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Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 25 July 1922, in Riga, Latvia; died 1 March 1983, in Riga, Latvian SSR (now Latvia).

Painter and theorist. Historical, still-life, cartographic, environmental, and abstract subjects.

Ojārs Ābols distinguished himself in later years by transcending political orthodoxy and stylistic parochialism in his own work and by enabling colleagues and younger artists to do likewise. His studies began under modernist Romans Suta at Riga’s Second Gymnasium ...

Article

Pat Gilmour

(b Glendale, CA, Dec 11, 1918; d Albuquerque, NM, May 13, 2002).

American painter, printmaker, art historian, writer and teacher. His appointment to the art faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1942 was interrupted by military service, and it was not until 1946 that he resumed his career as a teacher of the practice and theory of art. This took him to the universities of Kentucky (Lexington), Florida (Gainesville) and finally New Mexico (Albuquerque), where he served as Dean (1961–76). Despite academic demands, Adams always found time to paint and showed his work in over 50 solo exhibitions. Equally at home in oil, acrylic, watercolour and egg tempera, he was initially inspired by the abstracted cityscapes of Stuart Davis. Later he absorbed the lessons of Matisse, achieving particularly radiant paintings during the 1980s. In 1993 he was elected an Academician by the National Academy of Design.

In 1948, at Stanton Macdonald-Wright’s suggestion, Adams began to make lithographs with the Los Angeles printer, ...

Article

Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Born 14 February 1404, in Genoa, illegitimate son of a noble Florentine banking family (in exile at the time of his birth); died 1472.

Architect, theorist, painter, sculptor.

Leon Battista Alberti was a leading scholar and architect of the fifteenth century. After receiving his doctorate in canon and civil law from Bologna University in ...

Article

Italian, 17th century, male.

Active in Rome.

Born 1593, in Borgo San Sepolcro.

Painter, sculptor, engraver, art theorist. Religious subjects. Frescoes.

Served as Secretary to the Accademia di San Luca in Rome (founded by Zuccharo). In 1585, he published in Rome a benchmark Treatise on the Noble Art of Painting...

Article

[Gr. allegoria, description of something under the guise of something else]

Term used to describe a method of expressing complex abstract ideas or a work of art composed according to this. An allegory is principally constructed from personifications and symbols (see Symbol), and, though overlapping in function, it is thus more sophisticated in both meaning and operation than either of these. It is found primarily in Western art and constitutes an important area of study in Iconography and iconology.

Allegory, a means of making the ‘invisible’ visible, is a product of the philosophical thought of Classical antiquity and was used by the ancients not only in the fine arts but also in literature and rhetoric (Cicero: On the Orator, xxvii.94; Quintilian: Principles of Oratory, VIII.vi.44; IX.ii.92; Plutarch: Moralia, 19, E-F). In contrast with the symbol, which is a phenomenon of nearly all cultures and religions, allegory is thus essentially a feature primarily of Western art.

The mechanism of allegory further distinguishes it from both symbolism and personification. ...

Article

Willem F. Lash

Type of allegorical representation of the artist’s conception of himself and his work. Many allegories of art owe their origin to attempts, in the 16th and 17th centuries, to classify the fine arts, especially painting, as artes liberales. An improvement in the status of art was to bring with it an improvement in the social standing of the artist. The allegory of art took many forms, which often appeared in combination with one another, including: personifications of Pictura or Disegno, sometimes in the role of inspirer in portraits of the artist; the conquest of Ignorantia and Invidia; and pictures of private galleries. The decoration of the artist’s own house—such as Vasari’s at Arezzo and Florence and Federico Zuccaro’s in Rome—provided an obvious opportunity to develop the theme (see Artist’s house).

The theme of the artist’s inspiration originates in Classical art: the inspiration of the poet by the muse, which is frequently depicted on sarcophagi. It was continued in Late Antique portraits of authors and in early Christian portraits of the Evangelists. A miniature in the Vienna ...

Article

Italian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 17 July 1947, in Milan.

Painter, sculptor, theorist.

Arte Povera, Conceptual Art.

Adriano Altamira put forward his first critical observations on the phenomena of vision in 1967. Next he began to use minimalist structures, plaits and interlacings, like some of the methods used in France by the ...

Article

Helen M. Hills

(b Ciminna, Jan 24, 1634; d Palermo, July 3, 1714).

Italian architect, writer and painter. He trained as a priest in Palermo and entered the Padri Ministri degl’Infermi. Another member of this Order was Giacomo Amato, with whom he worked, although they were not related. While serving as a chaplain Amato studied geometry, architecture, optics and engraving. His earliest known artistic work is a painting on copper of the Miracle of S Rosalia (1663), the patron saint of Palermo. After 1686 he created many works of an ephemeral character. For the feasts of S Rosalia and for important political events he provided designs for lavish triumphal chariots, probably developed from those by Jacques Callot, triumphal arches and other ceremonial apparatus set up on principal roads and piazzas, and he painted hangings, papier-mâché models and massive altarpieces for the cathedral. These works influenced Amato’s permanent architecture. The spiral columns of the campanile of S Giuseppe dei Teatini, Palermo, recall the festival designs of ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 8 January 1906, in Paris.

Painter, lithographer.

His work appeared at the Salon d'Automne in Paris from 1938 to 1941, then at the Salon des Tuileries in 1942 and 1943. He was also a poet and art historian.