London, Feb 23, 1792).

English painter, collector and writer. The foremost portrait painter in England in the 18th century, he transformed early Georgian portraiture by greatly enlarging its range. His poses, frequently based on the Old Masters or antique sculpture, were intended to invoke classical values and to enhance the dignity of his sitters. His rich colour, strong lighting and free handling of paint greatly influenced the generation of Thomas Lawrence and Henry Raeburn. His history and fancy pictures explored dramatic and emotional themes that became increasingly popular with both artists and collectors in the Romantic period. As first president of the Royal Academy in London, he did more than anyone to raise the status of art and artists in Britain. His Discourses on Art, delivered to the students and members of the Academy between 1769 and 1790, are the most eloquent and widely respected body of art criticism by any English writer.

Although Reynolds’s father, a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and master of Plympton Grammar School, had intended that his son train as an apothecary, Joshua chose instead to seek fame as a painter. In ...

Article

Sergey Kuznetsov

[Rustem, Jan Johann]

(b Constantinople [now Istanbul], 1762; d Dūkštas, 1835).

Lithuanian painter and teacher of Armenian descent. From 1772 he was educated at the Czartoryski court in Poland and studied in Warsaw under Jan Piotr de Norblin de la Gourdaine and Marcello Bacciarelli. In 1788–9 he studied in Germany, returning to work as a scene-painter in Michal Kazimierz Ogiński’s theatre in Słonim. From 1798 to 1832 he taught in the painting department of Vilnius University, initially as assistant to Franciszek Smuglewicz, from 1807 as professor. In 1820 he organized the first art exhibition in Lithuania, of works by his students. His early work was influenced by French classicism, as in his portrait of Adam and Marie Mirsky with V. Shumskaya (1808; Warsaw, N. Mus.); later he was more interested in reproducing his immediate impressions of nature. He is considered the father of the Romantic trend in 19th-century Lithuanian art; he painted fewer formal portraits, in which a neutral background replaced the conventional landscape, and the individual characteristics of his sitters were brought out, as also in his ...

Article

[Muḥammad Ṣādiq; Mulla Sadiq; Sadiq]

(fl c. 1750–1800).

Persian painter. The foremost painter at the court of Karim Khan (reg 1750–79), the Zand ruler in Shiraz, he worked in a variety of media, from large oil paintings to miniatures, and painted and varnished (‘lacquered’) objects. His name has become synonymous with the Zand style. His reputation was so great that many works by different hands have been attributed to him. Works signed with his name range in date from the 1730s to the 1790s, an improbably long time, and it is likely that some are by other artists. Muhammad Sadiq was apparently a pupil of ‛Ali Ashraf, for one of his earliest works, a circular box depicting a young woman in early 18th-century dress on the interior (Tehran, Nigaristan Mus.), is painted on the exterior with birds and flowers in the style of his master and has a punning signature that invokes his master’s name. Other early work includes several of the splendid marginal designs in a sumptuous album (...

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