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Article

Julius Kaplan

(b nr Termonde, Sept 12, 1858; d Brussels, Nov 12, 1921).

Belgian painter, illustrator, sculptor, designer, photographer and writer. He was one of the foremost Symbolist artists and active supporters of avant-garde art in late 19th-century Belgium. His wealthy family lived in Bruges from 1859 to 1864, moved to Brussels in 1865, where Khnopff remained until his death, and spent their summers at a country home in Fosset, in the Ardennes. Fosset inspired numerous landscapes that owe a strong debt to Barbizon-style realism (see 1979 cat. rais., p. 210), which dominated advanced Belgian painting in the late 1870s. Khnopff abandoned law school in 1875, and, turning to literature and art, he studied with Xavier Mellery at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During visits to Paris (1877–80) he admired the work of Ingres and was especially attracted to the painterly art of Rubens, Rembrandt, the Venetian Renaissance and particularly Delacroix. At the Exposition Universelle of 1878 in Paris he discovered Gustave Moreau and Edward Burne-Jones, both of whom indelibly influenced his art. He studied with ...

Article

Christoph Brockhaus

(Leopold Isidor)

(b Leitmeritz, northern Bohemia [now Litoměřice, Czech Republic], April 10, 1877; d Schloss Zwickledt, nr Wernstein, Aug 20, 1959).

Austrian draughtsman, illustrator, painter and writer. In 1892 he was apprenticed in Klagenfurt to the landscape photographer Alois Beer. Though learning very little, he remained there until 1896, when he attempted to commit suicide as a result of his unstable disposition. A brief period in the Austrian army in 1897 led to a nervous collapse, after which he was allowed to study art. In 1898 he moved to Munich, where he studied first at the private school run by the German painter Ludwig Schmidt-Reutte (1863–1909) and then briefly at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in the drawing class of Nikolaus Gysis in 1899. In Munich he first saw the graphic work of James Ensor, Goya, Max Klinger, Edvard Munch, Odilon Redon and Félicien Rops, finding Klinger’s work closest to his own aesthetic. He also read Arthur Schopenhauer’s pessimistic philosophy, which he found attractive, and befriended many artists, including the Elf Scharfrichter circle around Frank Wedekind. His work of the period largely consisted of ink and wash drawings modelled on Goya’s and Klinger’s aquatint technique. By their inclusion of fantastic monsters and deformed or maimed humans, these drawings revealed Kubin’s abiding interest in the macabre. Thematically they were related to Symbolism, as shown by the ink drawing ...

Article

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...