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Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

[Georges] (Hulot)

(b Beauvais, April 26, 1863; d Paris, Feb 6, 1938).

French illustrator, typographical designer, writer and printmaker . He went to Paris in 1883 to pursue a literary career. His first humorous essays were published that year in the Chat Noir journal. He was introduced to the many avant-garde artists and writers who frequented the Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre and contributed to the journal. Of these Henri Rivière and Eugène Grasset were especially important to his artistic development, Rivière coaching Auriol in drawing while Grasset introduced him to typographical design. Auriol’s close association with Rivière culminated in the latter’s album of lithographs, Les Trente-six Vues de la Tour Eiffel (1902; for illustration see Japonisme), for which Auriol designed the decorative cover, end-papers and typography.

Auriol served as writer, illustrator and editor of the Chat Noir for ten years (1883–93). He produced book covers for the Chat-Noir Guide (1888) and the two-volume Les Contes du Chat Noir...

Article

Simon Wilson

(Vincent )

(b Brighton, Aug 21, 1872; d Menton, March 16, 1898).

English draughtsman and writer. He was brought up in Brighton, in genteel poverty, by his mother. She gave her children an intensive education in music and books, and by the time he was sent to boarding-school at the age of seven Beardsley was exceptionally literate and something of a musical prodigy. He was also already infected with the tuberculosis that eventually killed him. There is evidence that his talent for drawing was highly developed by the age of ten, and he was subsequently encouraged by his housemaster at Brighton Grammar School, Arthur William King. Beardsley left school at the end of 1888, and in January 1889 became a clerk at the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company in the City of London. Attacks of haemorrhaging of the lungs forced him to abandon his job at the end of 1889. On the strength of a short story sold to Tit Bits...

Article

Pieter Singelenberg

(b Amsterdam, Feb 21, 1856; d The Hague, Aug 12, 1934).

Dutch architect, urban planner, designer and writer. He abandoned early his intention to become a painter and instead trained in architecture at the Bauschule of the Eidgenössiche Polytechnikum (now Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) in Zurich under Gottfried Semper’s followers. Semper was a major influence on Berlage, especially for Berlage’s emphatic use of a variety of materials and an acute attention to construction. The other major influence was the work of Viollet-le-Duc. After his training Berlage visited Germany and Italy from 1878 to 1881, returning to Amsterdam to become an associate of the classicist architect and businessman Theodorus Sanders, who very soon handed over to him the task of designing. The shop and office-block for Focke & Meltzer (1884–5), Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, was critically acclaimed for its correct application of the Venetian Renaissance style favoured by Semper and for the grandeur of its shopping area, with its unusually large windows. Berlage voiced doubts in ...

Article

Gabriel P. Weisberg

(b Hamburg, Feb 26, 1838; d Vaucresson, nr Paris, Sept 6, 1905).

French art dealer, critic and patron, of German birth. Often misnamed Samuel, he was a major promoter of Japanese art and Art Nouveau. From a wealthy, entrepreneurial Hamburg family, he trained as an industrial decorator for ceramics under the guidance of his father and independently in Paris during the Second Empire (1852–70). After the Franco-Prussian War (which he spent in Belgium) Bing established a thriving Oriental trading business, primarily of Japanese arts, the success of which permitted the opening of his Oriental crafts shop in Paris in the late 1870s. Following a trip to Japan, he expanded the business in the 1880s, selling both contemporary and ancient Japanese objects, to meet the demand for Oriental merchandise. At the end of the 1880s, as Japonisme developed, Bing founded a monthly periodical, Le Japon artistique (pubd simultaneously in Eng., Fr. and Ger., 1888–91), and organized a series of exhibitions of rare Japanese art, featuring ceramics and ...

Article

Valerio Terraroli

(b Casale Monferrato, March 15, 1859; d Turin, Sept 2, 1933).

Italian sculptor, painter and writer. The leading Art Nouveau sculptor in Italy, he was the son of Giovanni Bistolfi, a wood-carver. Bistolfi first studied (1876–9) at the Accademia di Brera, Milan, under Giosué Argenti (1819–1901), transferring to the Accademia Albertina, Turin, in 1880 for more advanced work under Odoardo Tabacchi. In 1881 Bistolfi received a commission for the Braida family tomb (Turin cemetery), for which he carved the marble figure the Angel of Death, a commission enabling him to open his own studio. During the 1880s Bistolfi worked mainly on small bronze groups, in which he sought to communicate sentiments that had hitherto been expressed only in painting. Like the artists of I Scapigliati, he depicted literary subjects, such as his bronze Washerwomen (Italian priv. col.), inspired by Emile Zola’s novel L’Assommoir (1877). While influenced by Impressionism and by such artists as Daniele Ranzoni, Tranquillo Cremona and Giuseppe Grandi, Bistolfi produced his ...

Article

Erich G. Ranfft

(b Perleberg-Brandenburg, June 29, 1871; d Berlin, Jan 2, 1938).

German medallist, sculptor and writer. He trained in medal arts and sculpture at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Frankfurt am Main (1891–7) and in Paris (1897–9) at the Académie Julian. He dedicated himself to making medals and assimilated the naturalistic and Impressionist styles current in French art, as in his baptismal medal Let the Child Come to Me (1898–9; Frankfurt am Main, Mus. Ksthandwk). In 1899 Bosselt began to gain considerable public recognition in Germany for his medals, which after 1901 became more stylized and decorative. By 1905 he had produced a large body of work, including medals and several plaques of, mainly commissioned, portraits and exhibition notices. In addition, he promoted the revival of medal arts in Germany through his published writings. He was also widely known as a gifted Jugendstil craftsman as a result of his stay from 1899 to 1903 at the Künstler-Kolonie in Darmstadt, where he developed a close friendship with fellow worker Peter Behrens. Bosselt’s output in Darmstadt consisted of jewellery and domestic items of decorative metalwork, which feature sculpted bronze figurines (e.g. table lamp, ...

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

Gisela Moeller

(b Berlin, April 12, 1871; d Berlin, April 13, 1925).

German architect, designer, writer and teacher. After moving to Munich in 1892, he abandoned his plan to become a teacher, deciding on a career as a freelance scholar. He then studied aesthetics, psychology and philosophy, being particularly influenced by the lectures of the psychologist Theodor Lipps. He also studied German literature, art and music. In 1895 he intended to write a doctorate on the theme of ‘The Construction of Feeling’. In spring 1896 he met Hermann Obrist, who persuaded him to abandon his proposed academic career and become a self-taught artist. As well as book illustrations and decorative pieces for the art magazines Pan and Dekorative Kunst, he produced decorative designs for wall reliefs, carpets, textiles, coverings, window glass and lamps. In 1897 he designed his first furniture for his cousin, the historian Kurt Breysig. His first architectural work, the Elvira photographic studio in Munich (1896–7; destr. 1944), decorated on its street façade by a gigantic, writhing dragon, was a quintessential work of ...

Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, May 25, 1841; d Paris, Oct 23, 1917).

French illustrator, decorative artist and printmaker of Swiss birth. Before arriving in Paris in the autumn of 1871, Grasset had been apprenticed to an architect, attended the Polytechnic in Zurich and travelled to Egypt. In Paris he found employment as a fabric designer and graphic ornamentalist, which culminated in his first important project, the illustrations for Histoire des quatre fils Aymon (1883). Grasset worked in collaboration with Charles Gillot, the inventor of photo-relief printing and an influential collector of Oriental and decorative arts, in the production of this major work of Art Nouveau book design and of colour photomechanical illustration. Grasset used a combination of medieval and Near Eastern decorative motifs to frame and embellish his illustrations, but most importantly he integrated text and imagery in an innovative manner which has had a lasting influence on book illustration.

In 1881 he was commissioned by Rodolphe Salis to design furnishing in a medieval style for the latter’s new Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre. This project brought him in direct contact with Montmartre avant-garde artists such as Adolphe Willette, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Rivière and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Grasset’s numerous posters include ...

Article

Sherban Cantacuzino

(b Lyon, 1867; d New York, May 20, 1942).

French architect, furniture designer and writer. After attending the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, in 1885 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; he left four years later without a diploma, however, to work for a builder as both architect and site craftsman. The influence of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc is evident in his early works, particularly the Ecole du Sacré-Coeur (1895), in which the exposed cast-iron structure of V-shaped columns is an adaptation of a drawing taken from Viollet-le-Duc’s Entretiens sur l’architecture (1863–72). These early commissions, built in a picturesque and eclectic manner, culminated in the Castel Béranger block of flats, Paris, where his first use of the Art Nouveau style appeared in its decorative elements. He visited Brussels in 1895, where he met Victor Horta, whose Maison du Peuple was then under construction. After seeing Horta’s work Guimard made changes to the original neo-Gothic decorative elements of the Castel Béranger, introducing a colourful mixture of facing materials and organically derived embellishments, based on his belief that decoration is the more effective for being non-representational. Between ...

Article

Roslyn F. Coleman

(Joseph)

(b London, Feb 25, 1866; d Melbourne, May 16, 1929).

Australian architect, theorist and writer of English birth. He trained as an architect in London from 1881 and then worked in various architectural offices there. He emigrated to Australia in 1889 and worked in various states before settling in Melbourne in 1899. He designed a number of offices, residences, churches and other public buildings, often for other architects. Through this work and his teachings and writings, he influenced many Australian architects by his strong principles of originality and simplicity in design, harmony and balance in composition, and national sentiment. These principles were closely allied with those of English architects working in the Arts and Crafts Movement; however, his use of nature for inspiration and his relaxation of past rules of composition and decoration also place him within the Art Nouveau movement. Haddon’s designs were characterized by plain façades, the careful use of simple ornament and the positioning of elements to produce a distinctive and often delicately balanced composition. Examples of this work include his residence, Anselm (...

Article

Henry Adams

(b New York, March 31, 1835; d Newport, RI, Nov 14, 1910).

American painter, decorative artist, and writer. He grew up in New York in a prosperous and cultivated French-speaking household. He received his first artistic training at the age of six from his maternal grandfather, an amateur architect and miniature painter. While at Columbia Grammar School, he learnt English watercolour techniques and afterwards studied briefly with George Inness’s teacher, the landscape painter Régis-François Gignoux. In 1856, while touring Europe, he spent a few weeks in Thomas Couture’s studio. Returning to New York via England, he was impressed by the Pre-Raphaelite paintings at the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition of 1857 and later said that they had influenced him when he began to paint. In 1859 he decided to devote himself to art and moved to Newport, RI, to study with William Morris Hunt.

Unlike Hunt, who never broke away from the manner of Couture and Jean-François Millet, La Farge rapidly evolved a highly original and personal style characterized by free brushwork, unusual colour harmonies, and great delicacy of feeling (...

Article

Jane Block

(b Brussels, Nov 26, 1865; d Brussels, July 5, 1916).

Belgian painter and decorative artist. He showed a precocious talent, first exhibiting in 1875. His only formal study was at a local school of drawing. Between 1884 and 1886 he showed at the Essor group in Brussels paintings that were based on Dürer and Holbein and closely related to those of Lemmen’s contemporary, Khnopff. When Lemmen became a member of Les XX in 1888 his style developed quickly, influenced principally by French Neo-Impressionism and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Lemmen adopted the pointillist technique following Seurat’s first showing with Les XX in 1887. His best pointillist canvases include The Carousel (1890–91; priv. col., see Belgian Art, 1880–1914, exh. cat., New York, Brooklyn Mus., 1980, p. 118, fig.) as well as portraits of Julie (1891; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.) and Mme Lemmen (1894–5; Paris, Mus. Orsay).

In the early 1890s Lemmen became a leader in the burgeoning decorative arts movement. In ...

Article

José Manuel Fernandes

(b Lisbon, Nov 21, 1879; d Lisbon, July 13, 1974).

Portuguese architect, graphic artist and writer. He was educated in England and then studied architecture (1893–7) at the Technische Hochschule, Hannover, under Albrecht Haupt. His grounding in Anglo-Saxon and German culture was unusual among Portuguese artists of the time, who tended to be orientated towards French influences, and it directed him to a search for the deeper and more spiritual roots of Portuguese architecture. From 1898 to 1901 he spent time travelling and drawing in southern Portugal and Morocco, observing the persistence of local traditions in Mozarabic and Islamic architectural forms and spatial planning. Some of these he later adopted in his designs for domestic buildings, particularly the use of the patio as a nucleus for rooms and the use of decorative elements (such as bricks, tiles and whitewash). He thus participated in the nationalist Casa Portuguesa style, but he also sought to modernize this tradition, integrating it with the innovative European currents of Art Nouveau; such houses as the Casa Roque Gameiro (...

Article

Rhys W. Williams

(b Pesitza, Austria–Hungary, June 10, 1867; d Vevey, Switzerland, June 5, 1935).

German art historian. He studied engineering in Munich, Zurich and Liège, before moving to Berlin in 1890, where he attended the university and became involved in artistic circles. In 1894 he co-founded the periodical Pan, becoming its art editor and financial manager, though he was dismissed in April 1895 by wealthy and conservative patrons unhappy with the emphasis given to French art, after publication of the first issue. He moved in 1895 to Paris, where he had already met avant-garde artists, and in 1898 founded the periodical Dekorative Kunst, in which he championed Art Nouveau; he opened an Art Nouveau gallery, La Maison Moderne, in Paris in 1899, which closed in 1903. Returning to Berlin in 1904, he published his most significant contribution to art history, Die Entwicklungsgeschichte der modernen Kunst, in which he was concerned to define the specifically artistic (‘das Bildhafte’) in isolation from socio-economic or historical factors, to trace its development in the 19th century, and to offer a basis for a new aesthetic: 19th-century painting from Delacroix to the Post-Impressionists was presented as a series of solutions to formal problems. In further controversial essays on Arnold Böcklin and Adolf Friedrich Erdmann Menzel, Meier-Graefe questioned prevailing academic and nationalistic judgements. Subsequently he published studies devoted to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Courbet, and to the French Impressionists. His ...

Article

Jean-Paul Midant

(b Cirey-sur-Vezouze, May 17, 1861; d Paris, April 15, 1928).

French architect and writer. He studied architecture with Eugène Train at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and worked in the office of Eugène Bruneau (b 1836), chief architect to the Commission des Monuments Historiques. Attracted to the design of ornament, he completed his training by studying decorative modelling. He began his architectural career in the 1890s by designing several blocks of flats in Paris, including 151 Rue Legendre, 67 Avenue de Malakoff and 36 Rue de Tocqueville. These buildings introduced a new range of forms, recognizable both on the façades and in the communal areas inside. The halls were decorated with glazed earthenware panels and mosaic floors, while loggia-like galleries opened out the upper storeys of the buildings in a picturesque aedicular arrangement. Details of the structures were worked up in his studio using plaster models, which made for a sober style of ornamentation. Balconies, brackets and mouldings projected in low relief from the walls, and polychrome effects were achieved through the use of such materials as limestone, brick, glazed brick and ceramic....

Article

Marie-Rose A. S. Bogaers

(b Engelen, North Brabant, Jan 22, 1863; d The Hague, June 8, 1931).

Dutch teacher, designer and writer. He attended drawing classes with A. Le Comte (1850–1921) at the Polytechnische School in Delft. From 1888 to 1891 he was in Paris, where he trained as a gold- and silversmith with E. J. Niermans. Between 1886 and 1888, and again between 1891 and 1895, he taught at the Haarlem School voor Kunstnijverheid. In 1895 he graduated as an engineer and succeeded Le Comte in Delft as teacher and, from 1905, professor of decorative arts and ornamental drawing.

As a designer Sluyterman was active in a number of fields. From c. 1890 to 1899 he produced work in various historical styles for the Amsterdam jewellers Hoeker & Zoon. In 1900 he made several designs for the Van Kempen silver factory in Voorschoten. In 1895 and 1896 he made a number of large-scale mural designs for ’s Hertogenbosch railway station in the florid Art Nouveau style which he had become acquainted with in France. The same style recurs in his decorations for the Dutch exhibition at the Paris Exposition Universelle of ...

Article

Giuliana Tomasella

(b Turin, Nov 10, 1869; d Turin, Feb 16, 1925).

Italian poet and critic. He published two collections of poetry, Il poema dell’adolescenza (1901) and Poemi d’amore e di morte (1922), and contributed as a literary, artistic and social critic to many daily newspapers and magazines, including La Stampa, the Gazzetta letteraria, The Studio and Emporium. Up to 1889 he was part of the Liberty movement in Turin; he was a great admirer of the Liberty style, which he considered to be the sole great achievement of contemporary art, and was a proud adversary of Impressionism and the avant-garde. He was a founder of L’Arte decorativa moderna (1902–7), and for ten years director of the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna in Turin. From 1905 to 1912 La Stampa printed several of his most controversial articles, in which he fiercely attacked the most important contemporary painters in Europe, from Renoir and Cézanne to van Gogh and Matisse. His own concept of art as an ‘ideal transcendence of reality’ led him to prefer the Pre-Raphaelites, especially William Holman Hunt, as well as Arnold Böcklin, Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati. His most famous book, ...

Article

Jane Block and Paul Kruty

(b Antwerp, April 3, 1863; d Zurich, Oct 25, 1957).

Belgian designer, architect, painter, and writer. He was one of the leading figures in the creation of Art Nouveau in the 1890s.

From 1880 to 1883 Van de Velde studied at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, exhibiting for the first time in 1882. In 1883 he was a founder-member of the art group Als Ik Kan, which fostered the position of the artist outside of the Salon. His earliest paintings, such as the Guitar-player (1883; Brussels, priv. col., see Canning, p. 100), are in a Realist vein with sombre tones. In October 1884 Van de Velde travelled to Paris. Although he entered the studio of the academic painter Carolus-Duran, where he remained until the spring of 1885, he was strongly attracted to the works of Jean-François Millet (ii). His works after his stay in Paris, such as Still-life with Fruit Dish (1886; Otterlo, Kröller-Müller), display the characteristic broken brushstroke of the Impressionists, although this style is often combined with subjects drawn from Millet, seen in the ...

Article

Regina Soria

(b New York, Feb 26, 1836; d Rome, Jan 29, 1923).

American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer (see fig.). He studied under Tompkins Harrison Matteson in Shelbourne, NY, and went to Paris in March 1856. After eight months in the studio of François-Edouard Picot, he settled in Florence until the end of 1860. There he learnt drawing from Raffaello Bonaiuti, became interested in the Florentine Renaissance and attended the free Accademia Galli. A more significant artistic inspiration came from the Italian artists at the Caffè Michelangiolo: Telemaco Signorini, Vincenzo Cabianca (1827–1902), and especially Nino Costa (1827–1902). This group sought new and untraditional pictorial solutions for their compositions and plein-air landscapes and were particularly interested in the experiences of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon painters. They became known as Macchiaioli for their use of splashes (macchia) of light and shadows and for their revolutionary (maquis) attitude to prevailing styles. Among Vedder’s most notable Florentine landscapes are ...