Çigdem Kafesçioglu and Walter B. Denny
Togolese, 20th – 21st century, male.
Born 12 February 1977, in Lomé.
Painter (mixed media).
Félix Agbokou studied under Sokey Edoth between 1996 and 1999. He abandoned realism in favour of depicting a fantasy world, and his paintings are spontaneous to the extent that they have no predefined theme. Painted at night and by candlelight, each series of paintings is directly inspired by its immediate surroundings: Lomé, Kouma, Abouri or Ghana. Agbokou uses materials that come readily to hand - leaves of indigenous plants or the bark of local trees - and mixes them with acrylic paint, outlining his forms and individual colours with a black line obtained from a mixture of coconut milk and old nails. His work has featured at group exhibitions, including the ...
Çigdem Kafesçioglu and Walter B. Denny
Islamic dynasty and rulers of Morocco since 1631. Like their predecessors the Sa‛dis, the ‛Alawis are sharīfs (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad), and both dynasties are sometimes classed together as the ‘Sharifs of Morocco’. From a base in the Tafilalt region of south-east Morocco, the ‛Alawi family was able to overcome the centrifugal forces exerted by the Berber tribes who had destroyed the Sa‛di state in the first half of the 17th century. To restore political authority and territorial integrity, Mawlay Isma‛il (reg 1672–1727) added a new black slave corps to the traditional tribal army. Although royal power was weak during the 19th century and the early 20th, when the French and Spanish established protectorates, the ‛Alawis’ power was fully restored after independence from the French in 1956.
‛Alawi building activities (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)) were concentrated in the four cities that have served as their capitals: Fez and Marrakesh at various times from ...
South African, 19th century, male.
There is no biographical information to tell us who the ‘Baboon Master’ was. This is the case with the majority of black South African carvers working in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The appellation was given on the strength of a stylistic affinity shared by a number of carved staffs with finials containing baboons and other motifs. It is most likely that the carver was a man living in the Pietermaritzburg or Durban regions in the 1880s and 1890s. A family or workshop of carvers could also have produced the staffs. A variance in the quality of the works may also indicate copies made by less skilled competitors or by learners in the workshop....
British, 19th century, male.
Active in South Africa.
Born 1820, in King’s Lynn (Norfolk), England; died 1875, in Durban, South Africa.
Painter (oils, watercolours), printmaker (etching), draughtsman, explorer, cartographer, writer. Landscapes, marine and seascapes, portraits, natural history and ethnographic subjects.
Thomas Baines arrived at the Cape in ...
(b Cobham, Kent, June 9, 1862; d Cobham, Feb 4, 1946).
English architect and writer, also active in South Africa and India . He was articled to a cousin, Arthur Baker, a former assistant of George Gilbert Scott I, in 1879 and attended classes at the Architectural Association and Royal Academy Schools before joining the office of George & Peto in London (1882), where he first met and befriended Edwin Lutyens. Baker set up in independent practice in 1890 but moved to South Africa in 1892 to join his brother Lionel Baker. In Cape Town he met Cecil Rhodes, Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, who directed his attention to the traditional European Cape Dutch architecture of the province and asked him to rebuild his house Groote Schuur (1893, 1897), now the official residence of South Africa’s prime ministers. Applying the ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement to local conditions, Baker produced a series of houses, both in the Cape Province and the Transvaal, which were instrumental in the revival of Cape Dutch architecture. In ...
(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....
Çigdem Kafesçioglu and Walter B. Denny
Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered.
Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....
British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, Moniteur de la photographie (1 June 1886), in which he explains that he is not the producer of the exotic photographs recently exhibited in London, mention of which had been made in the Moniteur of 10 March; the photographer was instead ‘[his] brother Monsieur Felice Beato of Japan’....
Moroccan, 19th – 20th century, male.
Born 1861; died 1939.
Painter. Urban landscapes, landscapes with figures.
Ben Ali R'Bati lived in Tangiers, and it was here that he set up his studio-shop, in the middle of the kasbah. He painted typical scenes from daily life in Tangiers....
[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]
(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).
American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...
(b Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, March 8, 1831; d Alès, April 9, 1885).
French photographer and photographic printer. Bonfils is best known for his photographs of the Mediterranean and Middle East, particularly his five-volume Souvenirs d’Orient: Egypte. Palestine. Syrie. Grèce (1878). Prior to opening a studio briefly in Alès in 1865, he was apprenticed to Abel Niépce de St Victor (180570). Having travelled to Lebanon in 1860 with the French Army to intervene in the conflict between the Druse and the Maronites, Bonfils decided to return to Beirut in 1867 with his wife Marie-Lydie Cabanis and son Adrian to establish a photographic studio under the name La Maison Bonfils. From there Bonfils began his photographic tour of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Greece, and sold his views back in his studio. These views included (he claimed) 15,000 albumen prints and 9000 stereoscopic cards. La Maison Bonfils became well known throughout Lebanon, the Middle East, and Europe as a première photographic studio and attracted many tourists seeking photographs of the surrounding area and peoples. Bonfils’s success was compounded when he presented his photographs to the Société Française de Photographie in ...
British, 19th century, male.
Active in South Africa.
Born 1812, in Hertfordshire, England; died 1869, in London.
Painter (watercolour and oil), lithographer, draughtsman (chalk). Town scenes; landscapes, seascapes.
Thomas Bowler arrived at the Cape in 1834 with the newly appointed Royal Astronomer Thomas McClear. He tutored the children of the Commander of Robben Island ...
[John Lewis; Johann Ludwig]
(b Lausanne, Nov 24, 1784; d Cairo, Oct 15, 1817).
Swiss explorer. He was born into a distinguished Basle family and attended the university at Leipzig (1800) and subsequently at Göttingen (1804). He arrived in England in 1806 where, through the influence of Sir Joseph Banks, he was adopted by the African Society to search for the source of the River Niger. In 1809 he departed for the Middle East where, at Aleppo, he perfected his Arabic and undertook a protracted induction into Muslim theology, practice and culture. In 1812 he set out for Cairo, en route discovering the ancient city of Petra. His subsequent exploration of the Upper Nile led to his discovery of the Great and Small Temples of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel. Accepted as a Muslim after rigorous cross-examination, he visited Mecca and Medina in 1814, the first European to have done so. Further travels ensued, but after his return to Cairo in ...
R. H. Fitchett
Architectural style developed at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, during the period of Dutch East India Company rule (1652–1795). Despite subsequent British stylistic innovations, its use continued in country districts until the 1880s. The term was first acknowledged, with reservations, by G. E. Pearse in 1933 but was given authority only in 1953 by C. de Bosdari. It covers three main building types: farmhouses, town houses and public buildings.
The early development of both domestic types followed similar lines, with the availability of materials being the major determining factor. Local bricks were under-fired and insufficiently water-resistant, which led to the use of lime plaster on exteriors, creating a white-walled aesthetic. Experiments with tiled roofs were unsuccessful, resulting in the adoption of thatch. Roofs were hipped at first, but were gradually replaced with half-hipped or gabled ends; the latter were given decorative outlines from an early date. Most early houses were rectangular in plan and only one room deep. However, the larger residences of the officials had more complex plans and triple-gabled façades with a central full-height gable flanked by dwarf gables....
(b Marseille, Nov 26, 1787; d Marseille, Feb 8, 1879).
French architect and writer. The designer of many of the principal public buildings of Marseille, he also published the first accurate records of the Islamic monuments of Cairo, North Africa and the Middle East—a central interest of mid-19th-century architectural theorists and ornamentalists.
After studying both engineering and drawing in Marseille, Coste began his career in 1804 as site inspector and draughtsman for the Neo-classicist Michel-Robert Penchaud, a municipal and departmental architect, for whom he worked for a decade. In 1814, on the recommendation of the architects Percier & Fontaine, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the ateliers of Antoine-Laurent-Thomas Vaudoyer and Jean-Baptiste Labadye (1777–1850). An encounter in Paris with the geographer Jombert, who had been a member of the scientific mission that accompanied Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, was to influence his subsequent career. In 1817 Jombert recommended Coste to Muhammad ‛Ali, Khedive of Egypt (...
(b Givry, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, Jan 4, 1747; d Paris, April 28, 1825).
French museum director, writer, graphic artist, collector, archaeologist and diplomat. He was the son of a provincial aristocrat. He went to Paris to further his law studies c. 1765 but entered the studio of Noël Hallé. He became Gentleman-in-Ordinary to Louis XV and was appointed keeper of the collection of engraved gems and medals that Mme de Pompadour had left to the King. In 1772 he entered the diplomatic service as attaché to the French embassy at St Petersburg, he was subsequently posted to Stockholm, Geneva (where his disrespectful engraving Repast at Ferney, of 4 July 1775, angered Voltaire) and, from spring 1776, Naples. There he became acquainted with Sir William Hamilton, the British ambassador, and made many drawings of his future wife Emma. Denon began to acquire a diverse collection of paintings and engravings as well as antiquities from excavations at Nola, Catania, Agrigento, Pompeii and Herculaneum. He purchased the painting of the ...
Malian, 20th – 21st century, male.
Born 1948, in Kayes.
Ismaël Diabaté graduated in 1968 from the Bamako national institute of arts and started out painting in a conventionally Western Realist manner. By the mid-1970s, however, he had become increasingly interested in the work of the ...