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Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Swiss, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in Germany.

Born 31 December 1849, in St Gall; died 1921, in Planegg.

Architect, painter, decorative designer, theorist. Designs (furniture/fabrics/metal objects/ceramics).

Jugendstil.

From 1868 to 1871 Hans Eduard von Berlepsch-Valendas was a student of architecture with Gottfried Sempers in Zurich. After graduating he abandoned architecture while he was living in Frankfurt, to go and train as a painter in Munich (...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 11 February 1881, in Quargnento (Alessandria); died 13 April 1966, in Milan.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, collage artist, engraver (including etching), lithographer, decorative designer, art theorist. Landscapes, landscapes with figures, urban landscapes, seascapes. Frescoes.

Futurism, Pittura Metafiscia (Metaphysical Painting), Novecento Italiano, Magic Realism...

Article

(b Lyon, 1798; d Paris, June 16, 1838).

French painter, designer and interior decorator. Throughout his career he was an advocate of the importance of art and design for industry and manufacture. In 1830 he was appointed adviser to the Sèvres Porcelain Factory by the director Alexandre Brongniart (1770–1847). There Chenavard made cartoons for stained-glass windows, a stoneware ‘Vase de la Renaissance’ shown at the 1833 Sèvres exhibition and designs for the Duc d’Orléans (future King Louis-Philippe), such as a silver-gilt ewer made by M. Durant and shown at the 1834 Paris Exposition Universelle. Chenavard exhibited designs at the Paris Salons of 1827, 1831, 1833 and 1834, among them his Gothic-style designs, in collaboration with Achille Mascret, for the decoration of the chapel at the château of Eu, and his sketches for the restoration of the Théâtre Français and Opéra Comique in Paris. Material by Chenavard is preserved in the Musée National de Céramique at Sèvres and the ...

Article

Shearer West

(b London, March 7, 1738; d London, Dec 10, 1806).

English painter and writer. At the age of 15 he was apprenticed to an upholsterer and drew designs for furniture. He became a student at the Duke of Richmond’s gallery in 1759 and opened a drawing school in Soho. In 1761 he became a student at the St Martin’s Lane Academy. He was one of the first students to enrol in the Royal Academy Schools in 1769. He travelled to Italy in c. 1774–6 at the expense of Robert Udney. He exhibited frequently at the Society of Artists, the Free Society and the Royal Academy between 1771 and 1806. His works included biblical and literary subjects such as a scene from the Two Gentlemen of Verona (1799; sold London, at Boydell sale, Christie’s, 17–20 May 1805) painted for John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, portraits, and landscapes such as Durham Cathedral (1788; London, V&A).

Edwards was made ARA in ...

Article

Tim Benton

[Jeanneret, Charles-Edouard]

(b La Chaux de Fonds, Oct 6, 1887; d Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alps-Maritimes, France, Aug 27, 1965).

Swiss architect, urban planner, painter, writer, designer and theorist, active mostly in France. In the range of his work and in his ability to enrage the establishment and surprise his followers, he was matched in the field of modern architecture perhaps only by Frank Lloyd Wright. He adopted the pseudonym Le Corbusier for his architectural work c. 1920 and for his paintings c. 1930. His visionary books, startling white houses and terrifying urban plans set him at the head of the Modern Movement in the 1920s, while in the 1930s he became more of a complex and sceptical explorer of cultural and architectural possibilities. After World War II he frequently shifted position, serving as ‘Old Master’ of the establishment of modern architecture and as unpredictable and charismatic leader for the young. Most of his great ambitions (urban and housing projects) were never fulfilled. However, the power of his designs to stimulate thought is the hallmark of his career. Before he died, he established the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris to look after and make available to scholars his library, architectural drawings, sketches and paintings....

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 21 January 1895, in Livorno; died 1 May 1960, in Rome.

Draughtsman, watercolourist, architect, scenographer, decorative designer, art theorist.

Futurism.

Virgilio Marchi studied architecture in Siena and Lucca and met the members of Nuove Tendenze in Milan. Drafted into the military in ...

Article

Italian, 19th century, male.

Born 9th December 1823, in Ravenna; died 29th July 1896, in Ravenna.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver (burin). Architectural views. Decorative schemes.

Luigi Ricci was the father of Corrado Ricci, the art historian. Luigi was taught by Francesco Cocchi of Bologna between 1846...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...