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Article

(b Dieuze, Meurthe, Feb 14, 1828; d Paris, Jan 16, 1885).

French writer and critic. He had a brilliant scholastic career, and he was awarded a place at the Ecole Française d’Athènes in 1851, having shown, according to the jury, ‘a strong appreciation of the great works of art’. He remained in Athens until 1853, when he returned to Paris to embark on a literary career. Although his first work, La Grèce Contemporaine (1855), was successful and was well received by the influential Revue des Deux Mondes (in which his novel Tolla was published in 1855), About was unsuccessful as a playwright. While he continued to write novels and political essays he contributed to several Parisian newspapers, such as Le Figaro, L’Opinion Nationale, Le Constitutionnel, Le Gaulois and Le Soir. Following the Franco–Prussian War of 1870, together with his friend Francisque Sarcey he founded his own newspaper, XIXe Siècle, a ‘Conservative Republican’ organ that was anticlerical and opposed to the restoration of the monarchy....

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

Article

Rodolphe Rapetti

(b Paris, Dec 7, 1862; d Paris, Jan 1, 1920).

French writer and critic. His fictional work developed rapidly from a naturalist concept of the novel (e.g. Chair molle, Paris, 1885) to a symbolist one (e.g. Etre, Paris, 1888). As an art critic, he played an important role in the first years of Neo-Impressionism. The few pieces that he wrote between 1886 and 1889 placed him in the top rank of contemporary critics and were of considerable influence. He was less interested in analysing the theoretical bases of Neo-Impressionism than in deciphering their implications, stressing the relationship of this new method of painting to Symbolism. He felt that the use by Seurat and his followers of a body of scientific theories on which to base their art was not only an indication of their adherence to the modernity that pervaded the century but also revealed an underlying tendency towards abstraction. At the same time fundamental visual concepts or ‘preconceived sensorial notions’ that had served as the basis of western art were called into question. In this regard, the ‘pictorial concern to interpret the pure phenomenon’ corresponded to the aspiration towards synthesis that marked Symbolism and was ‘in close correlation to contemporary philosophy, biology and physics in denying the existence of objects, declaring matter to be the mere appearance of vibratory movement that is the source of our impressions, our sensations, our ideas’ (...

Article

Andrzej Rottermund

(b Puławy, June 1756; d Florence, Feb 8, 1841).

Polish architect and writer, also active in Italy. He probably studied in Rome in the late 1770s and returned to Italy in 1785–6 under the aegis of Stanisław Kostka Potocki, a collector and amateur architect with whom he collaborated throughout his life. In 1786 Aigner and Potocki refronted the church of St Anna, Warsaw, using a giant composite order on high pedestals. The political turmoil of the 1790s disrupted Aigner’s career, but during his second phase of creativity (1797–1816) he won fame through his work on the great estate of the Czartoryski family at Puławy, on the Vistula west of Lublin, the most important centre of cultural life in Poland during the Enlightenment. Aigner had already erected the Marynka Palace there in 1790, a variation on the Petit Trianon at Versailles, France, and from 1798 he began to add ornamental buildings to go with the new Picturesque layout of the Puławy gardens: a Chinese pavilion, a Gothick house and a peripheral Temple of the Sibyl with a shallow dome. In ...

Article

Alain  

[Chartier, Emile-Auguste]

(b Mortagne, Orne Mortagne, Orne, 3 March 1868; d Le Vésinet, nr Paris, 2 June 1951). French philosopher and writer. He studied philosophy under Jules Lagneau (1851–94) at the Lycée de Vanves, near Paris, and from 1889 to 1892 studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he read avidly the works of Plato, Aristotle and Immanuel Kant. He then became a professor at the Collège de Pontivy, moving in 1893 to the Lycée de Lorient, where he developed a strong interest in politics. In 1900 he was appointed a professor at Rouen and in 1902 became a professor at the Lycée Michelet in Paris.

In 1906 Alain published the first of his propos or brief articles, in La Dépêche de Rouen; these were entitled ‘Propos d’un Normand’ and signed Alain, after the medieval poet Alain Chartier, whose work he admired. Between 1906 and 1914...

Article

(b Amsterdam, Aug 13, 1820; d Amsterdam, March 17, 1889).

Dutch writer, critic and collector. He was raised in a cultivated and artistic merchant family but preferred writing to commerce. In addition to serving as an editor of the Volksalmanak voor Nederlandsche Katholieken, he published the Dietsche Warande. His lifelong advocacy of Roman Catholic emancipation is reflected in many of his short stories (written under the pseudonym Pauwels Foreestier) concerning Catholic life in 17th-century Holland. In 1876 he was appointed professor of aesthetics and the history of art at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldenden Kunsten, Amsterdam. An architectural preservationist and an important critic of the art and architecture of his time, he asserted that art should serve a religious function, as it had during the Middle Ages. It should be social, idealistic and transcendental. In his ideal society the arts would form a harmonious unit under the heading of architecture. His brother-in-law P. J. H. Cuypers was the leading Dutch architect of the day, whose career was assisted by Alberdingk Thijm’s advocacy of Gothic Revivalism in architecture. Alberdingk Thijm was particularly opposed to the painters of the Barbizon and Hague schools, whose work he considered to have no underlying purpose. Rather, he preferred the Düsseldorf school, which displayed a knowledge of history and literature. His large collections reflected his philosophical orientation. His numerous 17th and 18th-century Dutch paintings, mostly by minor masters, represented all the genres. He also owned a large collection of drawings and prints, as well as books, manuscripts and religious art from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, which included a Gothic ciborium, a Byzantine crucifix and embroideries on silk, which were dispersed at auction after his death (Amsterdam, Muller, ...

Article

[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 ...

Article

Pilar Benito

(b Palma de Mallorca, 1845; d Madrid, Jan 17, 1892).

Spanish writer. He began writing art criticism in Valencia, where he appears to have lived for a time, and after moving to Madrid he contributed articles to such periodicals as La Ilustración española y americana. Important among these are the various studies he published on the Catalan painter José Bernardo Mariano Fortuny y Marsal in 1874, the year of the artist’s death. In 1876 he was invited by the Minister of Public Works, Conde de Toreno, to attend the Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA, as the official correspondent of the Spanish government. His articles on the exhibition adversely criticized the Spanish pavilion, both for the choice of works displayed and because the most interesting artists, such as Eduardo Rosales Martines and Fortuny, were not included. Two years later he was appointed Spanish representative at the International Literary Congress in Paris. In 1886 he published his first book, Murillo: El hombre, el artista, las obras...

Article

Carlos Cid Priego

(b Baena, Córdoba, May 1, 1818; d Seville, Feb 17, 1878).

Spanish art historian, writer, poet and playwright. He studied the arts and humanities in Córdoba and Seville and graduated in philosophy from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He worked firstly as a painter but, lacking success, became a poet, publishing his verses in the journals La Floresta andaluza (Madrid) and El Cisne (Madrid), as well as in a book, Poesías recogidas (Seville, 1839). He later moved to Madrid, where he was given support by his friends, the distinguished Romantic writers the Duque de Ribas and Alberto Lista (1775–1848). Amador de los Ríos wrote several historical plays: Felipe el atrevido, Empeño de amor y de honra and Don Juan de Luna. He then entered politics and was, for a short time, a Conservative diputado in the Spanish parliament.

Amador de los Ríos’s fame comes from his work as a historian and writer on literature and art. In his ...

Article

Grischka Petri

American institution and art school promoting fine art that was active between 1802 and 1841 in New York. The Academy was the second art academy established in the USA, following the Columbianum Academy of Philadelphia. It was founded in 1802 as the New York Academy of the Fine Arts by its first president, mayor Edward Livingston, and his brother Robert R. Livingston, president from 1804 to 1813. The Academy’s first task was to procure plaster casts from antique statues in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. With the exception of this permanent exhibition, however, the institution largely languished. In 1804 it changed its name to the American Academy of the Arts, finally being incorporated in 1808.

After his return to the USA in 1815, John Trumbull became a main force behind the Academy’s reactivation. In 1816, its first exhibition in new rooms was highly successful. Succeeding DeWitt Clinton as president in ...

Article

Elisabeth Gurock

(b Loit, Schleswig-Holstein, Nov 14, 1828; d Leipzig, May 1, 1871).

German art historian and critic. After studying in Kiel, Berlin, Bonn and Munich, he obtained in 1857 a post at the Germanisches Museum, Nuremberg. From 1862 he was in charge of preparing the catalogues of the Weigel art auction house, becoming its director in 1870. His works included the continuation of G. K. Nagler’s Monogrammisten, on the fourth volume of which he collaborated, but his most important publications were in the field of graphic art. In Der deutsche Peintre-Graveur Andresen traced the history of German engraving from the end of the 16th century to the 18th. This was followed from 1866 by Die deutschen Maler-Radirer, a study of German graphic art in the 19th century. Finally, in the Handbuch für Kupferstichsammler oder Lexicon der Kupferstecher (from 1870), Andresen widened the scope of his research to include ‘all countries and schools’.

Der deutsche Peintre-Graveur oder Die deutschen Maler als Kupferstecher (nach ihren Leben und ihren Werken) von dem letzten Drittel des 16. Jahrhunderts bis zum Schluss des 18. Jahrhunderts...

Article

Pilar Benito

(b Barcelona, 1755; d Barcelona, Sept 7, 1822).

Spanish writer and painter. He was a member of the Real Escuela de la Junta de Comercio in Barcelona, where he was primarily active in a political capacity rather than as an artist and professor in its Escuela de Nobles Artes. He was expelled from the Junta in 1814 because he had taken the oath of loyalty to the usurper King Joseph Bonaparte, and as a result of accusations of favouring the French he spent his last years in total isolation from public life. His work as a writer on art is of considerable interest. He strongly defended French Neo-classicism and, in particular, the artists François Gérard and Jacques-Louis David. In a lecture he gave to the Junta de Comercio in 1810 he proclaimed the absolute validity of academic classicism, and this belief also pervades such manuscript pamphlets as the Discurso sobre la enseñanza del dibujo, Máximas generales para la pintura...

Article

An antiquary (Lat. antiquarius) is a lover, collector and student of ancient learning, traditions and remains. Antiquarianism originated from the revived interest in Classical antiquity during the Renaissance and became a scientific and historical method in the 17th century. The difference between literary and non-literary sources distinguishes humanism from antiquarianism, the latter being based on those tangible remains of antiquity (inscriptions, coins and ruins) related to literary sources. From the 16th century new attitudes towards antiquity were discussed in antiquarian circles, later giving rise to antiquarian societies. Thereafter, antiquarianism was firmly linked to archaeological excavations and to the study and collecting of ancient art. It was also linked to the search for a national identity in the arts and for the origins of Western culture and was sustained by a curiosity about civilizations outside Europe. Antiquarianism, in fact, was associated with the Grand Tour and with travel more generally. Antiquaries and artist–antiquaries were responsible for producing numerous drawings, prints and illustrated volumes. High-quality illustrations of archaeological sites and ancient sculpture contributed to the growth of art history as an autonomous discipline. They also contributed to the popularization of the Antique and to the transformation of commercial dealing in objects associated with antiquarian interests (...

Article

Lucio Franchini

(b Castel Bolognese, Ravenna, 1756; d Bologna, March 11, 1841).

Italian architect, engineer and theorist. He graduated from the University of Bologna in engineering and architecture. From 1775 to 1796 he was in Rome, where his design for the new sacristy of St Peter’s (1775) was admired by Pius VI, although the commission was awarded to Carlo Marchionni. Antolini took part in the scheme to drain the Pontine Marshes (1776–7), but caught malaria and resigned his appointment. Devoting himself to the study and practice of architecture, he became involved in the artistic controversies of the day, including the debate on the use of the Doric order (see Piranesi, Giovanni Battista) and the changing attitudes towards the restoration of ancient monuments, his own position becoming progressively more conservative. He published his first important archaeological work on the Temple of Hercules at Cori in 1785 and began his studies on the Temple of Minerva at Assisi. During this period he also produced schemes for palaces, chapels and other buildings for noble foreign clients, including a design for the façade of the palace and court chapel of the Duke of Courland at Mitau (now Jelgava, Latvia). During the French intervention in Italy (...

Article

Pilar Benito

(b Santander, 1824; d Madrid, 1897).

Spanish painter and writer. He was a pupil of the landscape painter Carlos de Haes at the Escuela Superior in Madrid and exhibited at the National Fine Arts Exhibitions of 1858, 1860, 1862 and 1866. His artistic career, however, is less significant than his profound knowledge of art. He published articles in La Ilustración española y americana, El Día, Arte en España and the Revista de bellas artes (all published in Madrid), at a time when art criticism, understood as ‘a commentary on work, made with some degree of authority’, was still in its infancy in Spain. He gave several lectures at the Ateneo Cientifico, Literario y Artístico in Madrid, such as: ‘Observaciones sobre el concepto del Arte’ (15 May 1884), ‘Los desenvolvimientos de la pintura—López, Madrazo, Rosales, Fortuny’ (1887) and ‘La España del siglo XIX: Goya y su época’ (1895). His publications include the monographs ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Walker)

(b Devonport, April 19, 1864; d London, June 9, 1930).

English Orientalist and historian of Islamic painting. He was attracted to Oriental studies while reading classics at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was inspired by Edward Cowell and William Robertson Smith. From 1888 he taught philosophy at the Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, India. With the appearance of his Preaching of Islam (1896), an account of the spread of Islam, he achieved high academic acclaim and in 1898 became professor of philosophy in the Indian Educational Service, teaching at Government College, Lahore. He returned to London in 1904 to become assistant librarian at the India Office Library, where he studied illustrated manuscripts and made significant purchases. He also taught Arabic at University College. In 1909 he was appointed Educational Adviser for Indian Students in Britain and after 1917, as secretary to the Secretary of State, was responsible for Indian students. When he retired from the India Office in 1920...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

[art consultant]

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like Albani family §(2). In the early 20th century the English dealer Joseph Duveen earned a knighthood for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of British galleries. Enlisted by the so-called American Robber Barons for advice in forming collections, Duveen brokered the sale of many notable Old Masters from English aristocrats to American millionaires, including Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, Henry E. Huntington, and Andrew Mellon. Their collections ultimately formed the nuclei of many great American museums. Duveen’s contemporary Bernard Berenson was an American scholar and expert on Renaissance painting who turned his hand to art advising. Berenson assisted Isabella Stewart Gardner in forming her renowned collection of Renaissance art. His legacy as an academic is controversial thanks to his habit of accepting payment in exchange for favourable ...

Article

Within a half-century of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and Maori chiefs in 1840—the event from which the beginning of New Zealand (Aotearoa) is generally dated (and leaving aside from the present discussion the tribal art of the indigenous Maori and the early art created by European navigators, explorers, surveyors, itinerant artists, soldiers, and the like)—a rudimentary infrastructure of public art galleries, art societies, and some art schools had arisen in the main cities—Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin—and the beginnings of a discourse concerning the character and purpose of the visual arts in the new nation emerged. The central question was whether or not such a phenomenon as ‘New Zealand art’ existed or should exist and what characteristics it should aspire to. These matters were vigorously debated for a decade or so either side of 1890 when the infant nation marked its 50th anniversary with a jubilee. The discourse about national identity then largely disappeared for a generation only to emerge again a decade or so either side of ...

Article

Hilary Morgan

[Fr. L’Art pour l’art]

Concept that emphasizes the autonomous value of art and regards preoccupations with morality, utility, realism and didacticism as irrelevant or inimical to artistic quality. It was the guiding principle of the Aesthetic Movement.

In France the phrase ‘l’art pour l’art’ first appeared in print in 1833, but the concept had been popularized earlier by Madame de Staël’s De l’Allemagne (Paris, 1813) and Victor Cousin’s philosophy lectures at the Sorbonne, Du vrai, du beau et du bien (1816–18; pubd Paris, 1836). Théophile Gautier was its main literary publicist, especially in the preface to his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (Paris, 1835). Studies of l’art pour l’art, such as Cassagne’s, concentrate on the Second Empire literary movement (1851–70) that included Charles Baudelaire, Gautier, Edmond and Jules de Goncourt and the Parnassian poets. The application of the term to art criticism and visual art is uncharted, but it seems to have been used sufficiently loosely to embrace stylistically opposed artists. ...

Article

Alan Crawford

(b Isleworth, Middx, May 17, 1863; d Godden Green, Kent, May 23, 1942).

English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place.

In 1888, while he was training to be an architect in the office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906), Ashbee set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London. The School lasted only until 1895, but the Guild, a craft workshop that combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement with a romantic, apolitical socialism, was to be the focus of Ashbee’s work for the next 20 years. There were five guildsmen at first, making furniture and base metalwork. In ...