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Article

(b Ornans, Franche-Comté, June 10, 1819; d La Tour-de-Peilz, nr Vevey, Switzerland, Dec 31, 1877).

French painter and writer. Courbet’s glory is based essentially on his works of the late 1840s and early 1850s depicting peasants and labourers, which were motivated by strong political views and formed a paradigm of Realism (see Realism). From the mid-1850s into the 1860s he applied the same style and spirit to less overtly political subjects, concentrating on landscapes and hunting and still-life subjects. Social commitment, including a violent anticlericalism, re-emerged in various works of the 1860s and continued until his brief imprisonment after the Commune of 1871. From 1873 he lived in exile in Switzerland where he employed mediocre artists, but also realized a couple of outstanding pictures with an extremely fresh and free handling. The image Courbet presented of himself in his paintings and writings has persisted, making him an artist who is assessed as much by his personality as by his work. This feature and also his hostility to the academic system, state patronage and the notion of aesthetic ideals have made him highly influential in the development of modernism....

Article

Bernadette Thomas

(Jean-Baptiste)

(b Brussels, Dec 13, 1830; d Brussels, April 27, 1880).

Belgian painter and writer. He showed an instinctive aptitude for painting while still very young. Rather than go to an academy, he worked in Thomas Couture’s studio in Paris before enrolling at the Atelier Saint-Luc in Brussels (1853–63), where his contemporaries included Félicien Rops and Constantin Meunier. At the Salon of 1851 in Paris he met Gustave Courbet, whose paintings struck a chord with his own artistic aspirations. He adopted Realist theories and became their champion in Brussels. Like Courbet, he extolled a free and personal interpretation of nature and reality, under the motto ‘freedom and sincerity’.

At the Salon of 1860 in Brussels, Dubois exhibited two important canvases: Storks (1858) and Roulette (1860; both Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.). These struck the critics by their boldness of composition, treatment of light and the broad and sensual handling that recalled the Belgian painterly tradition that had been dormant since the time of Rubens....

Article

Ettore Spalletti

(b Siena, March 1, 1817; d Florence, Jan 10, 1882).

Italian sculptor and writer. He was among the foremost sculptors in Tuscany in the generation after Lorenzo Bartolini. His early experiments in naturalism attracted such hostile criticism that he was forced to abandon this style in favour of a sensual neo-Greek manner. His later works are marked by a richly expressive eclecticism.

He trained with his father, a wood-carver, and briefly attended the Istituto di Belle Arti in Siena. By 1826 or 1827 he was in Florence, where he joined the workshop of the wood-carver Paolo Sani. Dupré alternated this work with practical attempts at teaching himself, particularly drawing, as part of his ambition to become a sculptor. His first proper sculpture, a wooden figure of St Philomena, was shown in 1838 at the annual exhibition of the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, where it attracted the praise of Lorenzo Bartolini, among others. In 1840 he made a jewel casket, inspired by the interior architecture of the Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Florence, which was acquired by ...

Article

Gerardo Pérez Calero

(b Alcoy, Alicante, Dec 19, 1834; d Paris, Nov 27, 1901).

Spanish painter and museum director. From 1846 he studied at the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, under José de Madrazo y Agudo and Federico de Madrazo y Küntz. While working in Rome on a grant (1855–60), he came into contact with the circles around the Academia Española de Bellas Artes. He belonged to the generation of post-Romantic and Realist Spanish painters whose works are eclectic in genre. However, because of his training, milieu and political beliefs, he produced primarily history paintings. These are linear and superbly drawn, but, though incorporating many erudite references, they lack colour and luminosity. His finest works include Communards on the Scaffold (1860; Madrid, Pal. de las Cortes) and the Execution of Gen. Torrijos and his Comrades (1888; Madrid, Casón Buen Retiro). The latter, among the best of its type, looks back to Goya’s renowned Third of May (1814; Madrid, Prado). Gisbert Pérez also painted genre and religious subjects and some fine portraits. Some of these portraits are Romantic in style (e.g. ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Edhem, Osman Hamdi; Hamdi Bey]

(b Istanbul, Dec 30, 1842; d Eskihisar, Gebze, nr Istanbul, Feb 24, 1910).

Turkish painter, museum director and archaeologist. In 1857 he was sent to Paris, where he stayed for 11 years, training as a painter under Gustave Boulanger and Jean-Léon Gérôme. On returning to Turkey he served in various official positions, including two years in Baghdad as chargé d’affaires, while at the same time continuing to paint. In 1873 he worked on a catalogue of costumes of the Ottoman empire, with photographic illustrations, for the Weltausstellung in Vienna. In 1881 he was appointed director of the Archaeological Museum at the Çinili Köşk, Topkapı Palace, in Istanbul. He persuaded Sultan Abdülhamid II (reg 1876–1909) to issue an order against the traffic in antiquities, which was put into effect in 1883, and he began to direct excavations within the Ottoman empire. As a result he brought together Classical and Islamic objects for the museum in Istanbul, including the Sarcophagus of Alexander, unearthed in Sidon in ...

Article

Paul Gerbod

(b Boulogne-sur-Mer, May 10, 1809; d Comborn, April 8, 1877).

French painter, museum director and writer. In 1815 he returned to France with his father, who had been a prisoner of war in Britain. He was a pupil at the Collège Bourbon in Paris and subsequently spent several years in Haute-Vienne, where he worked in the ironworks. He returned to Paris in 1828 and became friendly with several painters, including Xavier Sigalon and François Souchon (1787–1857), who gave him advice on painting technique. While pursuing his career as a painter (he exhibited regularly at the Salon between 1831 and 1848), he participated in Republican politics in the circles of the leading opposition figures, Godefroy Cavaignac and Alexandre Ledru-Rollin. He demonstrated his political commitment through his involvement in the Revolution of July 1830, in the Société Libre de Peinture et de Sculpture and in his various articles for newspapers and reviews such as Pandore, Revue française and Revue du Nord...

Article

Mariantonietta Picone Petrusa

(b Santeramo in Colle, nr Bari, Dec 24, 1832; d Naples, Aug 28, 1894).

Italian painter and critic. He was taught privately by Giuseppe Bonolis but first studied law. After taking his degree, however, he enrolled in 1855 at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples and also attended the independent art school run by the painters Tommaso De Vivo (1787/90–1884) and Michele De Napoli (1808–92). In 1856 Netti went to Rome where he remained for three years studying Ancient art. On his return to Naples he came to know the artist Domenico Morelli and from 1862 to 1864 attended the life-drawing classes of Filippo Palizzi. His first officially exhibited work was the Death of St Joseph Calasanzio (1859; Naples, Scu. Media Stat. Vittorio Emanuele II), which adopts the style of De Napoli’s religious works. He then painted the Madness of Haidée (1860; untraced) and the dramatic scene of revolutionary activity, An Event of 15 May 1848 (exh. ...

Article

Anthony Páez Mullan

revised by Omar Olivares

(b Venezuela, c. 1810; d New York City, c. 1894).

Venezuelan painter, author, diplomat, and botanist. Páez was the son of José Antonio Páez, one of Bolívar’s most trusted generals and the colorful first president of Venezuela. Little is known of his childhood. Páez himself refers to his education in Caracas as a boy and later on in 1841 as a student at the Jesuit college of Stonyhurst in England. Early sources of artistic inspiration were most likely Páez’s cousin, Carmelo Fernández (1810–1887; a landscape artist who was a member of the Comisión Corográfica, the first national expedition to survey Colombia for more precise information on indigenous groups, the topography, and the natural resources of the country); the English portrait painter, Lewis Adams (1809–1853), who painted most members of the Páez family; Charles Thomas, an English miniature painter; and the German landscape painter Ferdinand Bellermann (1814–1889).

In 1849 General Páez was exiled and was accompanied by Ramón. From ...

Article

(b Prague, Sept 7, 1827; d Prague, Dec 30, 1901).

Bohemian painter, caricaturist, designer and administrator. He was the son of the liberal politician Anton Maria Pinkas and the son-in-law of the art historian Anton Springer. In 1849 he began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademie Výtvarných Umění) in Prague, where in the previous year he had belonged to a group of students who were leaders in supporting the democratic revolution. In 1850 he continued his studies in Munich with Johann Berdellé (1813–76). Children Playing on Kampa Peninsula in Prague (Prague, N.G., Convent of St Agnes), exhibited in Prague in 1854, was a demonstration of unpretentious realism and the artist’s interest in contemporary life. In 1854 he went to France, where he remained until 1869. Thus he, rather than his friend and fellow artist Jaroslav Čermák, became the first Bohemian painter to spend considerable time in contact with the work of contemporary French artists who did not enjoy official recognition. Initially he studied under ...

Article

Jeremy Howard

(b Bebri farmstead, near Saldus, March 18, 1866; d Helsinki, Dec 26, 1916).

Latvian painter, graphic designer, writer, critic and teacher. He was the son of a country blacksmith and at the age of sixteen moved to Riga, where he spent four years as a painter and decorator. He then worked as an extra in the Riga Latvian Society Theatre and briefly attended drawing classes at the German Trade School before entering the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1888. He studied under Vladimir Makovsky and in 1894 was made an artist of the first degree for Leaving Church: After the Service (Riga, Latv. Mus. F.A.), a realist depiction of the inequalities of country life and the hypocrisy of church-goers who ignore the beggars outside the church gates. The scene represented is one from his native region, a source that he was to exploit extensively and variously. In the ensuing years he utilized motifs from the landscape, mythology and everyday life of Latvia as, coming into contact with developments abroad, he experimented with his approach. Thus, ...

Article

Sergey Kuznetsov

[ Zhmuydzinavichyus, Antanas ( Ionasovich )]

(b Seiriai, Seinai region, Oct 31, 1876; d Kaunas, Aug 9, 1966).

Lithuanian painter, administrator and writer. He qualified as a drawing teacher at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts and taught at the Warsaw Commercial College (1899–1905) while continuing his studies. He also studied in Paris (from 1905), Munich (1908–9) and Hamburg (1912). During a short stay in Vilnius in 1906–7 he became close to Petras Rimša and Mikalojus Čiurlionis, founding the Lithuanian Art Society, which combined two trends in Lithuanian art: realist (Žmuidzinavičius, Petras Kalpokas, Rimša) and Symbolist (Čiurlionis). He was the initiator of the first Lithuanian Art Exhibition, held in Vilnius in 1907, at which he showed 35 paintings, among them Peasant Kitchen (1905; Kaunas, A. Žmuidzinavičius Mem. Mus.). During these years Žmuidzinavičius was influenced by the work of the Symbolists, as evident in Horseman (1910–12; Kaunas, A. Žmuidzinavičius Mem. Mus.). His essays on art were published in periodicals and newspapers in Vilnius, Kaunas and Warsaw in the first two decades of the 20th century. He maintained contact with Lithuanian emigrés in the USA, which he visited in ...