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Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Málaga, Aug 15, 1821; d Madrid, Feb 19, 1882).

Spanish lithographer, illustrator and painter. In 1859 he enlisted for the African Campaign in Morocco, and the studies he did in Africa led to drawings for an atlas of the battles in Africa (Madrid, 1860), as well as those for Crónicas de la guerra de Africa (Madrid, 1859) by Emilio Castelar and for Diario (Madrid, 1859–60) by the novelist Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (1833–91). He promoted a section for lithography at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Madrid. An excellent portraitist, he also made numerous drawings and illustrations for newspapers, royal chronicles and for Iconografia española (Madrid, 1855–64) by Valentín Carderera y Solano, as well as lithographs of bullfights. He provided decorative works for various public buildings in Madrid and the provinces.

A. Canovas: Pintores malaqueños del siglo XIX (Málaga, 1908) A. Gallego: Historia del grabado en España (Madrid, 1979), p. 356 E. Paez Rios...

Article

Esmé Berman

( Willem Frederick )

(b The Hague, Sept 9, 1873; d Pretoria, Jan 24, 1921).

South African painter and printmaker of Dutch birth. He was a self-taught artist and left Holland in 1905 to take up employment in the Pretoria branch of a Dutch bookselling firm. He painted and etched landscapes and still-lifes during weekends only until 1916, when a group of patrons made it possible for him to spend three months painting full-time in Cape Town. He found the misty winter climate of the Cape peninsula, being closer to the atmosphere of his homeland than the harsh, sunlit expanses of the Transvaal, suited to his temperament and style. During that and later visits he produced enough saleable work to repay his benefactors and to continue painting full-time. Unfortunately his practice of working incessantly outdoors, regardless of inclement weather, also undermined the fragile health that had originally driven him from Holland.

Although Wenning revelled in the wooded landscapes of the Cape, he eschewed the picture-postcard sentimentality typical of the work of most of his contemporaries. His formats are small, but the flat colour planes and decorative, rhythmical contours—both especially pronounced in his still-life studies—are brisk and confident, as in ...