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Article

Togolese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 12 February 1977, in Lomé.

Painter (mixed media).

Félix Agbokou studied under Sokey Edoth between 1996 and 1999. He abandoned realism in favour of depicting a fantasy world, and his paintings are spontaneous to the extent that they have no predefined theme. Painted at night and by candlelight, each series of paintings is directly inspired by its immediate surroundings: Lomé, Kouma, Abouri or Ghana. Agbokou uses materials that come readily to hand - leaves of indigenous plants or the bark of local trees - and mixes them with acrylic paint, outlining his forms and individual colours with a black line obtained from a mixture of coconut milk and old nails. His work has featured at group exhibitions, including the ...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Active in South Africa.

Born 1820, in King’s Lynn (Norfolk), England; died 1875, in Durban, South Africa.

Painter (oils, watercolours), printmaker (etching), draughtsman, explorer, cartographer, writer. Landscapes, marine and seascapes, portraits, natural history and ethnographic subjects.

Thomas Baines arrived at the Cape in ...

Article

Moroccan, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1861; died 1939.

Painter. Urban landscapes, landscapes with figures.

Ben Ali R'Bati lived in Tangiers, and it was here that he set up his studio-shop, in the middle of the kasbah. He painted typical scenes from daily life in Tangiers....

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Active in South Africa.

Born 1812, in Hertfordshire, England; died 1869, in London.

Painter (watercolour and oil), lithographer, draughtsman (chalk). Town scenes; landscapes, seascapes.

Thomas Bowler arrived at the Cape in 1834 with the newly appointed Royal Astronomer Thomas McClear. He tutored the children of the Commander of Robben Island ...

Article

Malian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1948, in Kayes.

Painter.

Ismaël Diabaté graduated in 1968 from the Bamako national institute of arts and started out painting in a conventionally Western Realist manner. By the mid-1970s, however, he had become increasingly interested in the work of the ...

Article

Moroccan, 20th century, male.

Born 1924, near Marrakech.

Painter. Figures.

Symbolism.

The absence of figurative representation in much traditional Islamic art is less the result of a religious ban than a symptom of the religion's symbolic relationship with the world. Drissi's painting is characterised by this ambiguity: in painting figures in given situations, he nevertheless strips them of their bodily appearance, creating strictly hieratic shapes cloaked either in a burnous or a djellaba, featureless faces, and oppressive, empty surrounds where the living are never far from the grave....

Article

Algerian, 20th century, male.

Active in Spain since 1963.

Born 11 April 1940, in Tlemcen.

Painter, watercolourist. Figures, landscapes.

Symbolism.

Farid Falsa has had solo exhibitions in the Spanish cities of Salamanca, Málaga and Valladolid. He paints watercolour landscapes using generous brush strokes.

Ayllon (MCA)...

Article

James P. W. Thompson

(b La Rochelle, Oct 24, 1820; d Saint-Maurice, Aug 27, 1876).

French painter and writer. The wide skies and sweeping plains of his native Charente region left him with a love of natural beauty for which he later found affinities in Algeria and the Netherlands. From his youth he showed academic intelligence, literary talent and artistic aptitude. In 1839 he was sent to Paris to study law, but he became increasingly interested in drawing. Although his father, a skilled amateur artist who had studied with Jean-Victor Bertin, never became reconciled to his son’s desire to pursue painting as a career, Fromentin was sent to study with the Neo-classical landscape painter Jean-Charles-Joseph Rémond (1795–1875); however, he preferred the more naturalistic Nicolas-Louis Cabat. Fromentin developed slowly as an artist and began to show real promise as a landscape draughtsman only in the early to mid-1840s. He published his first important piece of criticism on the Salon of 1845.

From 3 March to ...

Article

Betsy Cogger Rezelman

(b Cahirconlish, Co. Limerick, Aug 28, 1847; d Penzance, Cornwall, June 22, 1926).

Irish painter and writer. He attempted various professions, including diamond-mining and journalism in South Africa (1872–7), before becoming an artist. At the Koninklijke Academie, Antwerp (1878–80), under Charles Verlat, in Paris (1881–4) as a student of Carolus-Duran and in Venice (1885) Garstin became friends with future Newlyn school painters. Saint’s House and Field, Tangier (1885; Plymouth, City Mus. & A.G.), a small oil panel painted en plein air, exemplifies both the medium and the suggestive approach he preferred throughout his career. In 1886 he married and settled in Newlyn and then Penzance (1890). Financial pressures forced him to produce portraits and such large anecdotal genre scenes as Her Signal (exh. RA 1892; Truro, Co. Mus. & A.G.) for which his talents for simplified forms and surface design were less well suited. Though he exhibited widely, he received little recognition. Garstin supplemented his income by writing, lecturing, teaching and, from ...

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

South African, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1871; died 1939.

Painter, watercolourist. Landscapes.

Robert Gwelo Goodman was a meticulous artist who portrayed nature with great sincerity.

Cape Town: October; Nature at Rest; a watercolour

London, 27 April 1908: Hayling Island (...

Article

Anne-Marie Delage

(b Paris, March 25, 1840; d Paris, March 14, 1887).

French painter and writer. He was a student of François-Edouard Picot, Alexandre Abel de Pujol and Félix Barrias. After failing to win the Prix de Rome in historical landscape in 1861, he impulsively visited Algeria the following year; this journey, which he repeated ten times, determined his development as an Orientalist painter. He was a regular exhibitor at the Salon from 1861 where his combination of picturesque realism and academic composition was positively received by the State as illustrative of its Algerian policies (e.g. Evening Prayer in the Sahara, 1863; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay).

The Sahara (1867; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay), which depicts a camel skeleton in a desolate desert landscape, is an important 19th-century example of vanitas painting and evinces a philosophical strain in Guillaumet’s work. In the Labours series (1869–76) he brought out the poetic quality of the remote duars of Algeria and imbued his Orientalism with unusual naturalistic touches. After ...

Article

Dennis Radford

(b Dresden, Oct 16, 1813; d Stellenbosch, Oct 8, 1898).

German architect, builder, painter and photographer, active in South Africa. He showed a talent for drawing at an early age. In 1825 he entered the Akademie der Künste, Dresden, to study architecture, qualifying in 1829. He emigrated to Cape Town in 1838. His first commission in 1840 was the new Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Mary, Cape Town, undertaken with his partner Carel Sparmann, which was an unsuccessful venture. Hager then moved to Stellenbosch living principally by portrait painting (examples in Stellenbosch Mus.). It was not until 1854 that his next building, the Lutheran Church, Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, was built. Only in 1863, however, did he receive his first major commission, the remodelling of the Dutch Reformed Church, Stellenbosch. This involved the addition of a large nave, aisles and tower to the existing cruciform church. All the additions were strongly Gothic Revival in character, and the rest of the church was given a Gothic appearance. It would be an exaggeration to claim that it was Hager who introduced the Gothic style into Dutch Reformed churches, but it can be said that he introduced a purer strain of the Revival, although this was still far from ‘correct’. The church at Stellenbosch differs most from previous attempts to Gothicize Dutch Reformed churches in the tower, which has triple-stage base tracery windows surmounted by a broach spire. The open Gothic trussed roof marks its first appearance in Dutch Reformed churches. In ...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Active in South Africa.

Born 1802, in Islington, London; died 1887, in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Painter (oils, watercolours), draughtsman (pen and wash), cartoonist. Portraits, landscapes, genre scenes of frontier life.

After taking lessons from sculptor John Francis, Frederick I’Ons started an art school in Marylebone in London, where he taught drawing and painting along with commercial subjects. In November ...

Article

South African, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Belgium.

Born 1946, in Johannesburg.

Painter, lithographer.

Symbolism.

Gabriel Meiring studied piano before becoming a self-taught visual artist. His work is an interpretation of the former 'Modern Style'.

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

(b Alexandria, May 10, 1878; d Athens, July 1967).

Greek painter of Egyptian birth. He studied in Vienna under the German painter Karl Dieffenbach (b 1851) and first exhibited at the Boehms Künstlerhaus in 1899. His first exhibition in Athens was in 1900. From 1903–7 he lived on the island of Poros where he painted the frescoes for the church of St Nicholas. In 1908 he decorated the church of St George in Cairo. From 1909 to 1911 he lived in Paris, where he participated in the Salon d’Automne. In 1910 he received an award for his painting The Hillside, and in 1911 he won first prize at an exhibition of religious art for his painting of the Annunciation. He returned to Greece in 1912, living in Corfu for five years, before finally settling in Athens in 1917. In 1918 he was commissioned to decorate the church of St Alexander at Paleo Phaliro. In 1920, after a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Záppeion, Athens, he received the art and literature award of the Academy of Athens. In ...

Article

Colette E. Bidon

(b Algiers, March 23, 1861; d Marlotte, Seine-et-Marne, March 1932).

French painter and designer. He began his career painting the Algerian scenes of his youth, rendering Orientalist subjects—such as markets and musicians—with a distinctive, unaffected precision. In 1888 he went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Auguste Herst (b 1825) and Fernand Cormon. He exhibited at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1890.

The discovery of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, and a visit to Italy in 1894, led Point to model his work on the artists of the Florentine Renaissance. The inspiration of Botticelli and Leonardo can be seen in such works as the Eternal Chimera (c. 1895; London, Piccadilly Gal.). Under the dominating influence of Gustave Moreau, his work was also aligned with Symbolism. He became a disciple of Rosicrucianism and a friend of Sâr Peladan, fastidiously rejecting the modern industrial world and what he considered the excessive realism of Zola or Courbet. He painted magicians, endowed with a pure and ancient beauty, or figures of Greek mythology (e.g. ...

Article

Moroccan, 20th century, male.

Born 26 October 1944, in Boulemane (Fez).

Painter, draughtsman.

Abdelkébir Rabi is self-taught. He started out painting figurative works in the Impressionist tradition; then, discovering contemporary painters and impressed by Nicholas de Staël, he moved progressively towards Abstraction. He is prominent among those Moroccan artists whose gestural Abstraction stems directly from Arabic calligraphy....

Article

Briony Llewellyn

(b Stockbridge, nr Edinburgh, Oct 24, 1796; d London, Nov 25, 1864).

Scottish painter. The son of a shoemaker, he was apprenticed to a house-painter. From 1816 until 1830 he was employed in the theatre to design and paint stage scenery, first in Edinburgh and Glasgow and after 1822 in London. While in Scotland he met and worked with Clarkson Stanfield and later collaborated with him in London on dioramas and panoramas. Among Roberts’s commissions from Covent Garden were the sets for the first London performance of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in 1827.

Roberts exhibited his first easel painting in London in 1824 and at the Royal Academy in 1826 (View of Rouen Cathedral, no. 221; untraced). Four years later his success enabled him to give up theatrical work. Thereafter, in common with other contemporary painters of picturesque topography and architecture, such as Stanfield, J. D. Harding and James Holland, Roberts undertook journeys abroad in search of exotic or impressive subjects. He made his first visit to Spain in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Cairo.

Painter.

Ahmed Fouad Sélim trained as a lawyer and has also worked as an artistic adviser. The symbolism of his Abstraction, in which he draws truncated geometrical forms, is strongly emphasised by the titles of his works: ...