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Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Alessandro Nova

(b Florence, Nov 3, 1500; d Florence, Feb 13, 1571).

Italian goldsmith, medallist, sculptor and writer. He was one of the foremost Italian Mannerist artists of the 16th century, working in Rome for successive popes, in France for Francis I and in Florence for Cosimo I de’ Medici. Among his most famous works are the elaborate gold figural salt made for Francis I (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.; see fig. below) and the bronze statue of Perseus (Florence, Loggia Lanzi). His Vita is among the most compelling autobiographies written by an artist and is generally considered to be an important work of Italian literature.

Cellini came from a middle-class Florentine family. His grandfather Andrea was a mason and his father Giovanni Cellini (1451–1528), who married Elisabetta Granacci in 1480, was a well-educated and expert carpenter who built the scaffolding put up to allow Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Battle of Anghiari (destr.) and who was a member of the committee responsible for choosing the site for Michelangelo’s statue of ...

Article

Francesco Paolo Fiore and Pietro C. Marani

(Pollaiolo) [Francesco di Giorgio]

(b Siena, bapt Sept 23, 1439; d Siena, bur Nov 29, 1501).

Italian architect, engineer, painter, illuminator, sculptor, medallist, theorist and writer. He was the most outstanding artistic personality from Siena in the second half of the 15th century. His activities as a diplomat led to his employment at the courts of Naples, Milan and Urbino, as well as in Siena, and while most of his paintings and miniatures date from before 1475, by the 1480s and 1490s he was among the leading architects in Italy. He was particularly renowned for his work as a military architect, notably for his involvement in the development of the Bastion, which formed the basis of post-medieval fortifications (see Military architecture & fortification, §III, 2(ii) and 4(ii)). His subsequent palace and church architecture was influential in spreading the Urbino style, which he renewed with reference to the architecture of Leon Battista Alberti but giving emphasis to the purism of smooth surfaces. His theoretical works, which include the first important Western writings on military engineering, were not published until modern times but were keenly studied in manuscript, by Leonardo da Vinci among others; they foreshadowed a number of developments that came to fruition in the 16th century (...

Article

Annie Scottez-De Wambrechies

(b Aix-en-Provence, Aug 17, 1739; d Aix-en-Provence, Dec 23, 1813).

French painter, draughtsman, sculptor, medallist and writer. He first trained under Claude Arnulphy at Aix, leaving for Rome c. 1761. He remained in Italy for ten years, studying the works of Raphael and other Old Masters (see fig.) as well as Polidoro da Caravaggio, whose monochrome frescoes Gibelin later imitated in France. In 1768 he won a prize at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Parma, with his Achilles Fighting the River Scamander (in situ; preparatory drawing in Stockholm, Nmus.). On his return to Paris in 1771 he was commissioned to execute a large number of monochrome frescoes as well as two paintings, The Blood-letting (1777; preparatory drawing at Poitiers, Mus. B.-A.) and Childbirth, for the new Ecole de Chirurgie, now the Faculté de Médecine (in situ). His works made over the next few years include the Genius of War and Mars for the pediments of the two south wings of the ...

Article

Pascal Griener

(b Aix-en-Provence, June 21, 1752; d Bouleau, Seine-et-Marne, Feb 13, 1830).

French sculptor and writer. He worked for a goldsmith in Paris before devoting himself to sculpture, in which he was self-taught. Thanks to an allowance from an uncle who had adopted him, he was able to study sculpture in Italy in the early 1780s; there he struck up a friendship with Jacques-Louis David. On his return he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale in Paris in 1788, and was received (reçu) as a member in the following year. On coming into a fortune, he returned in 1790 to Italy, where he lived until 1793, chiefly in Florence, Rome and Naples. He brought back with him what was the richest collection in France of plaster casts after antique sculpture, which he exhibited to the public at his house in the Place Vendôme, Paris. When, in 1796, Napoleon plundered some of the best-known antique sculptures of Rome, Giraud protested about their removal....

Article

Danielle Derrey-Capon

(Paul Louis) [Saint-Georges]

(b Namur, Dec 30, 1873; d Woluwé Saint-Lambert, Brussels, Feb 22, 1957).

Belgian sculptor, medallist and critic. After secondary education with the Jesuits at Namur and Brussels, he studied law at the Université Catholique in Leuven. He later enrolled at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels and then from 1899 to 1903 studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels under Julien Dillens. He also frequented the studio of Constantin Meunier. Both exercised a considerable influence on his work, and in addition he benefited from the advice of Thomas Vinçotte. From 1908 to 1910 he wrote art criticism for the Brussels newspaper Le Patriote under the pseudonym Saint-Georges. As a medallist he produced portraits, commemorative and religious medals. Among his best-known sculptures are Queen Astrid at the Collège Saint Jean-Berchmans in Brussels and the statue of Justus Lipsius (h. 2.90 m), which stands in the square of the same name in Leuven. Between 1922 and 1930 he created several patriotic monuments in Belgium, including those at Walcourt, Rochefort and Casteau....

Article

Myroslava M. Mudrak

(Mykolayovych) [Masyutin, Masyuta-Soroka; Vasyl’ Nikolayevich]

(b Chernihiv, 1884; d Berlin, Dec 15, 1955).

Ukrainian printmaker, sculptor, medallist and art historian, active in Germany. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Vasyl’ Maté (1856–1917). After the 1917 Revolution he taught briefly at Vkhutemas (Higher Art and Technical Studios), moving to Berlin in 1921. He frequently sent works back to Ukraine to participate in the exhibitions of the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists (ANUM), of which he became a member when it was formed in Lwów (L’viv) in 1931. His early graphic work includes etchings treated as symbolic fantasies bordering on the grotesque. He also produced a cycle of engravings, the Seven Deadly Sins, and illustrations to Aesop’s fables and to the works of Gogol and Balzac. He sculpted busts of Balzac and several hetmans and produced an entire series of commemorative medallions of the Cossack leadership, medieval princes and contemporary cultural figures, a total of 63 portraits rendered with historical accuracy. Examples of his work are in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. He also contributed to art pedagogy with his ...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....