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Nancy Mowll Mathews

(Stevenson)

(b Allegheny City [now in Pittsburgh], May 22, 1844; d Le Mesnil-Théribus, France, Jun 14, 1926).

American painter and printmaker, active in France. One of the great American expatriates of the later 19th century (along with Sargent and Whistler), Cassatt was an active member of the Impressionist group in Paris and carved out a lasting international reputation for her famous “modern” representations of the mother and child (see fig.). Because of her success, her life and art have been closely examined to gain a better understanding of how gender affects artists during their lifetimes and afterwards in historical perspective.

Daughter of a Pittsburgh broker, Mary Stevenson Cassatt received a cultured upbringing and spent five years abroad as a child (1851–1855). In 1860, at the age of 16, she began classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and in 1865 sailed again for Europe. During the next four years she studied in and around Paris with such notables as Jean-Léon Gérôme...

Article

G. Reinheckel

(fl 1129–60).

German metalworker and enameller. A monk in the monastery of St Pantaleon, Cologne, he was one of the principal masters of its important workshop and among the most outstanding German metalworkers of the Romanesque period. His name is engraved as part of an inscription on a small portable altar (ex-Welf treasure; Berlin, Tiergarten, Kstgewmus.), produced c. 1150–60, which reads: eilbertus coloniensis me fecit. The form of the altar follows that commonly found in portable altars of the 10th and 11th centuries. Eilbertus’s achievement was to replace the silver niello decoration customary on altars up to that date, and perfected by Roger of Helmarshausen, with enamel work; and to do so at about the same time as Mosan masters (see Romanesque §VII). He also prepared the ground for the formal convergence in the 13th century of portable altars with larger shrines. The figures decorating the altar are individually characterized with spare lines, and they show the artist’s distinctive use of champlevé enamel with marked ridges separating areas of shaded colour. On the top of the altar the ...

Article

P. Cornelius Claussen

(b ?Verdun; fl 1181–1205).

French goldsmith. His known works indicate that he was one of the leading metalworkers of his day and an early exponent of the classicizing styles around 1200 that formed a transition between Romanesque and Gothic. In his two dated signatures, nicolaus virdunensis (1181) on the enamel decoration of the former pulpit in Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria (see fig.), and magister nicholaus de verdum (1205) on the Shrine of the Virgin in Tournai Cathedral, the artist gave as his place of origin Verdun, in Lorraine, an area that in the 12th century had close economic and cultural links with the Rhineland, Champagne, the Ile-de-France and the metalworking centres of the Meuse. A more ambiguous signature, nicolaus de verda, was on the pedestal of one of a lost pair of enthroned, silver-gilt statuettes in Worms Cathedral representing St Peter and the founder Queen Constance, the wife either of Emperor Henry VI (m. ...

Article

Christine Verzar

[NiccolòNicolausNicolò]

(fl c. 1106–40).

Italian sculptor. His career can be reconstructed more accurately than that of most Romanesque sculptors because of the survival of signed inscriptions on four monuments in northern Italy, at the Sagra di S Michele, near Turin, the cathedrals of Ferrara and Verona, and S Zeno Maggiore, Verona. His earliest commissions may be represented by the capitals of the porch of S Eufemia, Piacenza (c. 1106), and the south portal of Piacenza Cathedral (from c. 1122). The latter is attributed to him on the grounds of a moralizing inscription identical to that bearing his name at the Sagra di S Michele, his earliest signed work (c. 1114–20), with which the sculpture is also comparable in style. Both at the Sagra and at Piacenza Nicholaus seems to have worked alongside Lombard masters of the so-called corrente comasca (De Francovich).

By 1135 he was at work on the ...

Article

Antonio Caleca

[Roberto]

(fl c. mid-12th century).

Italian sculptor. The important holy-water stoup, in S Frediano, Lucca, bears the signature Me fecit Robertus magister in arte peritus, followed by an illegible date. The stoup consists of a circular basin decorated on the outside with scenes from the Life of Moses, and seven Allegorical Figures representing the planets. The water flows from a central basin, the cover of which is decorated with representations of the Months and the Apostles. The Robertus who signed this work is otherwise unknown; the identification with Magister Robertinus (fl 1177), a lesser artist documented in Lucca, is untenable. Robertus’s work may be associated with the renovation and enlargement of the decoration of S Frediano, carried out in 1147–54. It is also paralleled in the decoration of the pilasters of the portico of S Martino in Lucca, also of controversial date but probably from the mid-century. Moreover, the sculptor Biduino, active in the late 12th century, clearly knew the work of Robertus....

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

Term referring to an architectural style popular in mid- to late 19th-century America inspired by the 11th- and 12th-century Romanesque architecture of Spain, France, and Italy. Admired for its overall picturesque qualities, the signature features of the style were a multitude of round-topped ‘Romanesque’ arches (often springing from clusters of short columns), recessed entrances, cylindrical towers with conical roofs, heavy masonry walls, ornamental corbelling, and asymmetrical massing.

The castle-like Romanesque Revival was initially used for churches and large public buildings, such as courthouses. For a brief period, in the late 1880s and 1890s, a number of houses were built in the style primarily in urban areas of the Northeast and Midwest. Its massive stone or brick walls, arched and arcaded entrances, round-arch windows, and the costliness of materials symbolized the prosperity and worldliness of the newly rich in America during the Industrial Revolution. The first two architects to design buildings in this manner were ...

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Rodez, Aveyron, Dec 24, 1919).

French painter, printmaker and sculptor. He was greatly impressed as a boy by the Celtic carvings (incised menhirs and graffiti) in the museum at Rodez and by the architecture and sculpture of the Romanesque abbey of Ste-Foy at Conques. In 1938 he went to Paris for the first time, where he visited the Louvre and saw exhibitions of Cézanne and Picasso. With the intention of training to be a drawing teacher, he enrolled in a studio in Paris but was encouraged instead to enter the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts; he was, however, bitterly disappointed by what was being taught there, which seemed to fall far short of what he had just seen, and returned to Rodez. The paintings he was making at this time were of trees in winter, without their leaves, with the black branches forming a tracery against the sky. He was called up in 1941 but demobilized almost at once. He moved to Montpellier to continue his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts there but spent most of the war working clandestinely on a farm in the Montpellier area to avoid forced labour in Germany. He was able to do very little painting during the Occupation, but he became aware of abstract art through his friendship with Sonia Delaunay, whom he met ...