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Article

Anisfel’d, Boris  

Jeremy Howard

(Izrailevich)

(b Beltsy, Bessarabia [now in Moldova], Oct 14, 1879; d Waterford, CT, Dec 4, 1973).

Russian painter and stage designer. He was a Symbolist artist who, like many of his colleagues in the World of Art group, made his foremost contribution to the development of Russian art in the fields of graphic art and stage design. He first studied at the Drawing School of the Odessa Society of Fine Arts (1895–1900) and then at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts (1901–9), where his tutors included Dmitry Kardovsky and Il’ya Repin. His participation in exhibitions included the World of Art (St Petersburg and Moscow, 1906–18), the Union of Russian Artists (Moscow and St Petersburg, 1906–10), the Salon d’Automne (Paris, 1906), Wreath (St Petersburg, 1908) and the Izdebsky International Salon (Kiev and Odessa, 1909–10). His painting attracted considerable critical acclaim for its exotic themes and colouring. Simultaneously, he worked as a caricaturist, creating grotesque and fantastic images for satirical magazines as well as executing wall paintings for houses in St Petersburg. His prolific career as a stage designer began in ...

Article

Anisfeld, Boris Israilovich  

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1879, in Beltsy; died 1973, in Stonington (Connecticut).

Painter (gouache), draughtsman. Scenes with figures. Stage costumes and sets.

Symbolism.

Boris Anisfeld studied at the academy of fine art in St Petersburg. He spent some time in the south of France working on the Spanish border around 1913 and exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, of which he became a member. He then returned to work in Petrograd, only to leave again in 1917. From 1918 to 1920, he took part in a touring exhibition in the United States: Brooklyn Museum in New York, Allbright Knox Museum in Buffalo, Chicago Art Institute, Museum of Art in St Louis and in San Francisco....

Article

Bakst, Léon  

Kenneth Archer

[Rosenberg, Lev (Samoylovich)]

(b Grodno, Belarus, May 10, 1866; d Paris, Dec 27, 1924).

Russian painter and stage designer of Belorussian birth. Born into a middle-class Jewish family, Bakst was educated in St Petersburg, attending a gymnasium and then the Academy of Arts (1883–6). He began professional life as a copyist and illustrator of teaching materials but quickly moved on to illustration for popular magazines. His tastes were influenced and horizons enlarged when he met Alexandre Benois and his circle in 1890. Bakst travelled regularly to various countries in Europe and North Africa and studied in Paris with a number of notable artists including the French Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Académie Julian and, from 1893 to 1896, the Finnish landscape painter Albert Edelfelt. Returning to St Petersburg, he became active as a book designer and fashionable portrait painter. With Benois and Serge Diaghilev he was a founder and leading member of the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) group in 1898...

Article

Balla, Giacomo  

Piero Pacini

(b Turin, Aug 18, 1871; d Rome, March 1, 1958).

Italian painter, sculptor, stage designer, decorative artist and actor. He was one of the originators of Futurism (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder) and was particularly concerned with the representation of light and movement. His personal interest in scientific methods of analysis contributed to both the practical and ideological bases of the movement. His oeuvre from the Futurist period overshadowed the work of later years.

Balla was self-taught and began painting in Turin. In 1895 he settled in Rome. At the age of about 25 he painted some lively sketches of urban life that are characterized by a thick impasto, for example the series Machietta romana (1898; Rome, priv. col., see Lista, 1982, nos 12–17) and landscapes showing familiarity with the divisionism practised by the northern Italian artists Giuseppe Pelizza da Volpedo, Giovanni Segantini and Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, for example Luci di marzo (...

Article

Begon, Marcel  

Belgian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1875, in Verviers; died 1936, in Heusy.

Painter, draughtsman. Nudes, portraits, flowers. Posters, stage costumes and sets.

A student of Omer Ierickx at the academy of fine arts in Liège, he decorated the ceilings of the town hall in Louvain, produced sets and costumes for the stage and made posters....

Article

Bianchini, Charles  

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1860, in Lyons; died 3 March 1905, in Paris.

Painter, draughtsman, decorative artist. Figures. Stage costumes.

Charles Bianchini began as a designer of costumes for revues and in 1893 was appointed artist to the Paris Opéra. He also produced costume designs for the Opéra-Comique and other companies, designs which were always right for the roles and for the physique of the actors involved....

Article

Bilibin, Ivan  

Kenneth Archer

(Yakovlevich)

(b Tarkhovka, St Petersburg, Aug 4, 1876; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Feb 7, 1942).

Russian graphic artist and stage designer. The son of a naval doctor, Bilibin was educated in St Petersburg, studying law at the University (1896–1900) and art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1895–8); then, under Il’ya Repin, he studied at both Princess Maria Tenisheva’s Art School (1898–1900) and the Academy of Arts (1900–04). From 1899 he exhibited with the group known as the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and was elected chairman of its reconstituted exhibition society in 1916. He also contributed to the Mir Iskusstva journal. Meanwhile he taught graphic art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1907–17).

Bilibin had a strong interest in Russian medieval and folk art and became famous for his book illustrations of Russian fairy tales, especially those by Pushkin. His most celebrated theatrical works were his set and costume designs for operas by ...

Article

Dobuzhinsky, Mstislav  

Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Valerianovich)

(b Novgorod, Aug 14, 1875; d New York, Nov 20, 1957).

Russian graphic artist, painter and stage designer. He first studied art from 1885 to 1887 at the School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, St Petersburg, and then enrolled in St Petersburg University from where he graduated in Law in 1898. Unwilling to give up his early interest in art, in 1899 he went to Munich to study under Anton Ažbé and Simon Hollósy and met there the large colony of Russian artists, including Igor’ Grabar’. He also saw the work of German Jugendstil artists.

Dobuzhinsky returned to St Petersburg in 1901, and in 1902 he was invited by Grabar’ to join the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) group in 1902. His first works were historical landscapes in the manner of Alexandre Benois, but he soon began to portray the specific traits of the contemporary industrialized city and its suburbs, in both paintings and prints. In Man in Glasses...

Article

Doudelet, Charles  

Jean-Pierre de Bruyn

(b Lille, Feb 8, 1861; d Ghent, Jan 7, 1938).

Belgian painter, sculptor, illustrator, and stage designer. He studied music at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium and sculpture at the Gewerbeschule, Ghent (after 1877). He visited Paris in 1887 and Italy in 1890, with a grant from the city of Ghent. He was deeply impressed by the masters of the Quattrocento, and was encouraged to take up painting after meeting Constantin Meunier (1891). He painted Symbolist scenes and was influenced by Art Nouveau. After exhibiting his work with Les XX in Brussels (1893), he made decorative panels for Oostakker Castle.

As an illustrator Doudelet worked on Pol De Mont’s Van Jezus (Antwerp, 1897) and books by Maurice Maeterlinck, for example Douze chansons (Paris, 1896) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Brussels, 1892 or 1922). He illustrated the periodicals Réveil (1895–1896), De Vlaamsche school, Mercure de France, Pan, L’Eroica, Nuovo Convito, De Vlaamsche School, Woord en beeld...

Article

Drésa, Jacques  

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 11 January 1869, in Versailles; died 1929.

Draughtsman, watercolourist, designer. Figures, scenes with figures. Designs for tapestries, patterns (fabrics), stage costumes and sets.

Orientalism.

Jacques Drésa is known for his tapestry and fabric patterns, but he was also a set designer, particularly at the Théâtre des Arts (...

Article

Edel, Alfredo  

Italian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1859, in Codogno; died 16 December 1912, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.

Painter, watercolourist, sculptor. Stage costumes, figurines.

Edel made figurines and theatre costumes. He worked for Coquelin, Sarah Bernhardt, the Comédie Française and Barnum in Paris, as well as the Olympia Theatre in London and La Scala in Milan....

Article

Espagnat, Georges d’  

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Melun, Seine-et-Marne, Aug 14, 1870; d Paris, April 17, 1950).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Disdaining the traditional art schools, he studied part-time at the Académie Colarossi in Paris under Gustave-Claude-Etienne Courtois (1852–1923) and Jean-André Rixens (1846–1924) but was mostly self-taught. In 1891 he exhibited at the Salon des Refusés and the following year at the Salon des Indépendants. His early works, such as Suburban Railway (c. 1895; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay), showed a strong debt to Impressionism. He was a friend of Renoir as well as of Paul Signac, Henri Edmond Cross, Louis Valtat and later Maurice Denis, Bonnard and Vuillard. In 1898 he visited Morocco where he painted such works as Moroccan Horseman (1898; see Cailler, p. 7). After his return to France, he concentrated on studies from nature, paintings of women, children and flowers and decorative projects for private patrons. In 1904 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, becoming its Vice-President in ...

Article

Exter, Aleksandra Aleksandrovna  

or Ekster; maiden name: Grigorovich

Russian, 20th century, female.

Active in France from 1924.

Born 1882 or 1884, in Bielostok (Kiev); died 17 March 1949, in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.

Painter, decorative artist. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Symbolism, Futurism, Constructivism.

Groups: Golubaya Roza (Blue Rose), Bubnovy Valet (Jack of Diamonds).

A student at the school of fine art in Kiev, Aleksandra Exter exhibited for the first time with the Blue Rose ( Golubaya Roza ) group in Moscow in 1907. The following year, in Kiev, she organised one of the first exhibitions of the Russian avant-garde, The Link (Zveno), which brought together Baranoff-Rossine, the Burlyuk brothers, Larionov, Goncharova, and Lentulov.

Between 1903 and 1914, Exter travelled extensively between Paris, Rome, Genoa, and Florence. The artist however spent long periods in Paris beginning as early as 1908. While in Paris, Exter joined the Cubist circle. In 1908, she married her cousin Nicolai Eugenovitch Exter, a wealthy lawyer. In Paris, she met Picasso, Apollinaire, and Max Jacob and came under the influence of first Herve Léger and then Sonia and Robert Delaunay....

Article

Fabre, Jan  

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 14 December 1958, in Antwerp.

Draughtsman, watercolourist, installation artist, performance artist, director, scenographer, film writer.

Jan Fabre attended the art academy and the arts and crafts institute in Antwerp. He is a visual artist, but also a choreographer, dancer and playwright (his first play was written in ...

Article

Fabry, Suzanne  

Belgian, 20th century, female.

Born 1904, in Brussels; died 1985.

Painter, draughtswoman. Figures, scenes with figures. Stage costumes.

Symbolism.

Suzanne Fabry was a student of Isidore de Rudder, Jean Delville and Constant Montald at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.

She took part in collective exhibitions: in ...

Article

Farago, Geza  

Hungarian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1877, in Budapest; died 1928.

Painter, draughtsman, decorative designer. Patterns (fabrics), stage costumes, posters.

Geza Farago was initially a fabric designer in a cotton fabric factory, then went to Paris where he was apprenticed as a painter, draughtsman and decorator in several workshops, notably at the Académie Colarossi....

Article

Golovin, Aleksandr  

V. Rakitin

(Yakovlevich)

(b Moscow, March 1, 1863; d Detskoye Selo [now Pushkin], nr St Petersburg, April 17, 1930).

Russian stage designer and painter. He studied architecture, then painting under Vladimir Makovsky, Vasily Polenov and Illarion Pryanishnikov at the Moscow College of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1881–90). In 1889 he attended Jacques-Emile Blanche’s studio in Paris and in 1895 travelled in Italy, France and Spain. In 1897 he studied under Raphaël Collin (b 1850) and Luc-Olivier Merson in Paris. A member of the Moscow Society of Painters from 1894, he lived in Moscow until 1901. Golovin expressed a great interest in Art Nouveau and in the search for a new national style of Russian art. Together with Yelena Polenova he devised a project in 1898 for the decoration of a Russian dining-room at the house of the painter Maria Yakunchikova, and he collaborated with Konstantin Korovin on the décor of the artisan section in the Russian pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900...

Article

Herkomer, Sir Hubert von  

Lee M. Edwards

(b Waal, Bavaria, May 26, 1849; d Budleigh Salterton, Devon, March 31, 1914).

English painter, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, writer and teacher of German birth. He was the only child of Lorenz Herkomer (d 1887), a wood-carver, and Josephine (née Niggl), an accomplished pianist and music teacher. They left Bavaria for the USA in 1851 and lived briefly in Cleveland, OH, before settling in Southampton, England, in 1857.

Herkomer received his first art instruction from his father and from 1864 to 1865 he attended the Southampton School of Art. Later he often criticized the crippling academic methods to which he was exposed as a student. In 1865 he briefly attended the Munich Academy and spent the summer terms of 1866 and 1867 at the South Kensington Art School in London, where he found the teaching ‘aimless and undirected’. With the encouragement of his fellow student Luke Fildes, Herkomer took up black-and-white illustration; his first wood-engraving appeared in Good Words...

Article

Kandinsky, Vasily  

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

Klein, César  

(b Hamburg, Sept 14, 1876; d Pansdorf, nr Lübeck, May 13, 1954).

German painter, printmaker, poster and stage designer. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (c. 1894), and art academies in Düsseldorf and Berlin (c. 1897). In the first decades of the 20th century he exhibited with the New Secessionists. He drew and painted still-lifes and figures in landscapes and interiors in a strongly Expressionist style, which revealed his admiration for Cubism and for the work of Ferdinand Hodler. He was an assiduous worker; besides paintings, woodcuts and lithographs, he designed stained-glass windows, mosaics (e.g. Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, Berlin), murals and painted ceilings. He also decorated the interiors of a number of Berlin theatres, as well as the Marmorhaus cinema (1913). Klein and Gerhard Marcks joined Gropius to organize the 1914 Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne.

In the post-World War I ferment of cultural and political activity, Klein, with Max Pechstein and others, founded the Novembergruppe in Berlin in ...