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Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

(b Galaxidi, April 27, 1902; d Athens, March 22, 1985).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. He studied painting at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Athens from 1921 to 1927 and had his first one-man show in Athens in 1929. In the years that followed he had numerous one-man shows in almost all the capital cities of Europe and participated in 80 group exhibitions internationally. In 1930 he received an Academy of Athens award for his fresco designs for the church of St Dionysios the Areopagite in Athens (1930–39), the first of many ecclesiastical commissions in Greece, including St Vlassios of Xylokastro (1936–45), St Charalambos in Akrata and St Nicholas in Pefkakia. In 1935 he won commissions to design and execute the frescoes in SS Constantine and Helen, Detroit, MI. During and immediately after World War II he made illustrated manuscripts and woodcuts of Greek patriotic subjects. He was one of the founder-members of the ...

Article

Maria Leonor d’Orey

(b Guimarães, c. 1465–70; d Lisbon, c. 1536–7).

Portuguese writer, designer and goldsmith. He was active from 1502 to 1536 in the service of Queen Eleanor, Manuel I and John III as a playwright, goldsmith, musician, stage designer and actor. It is known, on the evidence of the King’s will, that in 1503 Manuel I entrusted to Vicente the gold from Quiloa that Vasco da Gama (c. 1460–1524) had brought as tribute from his second voyage to India and commissioned Vicente to make the Belém Monstrance (1506; Lisbon, Mus. N. A. Ant.) for the monastery of the Jerónimos at Belém. It is the only surviving example of his work as goldsmith and is one of the best examples of gold- and silverwork in the Manueline style.

At the end of the 19th century, however, there was controversy as to whether the playwright could be identified as the creator of the Belém Monstrance. Documents of the period refer to a ‘Gil Vicente’ without further identification, and biographical details of the poet are not easy to establish. Analysis of the work of the dramatist, however, reveals a profound knowledge of the goldsmith’s craft in the use of over 150 technical terms that would probably not have been familiar to a layman....

Article

Bruno Adorni

(b Reggio Emilia, Feb 19, 1588; d Modena, Sept 9, 1663).

Italian architect, stage designer and engineer . He is first noted in 1618 and again in 1619 as a designer of theatrical effects for church festivities in Reggio Emilia. In 1631 he moved to Modena, where he worked on the city fortifications for Francesco I d’Este (ii), Duke of Modena, for whom he also built a garden casino (1633–4; modified 18th century) and, later, the villa of Pentetorri (1652; destr.). In 1635 he became Engineer and General Superintendent of Buildings for the Duke, and in 1636 he began work on Modena’s pentagonal citadel. He also supervised the decorations for court festivities, which involved the construction of ephemeral architecture. Vigarani was in addition a successful designer of theatres, building those at Reggio Emilia (1637), Carpi (1640) and the Teatro della Speltà (1654–6), Modena (all destr.). In 1659 he was summoned to Paris to design the decorations for the wedding of King Louis XIV. Vigarani’s theatre at the Tuileries, the Salle des Machines (...

Article

V. V. Vanslov

( Vladimirovich )

(b Moscow, April 30, 1902; d Moscow, Dec 1, 1947).

Russian stage designer and painter. He studied in the studio of Vasily Nikitich Meshkov (1868–1946) during the 1910s and at Vkhutemas in Moscow under Pyotr Konchalovsky and Konstantin Korovin from 1918 to 1923. He was one of the leading members of the Society of Easel Painters from 1925 to 1929. He originally worked as a painter and illustrated children’s books; from 1929 he worked as a stage designer. As a painter he was noted for his portraits (e.g. of the director Konstantin Stanislavsky, 1933; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.) and other works painted in a bold, energetic style with expressionistic overtones (e.g. Woman at a Window, 1930s; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.)

Vil’yams’s stage designs included Mikhail Bulgakov’s Molière (1936) for MKhAT (the Moscow Art Theatre), Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (1934; Moscow, Bakhrushin Cent. Theat. Mus.) for the Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, Moscow, and Nikolay Gogol’s Government Inspector...

Article

V. V. Vanslov

( Bagratovich )

(b Tiflis [now Tbilisi], Jan 13, 1909; d 1989).

Georgian stage designer. He studied at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts under Iosif Sharleman’ (1880–1957), at the Higher Artistic and Technical Institute (Vkhutein, formerly Vkhutemas) under Isaak Rabinovich (1894–1961) and Nisson Shifrin (1892–1961) and at the Leningrad (now St Petersburg) Academy of Arts under Mikhail Bobyshov (1885–1964). He started working in the theatre in 1927, and from 1932 to 1936 he was the principal designer of the Paliashvili Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tbilisi, for which he also designed productions in later years. His best works at this theatre were his stagings of the ballets Serdtse gor (‘Heart of the hills’; 1936) with music by Andrey Balanchivadze and Othello (1957) with music by Aleksey Machavariani. From 1937 Virsaladze worked for the Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad; from 1940 to 1941 and from 1945 to 1962...

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Andrzej Rottermund

In 

Article

V. Rakitin

( Bogdanovich )

(b Tiflis [now Tbilisi], Jan 2, 1884; d Erevan, Dec 28, 1928).

Georgian stage designer and painter of Armenian origin, active in Russia . He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1901–3) but was expelled after a disagreement over the teaching methods. Posted to the Far East during military service, he became acquainted with Far Eastern decorative art, which inspired the works he exhibited with the Blue Rose group after his return to Moscow in 1907 (e.g. The Races, 1905; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.). His work of this time refers to traditional Chinese and medieval European art refracted through Art Nouveau, in an attempt to create a new decorative style in easel painting. In Moscow he often designed the décor for artistic soirées and balls, creating architecturally decorative compositions whose basic components were painted panels. In 1910 he travelled to Italy and in 1912–13 he worked in Paris, where he became acquainted with Sonia Delaunay and Robert Delaunay. In ...

Article

Melissa Chiu

(b Shanghai, 1955; d Paris, Dec 13, 2000).

Chinese installation artist, active also in France. Chen studied at Shanghai Fine Arts and Craft School until 1973 and the Shanghai Drama Institute until 1978, where he majored in stage design. Following his graduation, he became a professor at both art schools. Chen’s most representative works from this period are a series of large, grey oil paintings entitled The Flow of Qi (Qi You Tu) (1985). These works endeavoured to represent the movement of qi, or spirit, a core element of life and the cosmos in Chinese philosophy. Although not radical in form, the work with its references to ancient and traditional Chinese philosophy was a provocative political gesture given that these ideas had been suppressed during the Cultural Revolution.

When Chen moved to Paris in 1986, he enrolled at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques, graduating in 1989. His installations throughout the 1990s, when he came to international prominence, nearly without exception included references to his Chinese heritage, including Daoist philosophy, Chinese domestic objects (chamber pots, furniture such as chairs and tables, Buddha statues, abaci), and traditional medicine. These references demonstrate a residual effect of his Chinese upbringing—he lived in China until he was 31—as well as a sense of displacement as an immigrant in France and an attempt to come to grips with being a contemporary artist living and working in the West, but not sharing that region’s culture, history and traditions. For Chen, the incorporation of Chinese references in his work were essential as a matter of defining who he was as an artist, while at the same time articulating the uniqueness of his experience....

Article

Kathleen Curran

(b Regensburg, Feb 7, 1800; d Munich, July 24, 1873).

Bavarian architect and painter. After working with the stage designer Domenico Quaglio II he studied at the Königliche Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich under the Neo-classical architect Karl von Fischer. Following Fischer’s death, Ziebland completed many of his projects, including the Hof- und Nationaltheater (1811–18) in Munich. An exhibition of Ziebland’s paintings brought him to the attention of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria ( see Wittelsbach, House of family §III, (3) ). In his quest to transform Munich into a museum of architecture, Ludwig sent Ziebland to Italy to study Early Christian basilicas, so that he could design one for Munich. After two years in Italy (1827–9) Ziebland was commissioned to design an Early Christian-style basilica with an adjacent Benedictine monastery. The Bonifaziusbasilika (1835–40), Munich, is the best known of Ziebland’s works. A brick, five-aisled basilica with a sumptuous interior, St Boniface was hailed as one of Ludwig’s greatest building projects. Its monastery is attached to his exhibition building, the ...