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’....
[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 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 Paris, Feb 8, 1822; d Baden-Baden, Feb 9, 1894).
French photographer and writer. He was from a wealthy background, and he learnt calotype photography from Gustave Le Gray and Alexis de Lagrange. In 1849 he was sent by the Ministère de l’Instruction Publique on a mission to the Middle East to record the monuments and inscriptions. He undertook the trip (1849–51) with his friend the writer Gustave Flaubert, and during his travels he used a modified calotype process imparted to him by Alexis de Lagrange. He brought back c. 200 pictures from Egypt and some from Jerusalem and Baalbek. The album Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie: Dessins photographiques recueillis pendant les années 1849, 1850, 1851, accompagnés d’un texte explicatif et précédés d’une introduction was published by Gide and Baudry in 1852–4 (copy in Paris, Bib. Inst.; prints in Paris, Mus. d’Orsay; Paris, Bib. N.; Paris, Inst. Géog. N.). It contains 125 calotypes printed by Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and it was the first printed work in France to be illustrated with ...
(b Chesterfield, Derbys, 1822; d Cannes, Feb 25, 1898).
English photographer. He is noted for his studies of the Middle East and for establishing the largest photographic publishing firm in the 19th century. He was born into a Quaker family and spent five unrewarding years apprenticed to a cutler in Sheffield, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1843. After two years recuperative travel he became a successful businessman, first in wholesale groceries and later in printing. His involvement with photography began at this time. He was one of the founder-members of the Liverpool Photographic Society in 1853 and he exhibited portraits and landscapes to much critical acclaim.
The sale of Frith’s printing firm in 1854 financed the expeditions to Egypt and the Holy Land that were to establish his pre-eminence among early travel photographers. He made three trips between 1856 and 1860 (see fig.). On the first, he sailed up the Nile to the Second Cataract, recording the main historic monuments between Cairo and Abu Simbel. On the second, he struck eastwards to Palestine, visiting Jerusalem, Damascus and other sites associated with the life of Christ. The final expedition was the most ambitious, combining a second visit to the Holy Land with a deeper southward penetration of the Nile. His photographs of the temple at ...
James P. W. Thompson
(b La Rochelle, Oct 24, 1820; d Saint-Maurice, Aug 27, 1876).
French painter and writer. The wide skies and sweeping plains of his native Charente region left him with a love of natural beauty for which he later found affinities in Algeria and the Netherlands. From his youth he showed academic intelligence, literary talent and artistic aptitude. In 1839 he was sent to Paris to study law, but he became increasingly interested in drawing. Although his father, a skilled amateur artist who had studied with Jean-Victor Bertin, never became reconciled to his son’s desire to pursue painting as a career, Fromentin was sent to study with the Neo-classical landscape painter Jean-Charles-Joseph Rémond (1795–1875); however, he preferred the more naturalistic Nicolas-Louis Cabat. Fromentin developed slowly as an artist and began to show real promise as a landscape draughtsman only in the early to mid-1840s. He published his first important piece of criticism on the Salon of 1845.
From 3 March to ...
(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).
French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...
(b Montpellier, Dec 15, 1807; d Paris, Aug 8, 1893).
French painter. He was trained by Eugène Devéria and Achille Devéria and made his first appearance at the Salon, in 1836, with Luca Signorelli da Cortona (Avignon, Mus. Calvet) and Flight into Egypt (untraced), the first of a number of religious pictures painted in the 1840s in the pleasant, sentimental manner of Eugène Devéria’s religious work. The Humility of St Elizabeth of Hungary (exh. Salon, 1843; Montpellier, St Louis), Conversion of the Magdalene (1845; Nogent-sur-Seine, parish church) and Adoration of the Shepherds (1846; Quesnoy-sur-Airaine, parish church) belong to an idea of the Rococo common in the 1840s. Glaize’s interest in 18th-century French art is also evident in Blood of Venus (exh. 1846) and Picnic (both Montpellier, Mus. Fabre). This element was less obvious in the 1850s. In 1852 he exhibited a scene of the savage heroism of the Women of Gaul: Episode from the Roman Invasion (Autun, Mus. Rolin), one of the first pictures on a theme that appealed to a new interest in the history of Gaul in the Second Empire. Increasingly, he adopted subject-matter favoured by the ...
(b Alexandria, May 10, 1878; d Athens, July 1967).
Greek painter of Egyptian birth. He studied in Vienna under the German painter Karl Dieffenbach (b 1851) and first exhibited at the Boehms Künstlerhaus in 1899. His first exhibition in Athens was in 1900. From 1903–7 he lived on the island of Poros where he painted the frescoes for the church of St Nicholas. In 1908 he decorated the church of St George in Cairo. From 1909 to 1911 he lived in Paris, where he participated in the Salon d’Automne. In 1910 he received an award for his painting The Hillside, and in 1911 he won first prize at an exhibition of religious art for his painting of the Annunciation. He returned to Greece in 1912, living in Corfu for five years, before finally settling in Athens in 1917. In 1918 he was commissioned to decorate the church of St Alexander at Paleo Phaliro. In 1920, after a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Záppeion, Athens, he received the art and literature award of the Academy of Athens. In ...
Colette E. Bidon
(b Algiers, March 23, 1861; d Marlotte, Seine-et-Marne, March 1932).
French painter and designer. He began his career painting the Algerian scenes of his youth, rendering Orientalist subjects—such as markets and musicians—with a distinctive, unaffected precision. In 1888 he went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Auguste Herst (b 1825) and Fernand Cormon. He exhibited at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1890.
The discovery of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, and a visit to Italy in 1894, led Point to model his work on the artists of the Florentine Renaissance. The inspiration of Botticelli and Leonardo can be seen in such works as the Eternal Chimera (c. 1895; London, Piccadilly Gal.). Under the dominating influence of Gustave Moreau, his work was also aligned with Symbolism. He became a disciple of Rosicrucianism and a friend of Sâr Peladan, fastidiously rejecting the modern industrial world and what he considered the excessive realism of Zola or Courbet. He painted magicians, endowed with a pure and ancient beauty, or figures of Greek mythology (e.g. ...
(b Stockbridge, nr Edinburgh, Oct 24, 1796; d London, Nov 25, 1864).
Scottish painter. The son of a shoemaker, he was apprenticed to a house-painter. From 1816 until 1830 he was employed in the theatre to design and paint stage scenery, first in Edinburgh and Glasgow and after 1822 in London. While in Scotland he met and worked with Clarkson Stanfield and later collaborated with him in London on dioramas and panoramas. Among Roberts’s commissions from Covent Garden were the sets for the first London performance of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in 1827.
Roberts exhibited his first easel painting in London in 1824 and at the Royal Academy in 1826 (View of Rouen Cathedral, no. 221; untraced). Four years later his success enabled him to give up theatrical work. Thereafter, in common with other contemporary painters of picturesque topography and architecture, such as Stanfield, J. D. Harding and James Holland, Roberts undertook journeys abroad in search of exotic or impressive subjects. He made his first visit to Spain in ...
Egyptian, 20th century, male.
Born 1936, in Cairo.
Ahmed Fouad Sélim trained as a lawyer and has also worked as an artistic adviser. The symbolism of his Abstraction, in which he draws truncated geometrical forms, is strongly emphasised by the titles of his works: ...
(b Saint-Flour, Cantal, Jan 14, 1817; d Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux, nr Grenoble, Aug 28, 1892).
French photographer and civil engineer. He was fascinated by Egyptology from an early age and visited Egypt from 1851 to 1852. He returned there in 1869 with an official invitation to the opening of the Suez Canal. He brought a number of calotypes back to France after his first trip, and these made up his album Egypte et Nubie. Sites et monuments les plus intéressants pour l’étude de l’art et de l’histoire. Atlas photographique accompagné de plans et d’une table explicative servant de complément à la grande ‘description de l’Egypte’. This sumptuous work, illustrated by 160 large-format plates printed by H. de Fonteny, was published from 1853 to 1858 by Goupil. The views shown were varied and included ancient monuments such as the Temple of Abu Simbel, the Pyramid of Chephren and the Ruins of Aswan as well as modern ones such as the Town of Asyut, the banks of the Nile and local people going about their daily business, as in ...
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...
Egyptian, 19th century, male.
Active then naturalised in France.
Born in Alexandria; died August 1891.
Willenigh was a student of J. Lefebvre, G. Boulanger and Kuwasseg. He first exhibited at the Salon in 1870. He was a member of the Société des Artistes Français....