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(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

Jennifer Wingate

[née Pond, Adeline Valentine]

(b Boston, MA, Oct 24, 1859; d Brooklyn, NY, July 1, 1948).

American critic and author. Adams was a vocal proponent of American sculpture during the last decades of civic sculpture’s golden age. She expressed her views on the state of the field in two significant publications, The Spirit of American Sculpture (1923; reissued in 1929) and a chapter in the 1930 edition of Lorado Taft’s History of American Sculpture, as well as in regular contributions to the American Magazine of Art.

Adams was an artist herself, though writing claimed her full attention. While she was in Paris in 1887, she posed for the sculptor Herbert Adams, whom she married two years later. The resulting marble bust (1889; New York, Hisp. Soc. America) was exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, an exposition that Adams hailed for fostering a new ideal of collaboration between architects and sculptors. Adams praised the role that sculpture played in public life and promoted figurative work modeled in the French academic tradition. She admired artists like Daniel Chester French (...

Article

French, 19th century, male.

Born 28 April 1845, in Rouen; died September 1909, in Rouen.

Engraver, draughtsman, illustrator, architect, art writer.

Jules Adeline was a first-time exhibitor at the Paris Salon in 1873, when, as a young architect, he initially contributed sketches and architectural projects. From ...

Article

(b Berlin, Oct 15, 1827; d Berlin, Sept 15, 1908).

German architect, archaeologist and writer. He was one of the leading figures of Berlin’s architectural establishment in the latter half of the 19th century. On completion of his studies in 1852, he was given the prestigious post of Bauleiter at the Neues Museum in Berlin, designed by Friedrich August Stüler. He subsequently became a lecturer and in 1861 a professor of architectural history at the Bauakademie in Berlin. Many of his church buildings used medieval motifs and elements, for example the Christuskirche (1862–8) in Berlin and the Elisabethkirche (1869–72) in Wilhelmshafen. He followed Karl Bötticher in his attempts to merge medieval and classical elements, best illustrated in his design for the Thomaskirche (competition 1862; built 1865–70), Berlin. There, Adler used Gothic structural devices embellished with rich Renaissance detail, a tendency that was also present in many of the entries for the Berlin Cathedral competition (...

Article

Isabel L. Taube

Late 19th-century movement in the arts and literature characterized by the pursuit and veneration of beauty and the fostering of close relationships among the fine and applied arts. According to its major proponents, beauty was found in imaginative creations that harmonized colours, forms, and patterns derived from Western and non-Western cultures as well as motifs from nature. The Aesthetic Movement gained momentum in England in the 1850s, achieved widespread popularity in England and the USA by the 1870s, and declined by the 1890s.

The principal ideologies and practices of British Aestheticism came to the USA through both educational and commercial channels. As early as 1873, the Scottish stained-glass designer, decorator, and art dealer Daniel Cottier opened a branch of his interior design shop in New York and played a significant role in introducing aesthetic taste and artefacts to Americans. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, with its extensive display of industrial and decorative arts, showcased British Aestheticism and the Japanese ceramics that influenced it. British art magazines and books, especially Charles Locke Eastlake’s ...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Active in Londonc.1880.

Born 4 November 1826, in Paris; died 13 December 1906, in London.

Painter, poet, novelist, dramatist, musician. Landscapes.

Charles Hamilton Aidé is above all remembered as an accomplished dramatist and musician. He travelled extensively and made sketches on his travels. He submitted three canvases to the Grafton Gallery in ...

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

Article

Patrick Conner

(b Maidstone, Kent, April 10, 1767; d Maidstone, July 23, 1816).

English painter, engraver, draughtsman and museum official. The son of a coachbuilder, he was apprenticed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson before enrolling in 1784 at the Royal Academy Schools, London. In 1792 he accepted the post (previously declined by Ibbetson) of draughtsman to George, 1st Earl Macartney, on his embassy to China. As the embassy returned by inland waterway from Beijing to Canton, Alexander made detailed sketches of the Chinese hinterland—something achieved by no British artist previously and by very few subsequently. These sketches formed the basis for finished watercolours (e.g. Ping-tze Muen, the Western Gate of Peking, 1799; London, BM) and for numerous engravings by both himself and others. For over fifty years his images of China were widely borrowed by book illustrators and by interior decorators in search of exotic themes.

Alexander was also a keen student of British medieval antiquities, undertaking several tours in order to make drawings of churches and monuments; many of these were reproduced in the antiquarian publications of ...

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

French, 19th century, male.

Born 1808, in Moulins (Allier); died 3 April 1836, in Bourbon-l'Archambault (Allier).

Engraver (etching), lithographer, writer. Landscapes.

Perhaps Achille Allier's greatest merit is that he was and remained an essentially local artist, having made a determined effort to remain outside the artistic mainstream. After completing a number of engravings in ...

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

Gianni Mezzanotte

(b Monza, Aug 22, 1776; d Milan, May 23, 1852).

Italian architect and writer. He studied architecture at the Accademia di Brera, Milan, under Giuseppe Zanoia (1752–1817), the Accademia’s secretary, and later taught there himself. At the beginning of his career he was involved in the hurried completion (1806–13) of the façade of Milan Cathedral, which was carried out under the direction and with the collaboration of Zanoia. Napoleon’s order that the façade should be completed economically determined the execution of the work, which was carried out in a simple Gothic style derived from the cathedral’s aisles, and it was later judged to be deficient on a number of counts, including its workmanship. The church of S Carlo al Corso (1838–47) in Milan was Amati’s most significant building. Here he grafted 16th-century motifs on to a centralized Roman plan in such a way as to recall both the Pantheon in Rome and the circular Milanese church of S Sebastiano, as well as Bramantesque models and the buildings frequently seen in the backgrounds of Renaissance paintings. The design for the church was part of a proposal (largely unexecuted) to reorder the entire centre of the city. Amati proposed that a vast arcaded square be opened up around the cathedral and that the Corsia dei Servi (now Corso Vittorio Emanuele) should be straightened to lead up to S Carlo, where another piazza, relating architecturally to the church, was proposed. At the time when eclecticism was spreading in Italy and overturning accepted criteria of artistic quality, Amati advocated a return to Vitruvian principles. To this end he produced a series of publications devoted to Vignola, Vitruvius, Roman antiquities in Milan, and on archaeology. The completion of the church of S Carlo and Amati’s death, however, marked the end of the Neo-classical movement in Italy....

Article

(b Montrouge, Paris, April 4, 1806; d Paris, April 29, 1885).

French painter and writer. A student of Ingres, he first exhibited at the Salon in 1830 with a portrait of a child. He continued exhibiting portraits until 1868. Such entries as M. Geoffroy as Don Juan (1852; untraced), Rachel, or Tragedy (1855; Paris, Mus. Comédie-Fr.) and Emma Fleury (1861; untraced) from the Comédie-Française indicate an extended pattern of commissions from that institution. His travels in Greece and Italy encouraged the Néo-Grec style that his work exemplifies. Such words as refinement, delicacy, restraint, elegance and charm pepper critiques of both his painting and his sedate, respectable life as an artist, cultural figure and writer in Paris. In contrast to Ingres’s success with mature sitters, Amaury-Duval’s portraits of young women are his most compelling. In them, clear outlines and cool colours evoke innocence and purity. Though the portraits of both artists were influenced by classical norms, Amaury-Duval’s have control and civility in contrast to the mystery and sensuousness of Ingres’s....

Article

Brazilian, 19th century, male.

Born 1843, in Areias (Pernambuco); died 1905.

Painter, writer. History painting.

Americo studied painting in Paris with Ingres. The German emperor owned one of his early works, Woman from Rio de Janeiro. He produced many paintings that celebrated Brazilian independence. He was also interested in literature, the natural sciences and politics. He spent a long period working in Florence, where he produced and successfully exhibited one of his large pictures, ...