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Article

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.

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Born 1914; died 1972.

Painter.

Oswald de Andrade was probably the son of the writer and art theorist, Mario de Andrade. His art, which reveals Surrealist lyricism and folkloric fantasy, has been likened to that of Chagall.

Article

Tatsushi Takahashi

(b Leiden, c. 1618; d ?Batavia [Jakarta] after July 11, 1664).

Dutch writer, painter and etcher. He is now known chiefly as the author of Lof der schilder-konst (Dut.: Praise of painting). Originally a lecture given to Leiden artists on 18 October 1641, St Luke’s Day, it was published the following year. At present virtually no works of art are attributed to this Philips Angel except the etching Head of an Old Man (1637), a rather coarse imitation of Rembrandt. Although nothing is known about his training, this etching and certain ideas within Lof der schilder-konst suggest that Angel had been in contact with Rembrandt shortly before becoming a master painter in Leiden in 1638. The first half of this small book enumerates the most famous painters from antiquity to Angel’s contemporaries and makes the traditional comparisons between painting, sculpture and poetry. The second half discusses the skills necessary for a good painter. The latter section is more original as the author occasionally refers to such new genres as seascapes, battle scenes and guardroom scenes. His interest in the exact depiction of appearances has a close relation to the extremely minute renderings for which Gerrit Dou and other Leiden painters became famous....

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

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Watercolourist.

Ansa is a teacher of graphic arts and colour theory at the French Institute for the Restoration of Art. In the book The Eagle's Secret (Albin-Michel, 2000), Henri Gougaud describes the turbulent career of Luis Ansa, the 'painter-shaman'. He teaches oriental lacquering, wash procedures and painting in Paris. The Adac gallery and studio held a solo exhibition of his works in Paris in ...

Article

Janet Spens

Australian group of artists formed in Melbourne in February 1959 and active until January 1960. The founder-members were the art historian Bernard Smith (b 1916), who was elected chairman, and the painters Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, David Boyd (b 1924), John Brack, John Perceval and Clifton Pugh. They were joined subsequently by the Sydney-based painter Bob Dickerson (b 1924). Smith chose the name of the group and compiled the Antipodean Manifesto, the appearance of which coincided with the inaugural exhibition, The Antipodeans, held in the Victorian Artists’ Society rooms in Melbourne in August 1959. The group’s main concern was to promote figurative painting at a time when non-figurative painting and sculpture were becoming established as the predominant trend in Australia, as in the USA and Europe. To gain a more prestigious venue to show their work, the group asked Smith to enlist the support of Kenneth Clark, who responded by suggesting the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The Gallery’s director, ...

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

(b Madrid, 1664; d Madrid, Feb 15, 1726).

Spanish architect, painter and writer. He was trained in architecture by the Jesuits and in painting by Claudio Coello and worked mainly as an architect. Two overdoors showing multiple allegorical scenes of the Battle of Lepanto (1721; Madrid, Pal. Arzobisp.) and a St Barbara (1723; Madrid, Mus. Lázaro Galdiano) reveal Ardemans as a talented painter working in the tradition of Francisco Rizi, Juan Carreño de Miranda and Francisco de Herrera the younger, and partially influenced by Luca Giordano. His debt to Coello is apparent in a ceiling fresco attributed to him in the Capilla del Cristo de los Dolores of the Venerable Orden Tercera de San Francisco, Madrid, which shows St Francis riding in a chariot of fire with figures watching from a balcony. Also attributed to Ardemans is the portrait of Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra (c. 1689; Granada, Pal. Arzobisp.)

As an architect, Ardemans belongs to a period of transition, continuing into the 18th century the Baroque tradition of the Madrid school. He worked in Granada (...

Article

François Quiviger

(b Faenza, c. 1525; d Faenza, April 1609).

Italian painter and writer. He probably began his apprenticeship at Faenza and at the beginning of the 1550s settled in Rome, where he worked as a copyist of ancient and modern works. Around 1556 he made a series of journeys across Italy before settling in Faenza in 1564, where he took orders. Of his artistic works, which he himself held in low esteem, we know only an Ascension of the Virgin (Faenza, Pin. Com.) and a few leaves from an album of drawings, dating from the 1550s, which show Raphael’s Logge. His most important contribution to the history of art is his treatise entitled De’ veri precetti della pittura (1587).

With this book Armenini wished to revive painting, which he felt had declined. He attributed its downfall to three main causes: the indifference of the great masters of the early 16th century to teaching, the lack of artists of sufficient stature to succeed them and a general depreciation of the art of painting. The ...

Article

Shannen Hill

Apartheid, an Afrikaans word meaning ‘separateness’, was a system of racial segregation in South Africa that curtailed the economic, political, and social rights of black, coloured, and Indian people. Enforced through the legislation of the National Party, apartheid was the rule of the land between 1948 and 1994. Apartheid affected art and art-making in three primary areas: expressions of nationalism; limited access to education and commercial art markets for black, coloured, and Indian artists; and articulations of political resistance to this system of governance.

Although apartheid is equated with the 20th century, its notions of segregation predate this period. As descendants of Dutch settlers who first settled in southern Africa in 1651, Afrikaners were long at odds with people indigenous to this region and with British and German imperialists who sought to colonize it in the 19th century. In Afrikaner lore, the Great Trek (1835–52) represents the spirit of struggle to claim a land in the name of God. The pilgrimage was driven by a desire both to civilize a so-called heathen place through the introduction of Christianity and to establish a republic free of English intrusion in the heartland. This spirit is embodied by Pioneers (...