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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

Christian Michel

(b Paris, March 19, 1730; d Paris, March 7, 1809).

French engraver, illustrator and writer. He came from a poor family and trained with Guillaume Dheulland (c. 1700–c. 1770) by drawing cartouches for maps. He also had lessons from Pierre-Edmé Babel, a goldsmith and designer of ornament. Having designed mainly cartouches, coats of arms and various types of ornament in the 1750s, he gained recognition as a designer of culs-de-lampe and fleurons, which were considered indispensable for all lavishly produced books. In particular, he produced 57 illustrations for La Fontaine’s Contes in the Fermiers Généraux edition (Paris, 1762) and 38 fleurons and culs-de-lampe for Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Lemire’s and Bassan’s edition (Paris, 1767–71). His long-standing acquaintance Charles-Nicolas Cochin II entrusted him with engraving two plates for the Conquêtes de l’Empereur de la Chine (1767–73; Roux, nos 227–8), an important series of large-scale prints on which the best French engravers were being employed. Large plates are, however, rare in Choffard’s oeuvre; he devoted himself mainly to book decoration, such as fleurons for the Abbé de Saint-Non’s ...

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Alcázar de San Juan, c. 1565; d Madrid, 1636).

Spanish calligrapher and woodcutter. He lived in Toledo from 1591 and settled in Madrid in 1612. Renowned as a calligrapher, he devised a new system for teaching writing, the Arte nueva de escribir. In collaboration with Adrian Boon (fl 1602–18) he produced a series of plates for this work, showing ornate examples of calligraphy. These were realized using a woodcut technique, usually in negative, as a white image on a black background. Interpersed with human figures, animals, birds, fish and ornamental lettering, they are the last Spanish examples of didactic woodcuts, a technique that was to become relegated to portraying popular subjects. A copper-plate engraving of the Sea of Love, signed Morante and dated 1636, may be by a son of the same name.

Arte nueva de escribir, 5 vols (Madrid, 1616–31) Ceán Bermúdez E. Cotarelo y Mori: Diccionario de calígrafos españoles (Madrid, 1914–16) J. Ainaud de Lasarte...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1909, in Baltimore; died 1993.

Painter, draughtsman, print artist, illustrator, art historian, writer. Figures, portraits, genre scenes, scenes with figures, landscapes. Comic strips.

Elton Clay Fax studied at Clafin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, and Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He was taught by Augusta Savage....

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

[Nicos]

(b Athens, Feb 26, 1906; d Athens, Sept 3, 1994).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, stage designer and theorist. While still a schoolboy he studied drawing under Konstantinos Parthenis. In 1922 he enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris for a course in French and Greek literature, but soon moved to the Académie Ranson where he studied painting under Roger Bissière and printmaking under Demetrios Galanis. He first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants at the age of 17. His first one-man exhibition, at the Galerie Percier, Paris (1927), was enthusiastically reviewed by Tériade in Cahiers d’art. His first one-man exhibition in Athens was at the Galerie Strategopoulos in 1928.

Ghika returned to Athens in 1934 and became closely involved with aesthetic and educational issues, specifically the popular art movement and the search for Greekness in art. In 1936–7 he edited the Third Eye, an avant-garde magazine in which he was able to introduce new aesthetic trends into Greek cultural life. In collaboration with the leading architects in Greece, he became actively concerned with the problem of urbanism and the restoration of traditional architecture. As a leading member of several cultural and artistic societies and a theoretician of art, he wrote and lectured extensively on art and education. From ...

Article

British, 18th century, male.

Born 4 June 1724, in Scaleby Castle, near Carlisle; died 5 April 1804, in Boldre (Hampshire).

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, illustrator, theorist. Landscapes, topographical views.

William Gilpin was the brother of Sawrey Gilpin and studied at Queen's College, Oxford. He taught at Cheam School near Sutton ...

Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, May 25, 1841; d Paris, Oct 23, 1917).

French illustrator, decorative artist and printmaker of Swiss birth. Before arriving in Paris in the autumn of 1871, Grasset had been apprenticed to an architect, attended the Polytechnic in Zurich and travelled to Egypt. In Paris he found employment as a fabric designer and graphic ornamentalist, which culminated in his first important project, the illustrations for Histoire des quatre fils Aymon (1883). Grasset worked in collaboration with Charles Gillot, the inventor of photo-relief printing and an influential collector of Oriental and decorative arts, in the production of this major work of Art Nouveau book design and of colour photomechanical illustration. Grasset used a combination of medieval and Near Eastern decorative motifs to frame and embellish his illustrations, but most importantly he integrated text and imagery in an innovative manner which has had a lasting influence on book illustration.

In 1881 he was commissioned by Rodolphe Salis to design furnishing in a medieval style for the latter’s new Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre. This project brought him in direct contact with Montmartre avant-garde artists such as Adolphe Willette, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Rivière and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Grasset’s numerous posters include ...

Article

(b Amsterdam, Dec 4, 1868; d Bloemendaal, Dec 31, 1938).

Dutch painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer and stained-glass artist. He trained at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1886–90), under the directorship of August Allebé. Having initially painted and drawn Impressionistic landscapes, he started working in the ’t Gooi region in 1892, where, influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Jan Toorop, he made a number of Symbolist drawings and lithographs. In 1896 he married the Dutch writer Henriette van der Schalk. They both devoted themselves to the recently founded Sociaal Democratische Arbeiders Partij. In the years up to c. 1900 Holst produced among other things a series of lithographs of political cartoons with socialist content, as well as serene landscapes and paintings of girls from the village of Huizen. His allegorical murals (1902; in situ), on topics such as ‘Industry’ or ‘Commerce’, in the new Koopmansbeurs in Amsterdam by H. P. Berlage (1876–1903), marked an important point in his career as his first opportunity to construct a monumental piece of work. Partly inspired by the murals in the town hall at ’s Hertogenbosch by Antoon Derkinderen, he developed a tight, stylized type of design, which he believed to be ideal for visually representing idealistic and exalted thoughts. In his murals (...

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Valencia, 1757; d Madrid, after 1807).

Spanish illustrator, printmaker and painter. He was nominated Miembro de Mérito of the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, in 1781. He made reproductive engravings of paintings and illustrated such books as Juan Antonio Pellicer’s (1738–1806) annotated edition of Don Quixote (1797), the Fábulas morales (1781–4) by Félix María de Samaniego (1745–1801) and the 1803 edition of the short stories Novelas ejemplares by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616). In his depiction (1790) of the fire in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid and in his interiors of prisons and barracks he pioneered the use of aquatint. He produced the series Caprichos y bombachadas and illustrated the title-page of Ideas y caprichos pintorescos (Madrid, 1807). He had two sons: Laureano (1802–58), an engraver, and Vicente (1796–1857), a history painter.

M. Ossorio y Bernard: Galería biográfica de artistas españoles del siglo XIX...

Article

Anthony Parton

(Fyodorovich)

(b Tiraspol, Moldova, June 3, 1881; d Fontenay-aux-Roses, nr Paris, May 10, 1964).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman and writer of Moldovan birth. He was a leader of the Russian avant-garde before World War I but came to prominence in the West through his work for Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s he played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until his death.

He was the son of Fyodor Mikhailovich Larionov, a doctor and pharmacist, and Aleksandra Fyodorovna Petrovskaya, but he grew up in his grandparents’ home in Tiraspol. He completed his secondary education at the Voskresensky Technical High School in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Here he studied under Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, and he also became friendly with Natal’ya Goncharova who was to remain his lifelong companion and colleague. Larionov’s work soon caught the imagination of collectors and critics. In ...

Article

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

French, 19th–20th century, male.

Born 31 December 1869, in Le Cateau-Cambrésis (Nord); died 3 November 1954, in Nice.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, lithographer, sculptor, illustrator, theorist. Artists’ books.

Fauvism.

Henri Matisse was born to parents who owned a grocery shop in Bohain, a small town in northern France. After his schooling in St Quentin, he began his law studies in Paris in 1887–1888. In 1889, he returned to St Quentin, where he worked as a clerk in a law firm but was soon taken ill. It was during his lengthy convalescence that he decided to turn to painting. In 1891, he returned to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Julian, where he studied under the painter William Bouguereau. In 1893, Matisse left the Académie and joined Albert Marquet, Georges Rouault, Charles Camoin, and Henri Manguin at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied with Gustave Moreau. From 1895, he lived at 19 Quai St Michel in Paris, an address that he kept for the rest of his life....

Article

Mariana Katzarova

(b Kessarevo, nr Veliko Turnovo, Jan 1, 1889; d Sofia, May 2, 1954).

Bulgarian writer, teacher, art historian, critic, administrator, illustrator, painter, designer and printmaker. He graduated from the Ecclesiastical Seminary in Sofia and in 1909 from the University of Sofia with a degree in philosophy. In 1919 he graduated from the Academy of Art in Sofia and in 1922 had his first one-man exhibition in Plovdiv, where he showed landscapes in oils, gouache and watercolour. His best paintings, such as Poppies, A Fairy-tale and Cloister, are from this early period. In 1926–7 he studied art history in Paris and established himself there as a designer and printmaker, executing linocuts and wood-engravings in a decorative linear fashion and with allegorical and mythical content. From 1932 to 1951 he was a professor of Art History at the Academy of Art in Sofia, in 1934 became a chairman of the Society of Applied Artists and in 1944, a chairman of the Union of Bulgarian Artists. As an art historian and critic he wrote more than 40 volumes of works, among them a book about Bulgarian portrait painting (...

Article

Nancy Gray Troyer

(b Florence, Aug 18, 1835; d Florence, Feb 11, 1901).

Italian painter, writer, critic, illustrator, etcher and teacher. He was a major figure of the Macchiaioli group, painting primarily landscapes, seascapes and street scenes in towns and villages in Tuscany and Liguria. As with many of the Macchiaioli, he did not always date his paintings, and their chronology must be deduced from exhibition catalogues and other contemporary sources. As a writer and critic he was the most ardent spokesman for, and promoter of, the Macchiaioli and wrote with insight and cutting wit about the art world of the second half of the 19th century.

He and his brothers Edoardo (c. 1830–51) and Egisto studied under their father, Giovanni Signorini (1808–62), an artist employed by the Austrian Grand Dukes of Florence to paint topographical views and scenes of local festivals. Telemaco Signorini’s first preference, however, was for literature, and he spent four years at the prestigious Scuola degli Scolopi in Florence, leaving in ...

Article

Juliana Nedeva-Wegener

(b Samokov, June 8, 1895; d Sofia, Nov 28, 1971).

Bulgarian printmaker, graphic designer, illustrator, bookbinder, art historian, theorist, critic and teacher . He is considered to be the founder and leading representative of 20th-century Bulgarian graphic art, who in the 1920s developed his own style in the spirit of the national tradition, but with a contemporary western European outlook. In 1919 he graduated from the National Academy of Arts (Natsionalna Hudozhestvena Academia), Sofia. In 1922–4 he studied at the State Academy of Graphic Art and Book Decoration, Leipzig, where he made an in-depth study of graphic techniques. After his return to Bulgaria, he was engaged in a variety of activities, including ex-libris, illustration, bookbinding and the design of postage stamps and banknotes. From 1924 until his death he was a professor of graphic and decorative arts at the National Academy of Arts. His output of graphic art was prodigious and included woodcuts (Basilica of St Sofia, 1925; e.g. Sofia, N.A.G.), coloured mezzotints (...