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[Pierre Urbain]

(b Paris, 1859; d Paris, 1937).

French writer and collector. He wrote for a number of journals including Le Figaro, Le Voltaire and L’Evénement. He was the first to use the term Neo-Impressionism in a French publication (L’Evénement, 10 Dec 1886) after its use by Félix Féneon in September in Art moderne in Brussels. His attitude to the emerging Neo-Impressionist movement was somewhat equivocal. In Paris (13 Aug 1888) he wrote of Seurat as ‘the man of great achievements who is in some danger of having the paternity of his own theory wrested from him by ill-informed critics or unscrupulous colleagues’. Although he admired Seurat, he had grave doubts about the effect of his theories on other artists, claiming (in the same article) that they had ‘spoilt some great talents, painters like Angrand and Signac’. His comments particularly infuriated Paul Signac and caused tension within the group. He also wrote on the work of the ...


Marie Berhaut

(b Paris, Aug 18, 1848; d Gennevilliers, nr Paris, Feb 21, 1894).

French painter and collector.

Caillebotte’s parents, of Norman descent, were wealthy members of the Parisian upper middle class, and his paintings often evoke his family background. After studying classics at the Lycée Louis Le Grand, he obtained a law degree in 1870, and during the Franco–Prussian War he was drafted into the Seine Garde Mobile (1870–71). He joined Léon Bonnat’s studio in 1872 and passed the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts on 18 March 1873. The records of the Ecole make no mention of his work there, and his attendance seems to have been short-lived. He was very soon attracted by the innovative experiments, against academic teaching, of the young rebels who were to become known as the Impressionists. In 1874 Edgar Degas, whom Caillebotte had met at the house of their mutual friend Giuseppe de Nittis, asked him to take part in the First Impressionist Exhibition at the Nadar Gallery in the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. However, it was only at the time of their second exhibition in ...


Geneviève Monnier

(b Paris, July 19, 1834; d Paris, Sept 27, 1917).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor, pastellist, photographer and collector. He was a founder-member of the Impressionist group and the leader within it of the Realist tendency. He organized several of the group’s exhibitions, but after 1886 he showed his works very rarely and largely withdrew from the Parisian art world. As he was sufficiently wealthy, he was not constricted by the need to sell his work, and even his late pieces retain a vigour and a power to shock that is lacking in the contemporary productions of his Impressionist colleagues.

The eldest son of a Parisian banking family, he originally intended to study law, registering briefly at the Sorbonne’s Faculté de Droit in 1853. He began copying the 15th- and 16th-century Italian works in the Musée du Louvre and in 1854 he entered the studio of Louis Lamothe (1822–69). The training that Lamothe, who had been a pupil of Ingres, transmitted to Degas was very much in the classical tradition; reinforced by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which he attended in ...


Rodolphe Rapetti

(b Turin, June 29, 1861; d Châtenay-Malabry, Feb 29, 1944).

French art critic, dealer and collector. After completing his education, he moved to Paris in 1881. A clerk in the War Ministry, he made a name for himself by writing for the numerous literary magazines of the period. In 1884 he was co-founder of the Revue Indépendante, and he swiftly became one of the dominant personalities in Symbolist circles, befriending a number of writers (he was a regular visitor to Mallarmé’s Tuesday gatherings) and artists, notably Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. A period of prodigious activity followed: he collaborated on magazines such as the Revue Wagnérienne, Le Symboliste and L’Art Moderne from Brussels, and he edited works by Arthur Rimbaud (1886, 1887), Jules Laforgue (1890) and Lautréamont (1890). As an art critic, by 1886 he was championing the work of his Neo-Impressionist friends, whose anarchist political views he shared. In 1892 he became editor of ...


(b Milan, Oct 15, 1851; d Milan, Aug 4, 1920).

Italian painter, dealer, critic and collector of Hungarian origin. Around 1870 he frequented the circle of Scapigliati, Gli and in 1870–71 visited London. Grubicy’s acquaintance with the art galleries there inspired him to start his own gallery in Milan, specializing in the Scapigliati artists, particularly Tranquillo Cremona and later Daniele Ranzoni. After Cremona’s death in 1878, Grubicy extended his interest to younger Lombard artists, primarily Giovanni Segantini (whose Choir of S Antonio impressed him at the 1879 annual exhibition at the Brera, Milan), Emilio Longoni (1859–1932) and later Angelo Morbelli. Grubicy became Segantini’s dealer and they were in close collaboration from this time. Between 1882 and 1885 Grubicy was in the Low Countries and probably informed Segantini of Millet and The Hague school. During his visit Grubicy also began to draw (e.g. Housemaid Washing, 1884; Milan, Castello Sforzesco) and to paint (e.g. The Hague: My First Work, 1884...


Bettina Brand

(b Berlin, July 20, 1847; d Berlin, Feb 8, 1935).

German painter, draughtsman, printmaker and collector. He dominated the German art world from the 1890s to the 1930s. Although at first a highly controversial figure, after the turn of the century he was showered with honours. His Naturalist and Impressionist works have been consistently admired, despite being banned during the Nazi period. Liebermann’s approach was that of a liberal cosmopolitan, and his work is distinguished by its honesty and commitment to social reform. Influenced by Dutch and French painting, he led the modernist movement in Germany away from the literary art of the 19th century.

The son of a Jewish businessman from Berlin, Liebermann initially studied philosophy, but in 1866 he became a pupil of Carl Steffeck, who had given him occasional drawing tuition. In 1868–72 he studied under Ferdinand Wilhelm Pauwels (1830–1904), Charles Verlat and Paul Thumann (1834–1908) at the Kunsthochschule in Weimar. In 1871...


Belinda Thomson

(b Warsaw, March 28, 1868; d Paris, 1951).

French critic and collector. The second son of a wealthy Polish Jewish banking family (his father emigrated to Paris in the early 1870s), he was educated and spent most of his life in France. With his brothers Alexandre and Alfred he ran the Revue blanche (1891–1903), the most wide-ranging and intellectually adventurous journal of its day. Natanson was largely responsible for the art reviews and for the Revue blanche’s active and lively support of such artists as the Nabis and Toulouse-Lautrec.

The Revue blanche began as a school magazine, the brainchild of a group of pupils at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, and its first issues were published in Liège in 1889–90. In 1891 the journal moved to Paris, where its financial management was taken over by the Natanson brothers, and Thadée became editor-in-chief. Although his early ambitions were literary (extracts from his novel Pour l’ombre appeared in the first Paris editions), Natanson was the journal’s regular art correspondent between ...


Jeremy Howard

[Nikolai] (Pavlovich)

(b Moscow, 1876; d Nice, 1951).

Russian patron, collector, artist and critic. He was a member of a wealthy Moscow industrial and banking family. His most lasting achievement was the foundation of the art and literary journal Zolotoye runo (‘Golden Fleece’) in Moscow in 1906 (see Golden Fleece). Through his sponsorship of the journal (which he also edited and to which he contributed under the pseudonym N. Shinsky) and the associated Blue Rose and Golden Fleece exhibitions, Ryabushinsky promoted the most recent work of the young Russian and French avant-garde. Thus he introduced Fauvism to Russia with works by Braque, Derain, Matisse and Marquet and encouraged the development of the indigenous Russian movement of Neo-primitivism that first appeared in the work of Mikhail Larionov and Natal’ya Goncharova at the third Golden Fleece salon (1909–10). Zolotoye runo had an approach to culture that was essentially fin-de-siècle; without establishing an official aesthetic viewpoint it reflected the Symbolists’ rejection of contemporary society and pursuit of universal relevance. Ryabushinsky gave special prominence to ...


Leila Krogh

(b Copenhagen, Sept 7, 1863; d Cannes, April 4, 1958).

Danish painter, printmaker, sculptor, ceramicist, architect and collector. He studied from 1881 at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen and in 1886 at Peder Severin Krøyer’s Frie Skole there. His style changed radically during his travels in France and Spain (1888–9) and during a stay in France, where he met and exhibited with French artists, including Paul Gauguin. In Brittany he painted several scenes of local people, similar to Gauguin’s work of this period, for example Two Women Walking, Brittany (1890; Frederikssund, Willumsens Mus.). In such works Willumsen emphasized the element of vigorous movement. From the start of his career Willumsen also made prints (etchings from 1885, lithographs from 1910 and woodcuts from 1920): early, more realistic works, such as the Copenhagen townscape of Woman Out for a Walk (1889) soon gave way to a bolder, more Symbolist approach, as in Fertility (1891), which showed his wife Juliette in an advanced stage of pregnancy and raised a storm of protest when exhibited at the Copenhagen Frie Udstilling (Free Exhibition), which Willumsen and others had founded. His major work from this period is ...