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Article

Tessa Sidey

(b Stevenage, Jan 16, 1872; d Vence, France, July 29, 1966).

English theatre director, designer, theorist, printmaker and typographer. He was one of the great, if controversial, innovators of the modern theatre movement. The son of the actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Godwin, Craig was born into a strong theatrical tradition. He abandoned a promising career as an actor with Henry Irving’s Lyceum Company in 1897 to concentrate on directing and developing ideas about ‘the theatre of the future’. Inspired by Hubert von Herkomer’s scenic experiments with auditorium lighting and three-dimensional scenery in productions at the Bushey Art School, Herts, Craig exchanged the conventions of realistic scenery for a suggestive, abstract interplay of form, light, movement and music. This new total theatre drew on the imagination to create an architectonic vision of choreographic movement, colour harmony, visual simplicity and atmospheric effect united under the sole control of a single artist. Influenced by his relationship with the dancer Isadora Duncan, he also proposed a concept of the rhythms and movements in nature acting as the vehicle for an emotional and aesthetic experience....

Article

Leah Lipton

(b Perth Amboy, NJ, Feb 18, 1766; d New York, Sept 28, 1839).

American painter, writer and Playwright. After working in England with Benjamin West between 1784 and 1787, Dunlap concentrated primarily on the theatre for the next 20 years. His two main interests are documented in his large Portrait of the Artist Showing his Picture of Hamlet to his Parents (1788; New York, NY Hist. Soc.). He wrote more than 30 plays and was called by some the ‘father of American drama’. He was the director and manager of the Park Theatre in New York from 1797 until its bankruptcy in 1805 and again, in its revived form, from 1806 to 1811. He began to paint miniatures to support his family in 1805 and travelled the East Coast of America as an itinerant artist. By 1817 he had become, in his own words, ‘permanently a painter’.

Dunlap always lived on the verge of poverty. To increase his income, he produced a large showpiece ...

Article

(b Bruyères-sous-Laon, March 28, 1815; d Paris, Feb 27, 1896).

French writer, theatre director and museum official. He came from an important and wealthy provincial family—his two grandfathers had been successive mayors of Bruyères, his father was a farmer and his uncle a court painter. He developed an interest in literature and the arts in the library that had been left to his grandfather by the daughters of King Louis XV. His first published works were two novels that appeared in 1836, and in 1838 he moved to Paris and wrote exhibition reviews for the Revue de Paris. While projecting himself as a bohemian and a liberal, he also wished to be at the centre of Parisian society and so, on arriving in Paris, he changed his name from Housset to the more aristocratic Houssaye. In 1844 he became the editor of L’Artiste, publishing works by such unknown contemporary writers as Charles Baudelaire and writing reviews under the pseudonym of ‘Lord Pilgrim’. Among other periodicals, he wrote for ...

Article

Vivian Endicott Barnett

[Vassily; Wassily] (Vasil’yevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 4, 1866; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Dec 13, 1944).

Russian painter, printmaker, stage designer, decorative artist and theorist. A central figure in the development of 20th-century art and specifically in the transition from representational to abstract art, Kandinsky worked in a wide variety of media and was an important teacher and theoretician. He worked mainly outside Russia, but his Russian heritage continued to be an important factor in his development.

Kandinsky grew up in Odessa and from 1886 to 1893 studied economics, ethnography and law in Moscow, where he wrote a dissertation on the legality of labourers’ wages. He married his cousin Anya Shemyakina in 1892 (divorced 1911). In 1896 Kandinsky decided to become an artist and went to Munich. There he studied from 1896 to 1898 at the art school of Anton Ažbe, where he met Alexei Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin, and then in 1900 at the Akademie with Franz von Stuck. The following year he was a co-founder of the ...

Article

N. A. Yevsina

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Nikol’skoye-Cherenchitsy estate, nr Torzhok, 1751; d Moscow, 2/Jan 3, 1804).

Russian architect, theorist, illustrator, poet, Musician and inventor. An enlightened dilettante and encyclopedist from a princely family, he studied architecture on his own and travelled in western Europe (1775, 1776–7), above all in France and Italy. On his return to Russia L’vov worked at the Foreign Ministry and acquired a reputation as an architect from the early 1780s. His earliest works—the Neva Gate (1780–87) of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, the single-domed cathedral of St Joseph (1780–98) in Mogilyov and the similar five-domed church (1785–96) at the monastery of SS Boris and Gleb in Torzhok—are characterized by their austere simplicity, spareness of form and pronounced monumentality. They became the model for many Russian Neo-classical churches of the late 18th century and the early 19th. L’vov’s works for St Petersburg include the Post Office (1782–9), unexecuted designs for the Cabinet on the Nevsky Prospect (...

Article

[Karl Theodore Kasimir]

(b Penza, Feb 9, 1874; d Moscow, Feb 2, 1940).

Russian theorist, stage director and actor. He was the director of the imperial opera and drama theatres in St Petersburg, but he had established an avant-garde reputation before the appearance of Russian Futurism in late 1912. This was largely due to his innovative and experimental unofficial productions for the House of Interludes cabaret and the Terioki summer theatre of 1912. As early as 1906 Meyerhold had signalled his break with tradition through the production of Aleksandr Blok’s Balaganchik (‘Little fairground booth’) at the Kommisarzhevskaya Theatre. Through his use of such ‘low’ techniques as improvisation, buffoonery, masks, making-up the actors in the auditorium and direct audience involvement, Meyerhold anticipated many features employed in the visual arts by the Russian Neo-primitivists and Futurists.

In August 1918 Meyerhold joined the Bolshevik Party and embarked on a second period of experimentation. By the autumn he had become head of the Petrograd section of TEO, the Theatre department of ...

Article

M. Dolores Jiménez-Blanco

(b Algeciras, Dec 6, 1839; d Madrid, Sept 14, 1904).

Spanish writer and journalist. The author of an extensive and varied body of work, he cultivated genres as varied as the theatre, the novel, children’s stories and journalism. A profound pedagogic concern is evident in all his writings, with special attention given to the problems of childhood education. He was editor and collaborator on a large number of magazines and newspapers, including Gaceta de Madrid, Diario de avisos, El Español, El Cascabel, Don Quijote, Gaceta popular, Correspondencia de España, Illustración española y americana, El Constitucional and El Contemporáneo. In the field of art criticism, with José Sala y Sardá he wrote the commentaries for the set of reproductions of sculpture called Tesoro de la escultura (1862). His most important work for the historiography of art, Galería biográfica de artistas españoles del siglo XIX (1868–9), was planned as a continuation of Ceán Bermúdez’s Diccionario histórico de los más ilustres profesores de las bellas artes en España...

Article

(b Boston, MA, March 1, 1823; d Windsor, VT, Aug 25, 1886).

American art historian, musician and patron. He came from a wealthy and cultivated family. After completing his studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1843, he travelled to Europe. While studying drawing and painting in Rome, he commissioned the marble group Hebe and Ganymede (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) from his friend the sculptor Thomas Crawford. In 1846 he entered Ary Scheffer’s studio in Paris and in 1851 travelled to Leipzig to study the piano with Ignaz Moscheles. When he returned to Boston in 1854, his future was still undecided, his wealth and multiplicity of talents making it difficult for him to choose a direction; it was not until June 1857, after his series of lectures on art at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, had met with great success, that he renounced music as a profession. From 1857 to 1869 he was in Europe, gathering material for his study Tuscan Sculptors, which appeared in ...

Article

Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

(b Dresden, Nov 3, 1744; d Dresden, April 10, 1818).

German courtier, composer, collector and writer. He served from 1761 in the army of Frederick-Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, and subsequently occupied various positions at the Saxon court. As Directeur des Plaisirs he was in charge of the orchestra and theatre at Dresden. He was also a member of various learned societies, including the Akademie der Künste und mechanischen Wissenschaften in Berlin. As a courtier enjoying the special favour of the elector, Racknitz wielded great influence in promoting musical and artistic life in Dresden. His own activities included musical composition and the natural sciences, but he was especially interested in mineralogy and mechanics, and he established a renowned collection of minerals and plants. In addition to this he published several books on the history of civilization and art. Early works are concerned with general themes, but in his later years he was particularly interested in painting in Saxony. In his varied interests, Racknitz viewed questions from a practical as well as a theoretical point of view. He was thus a typical representative of the versatile late Enlightenment and the ‘age of Goethe’....

Article

Rand Carter

(b Neuruppin, Mark Brandenburg, March 13, 1781; d Berlin, Oct 9, 1841).

German architect, painter and stage designer. He was the greatest architect in 19th-century Germany, and his most important surviving buildings in Berlin (see Berlin, §I, 3) and Potsdam (see Potsdam, §1) show his sense of German idealism and technical mastery. He became Geheimer Oberlandesbaudirektor of the Prussian state and influenced many architects in Germany and abroad.

Schinkel’s father, a Lutheran pastor, died after attempting to save victims of a fire in 1787 that destroyed most of Neuruppin, a town 27 km north-west of Berlin. Much of Schinkel’s boyhood was spent in a town under reconstruction, a model of royal benevolence and rational planning. In 1794 his mother and her six children moved to Berlin to a home for the widows of Lutheran pastors. At the 1797 Akademie der Künste exhibition in Berlin the 16-year-old Schinkel was so fascinated by a project for a monument to Frederick II of Prussia...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

Simon Banks

(b Leipzig, May 22, 1813; d Venice, Feb 13, 1883).

German composer and writer. Though his writings are not primarily concerned with the visual arts, they contain interesting general aesthetic theories. In his crucial essay Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft (1849) Wagner made the first use of the term Gesamtkunstwerk . In this work he called for a unification of all the arts in a manner that had not been experienced since the days of ancient Greece, and his main preoccupation was with the interrelationship of words and music. For Wagner art was a natural, necessary product of uncorrupted man and as much a product of the unconscious as the conscious mind. He divided art into two broad categories: the human arts, which derive directly from man, and, on the other hand, those arts that are created by man from the materials of nature. With regard to the former, which are generated by bodily motion and rhythm, he spoke of the ‘three purely human arts’ of music, poetry and dance. The latter category contains the arts of architecture, sculpture and painting, to all of which he ascribed a merely secondary role. Their proper task is to be found in support of drama. Thus architecture was to provide the necessary stage-set for the artwork of the future, sculpture should be employed in the service of architecture, and landscape painting should be used to create a natural backdrop in stage scenery. Under the influence of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, Wagner later modified his theories, and in ...