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Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

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Ismael Gutiérrez Pastor

(b ?Modena, c. 1725; d ?Venice, c. 1796).

Italian painter, stage designer and draughtsman, active in Spain. He is thought to have first studied under Raffaello Rinaldi (fl 1713–?1747), a local artist, and between 1747 and 1751 he was enrolled in the Fraglia Veneziana, where he met the most notable vedutisti. He painted vedute in Treviso and Brescia, and these views, engraved by Francisco Zucchi, were used to illustrate Baldassare Camillo Zamboni’s Memorie intorno alle pubbliche fabbriche (1778). In 1754 Battaglioli went to Madrid to work at the court of Ferdinand VI, where he painted theatre sets for the Reales Coliseos at the Palacio Real, Aranjuez, and at the Palacio Real, Madrid. He also worked for such patrons as the castrato Farinelli (1705–82), painting two vedute (1756; Madrid, Prado) depicting scenes at the royal court. Under Farinelli’s supervision he painted stage sets (1756; two in Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando) for Pietro Metastasio’s opera ...

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Vincenzo Fontana

(b Rome, March 5, 1873; d Rome, March 30, 1939).

Italian architect. His father, Luigi Bazzani, was a painter and stage designer. Bazzani graduated in civil engineering from the university in Rome in 1896. In 1899 he won the competition for the international art scholarship with a plan for a cathedral in an Italian Gothic Revival style. His first significant building was the Alterocca printing company building (1907) at Terni, in Stile Liberty. He was joint winner with Raimondo D’Aronco and Ernesto Pivovano of the architectural prize at the Esposizione de Sempione, Milan (1906). A number of important competition-winning schemes followed. In 1905 Bazzani won the competition for the façade of S Lorenzo (unexecuted) in Florence, which stood him in good stead for his entry for the Biblioteca Nazionale (won 1907; completed 1935) at Santa Croce. An eclectic Renaissance building, its structure picked out in grey against white, it already suggests a putative monumentalism and sits awkwardly in its Florentine context. In ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(Walter Hardy)

(b London, Jan 14, 1904; d Broad Chalke, nr Salisbury, Jan 18, 1980).

English photographer and stage designer. He began taking photographs at an early age, mainly of his sisters Nancy and Baba. Beaton emulated pictures he saw in fashion magazines, especially those by Baron Adolphe de Meyer and the soft-focus technique used in them. In 1922 he went to Cambridge University to study history and architecture, but he left after three years without graduating. He took an office job, but he continued to photograph, receiving portrait commissions. Diaghilev’s praise of his photographs, particularly the double portrait of Nancy and Baba with Reflection (1924), encouraged him to set up a studio in his home in Sussex Gardens, London. Beaton created lavish decorations and painted his backgrounds himself. He encouraged his subjects to sit in striking poses. In his diary he noted: ‘Till now my pictures have been ordinary attempts to make people look as beautiful as possible, but these are fantastic and amusing’. The friendship and patronage of the ...

Article

W. Georg Rizzi

(Maria Nicolao)

(b Bologna, 1675; d Vienna, March 4, 1735).

Italian architect, decorative artist, stage designer and painter, active also in Austria. He trained as a quadratura painter in Bologna, where he was a pupil of Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. He was recorded as working as a figure and quadratura painter in Vienna for Prince Montecuccoli in 1695, and shortly afterwards for Count Heřman Jakub Czernin in both Vienna and Prague. He soon became a project designer, when his responsibilities expanded to include architecture. Beduzzi’s first project was probably the design of furnishings for the summer sacristy of Melk Abbey Church (from 1701; see Melk Abbey, §2), which matched the European High Baroque style of the building. Later he designed furnishings and frescoes for the abbey church itself (1711–22) although, contrary to common belief, he did not design the high altar and doorway. He initially painted his frescoes himself, but later these were entrusted to his associates, as in the case of the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl, near Melk, or to specialists employed by those commissioning the work. Beduzzi’s design for the illusionistic decoration of the church of St Peter (...

Article

Arthur J. Pulos

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 9, 1958).

American designer and writer. He studied at the Cleveland School of Art, OH, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and by 1914 he had established a reputation as an illustrator, making portraits of operatic luminaries for the New York Times. After producing plays in Los Angeles (1917), he joined the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1918) and became a leading stage designer; he invented the high-wattage spotlight and developed modern theatrical productions that blended the play, its lighting, its performers, and their costumes into a cohesive whole. He gained international attention for his stage set (1921; unexecuted) for Dante’s Divine Comedy, which revolutionized theatrical and operatic productions; it was conceived as a single, massive set with lighting coming first from below, signifying Hades, and then, as the play progressed, from high above, signifying Paradise. This led Max Reinhardt, the distinguished German producer, to commission him to design the settings for a production of ...

Article

Deborah Nash

(b Berlin, Aug 26, 1886; d Krailling, June 9, 1972).

German sculptor. Between 1905 and 1907 he worked as an assistant to a figurine modeller and then joined the Spezialauftrage für Theater-dekoration und plastische Modelle der Bühne Max Reinhardts from 1908 to 1910. In 1911 he entered the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin and studied there under Peter Breuer for one year. At this stage his sculptures of the human figure were expressionistic, but, influenced by the works of Naum Gabo, Alexander Archipenko and the Constructivist ideals that were prevalent in Germany, he soon moved towards a more abstract rendering of form, for example the mahogany Dreiklangs (1919; Berlin, Alte N.G.), three crinkled smooth-faceted forms emerging and diverging like leaves of a plant from a small base: this was his first completely abstract work. During this period he helped found the Novembergruppe and undertook a number of commissions for parks, memorials and restaurants, in which he was able to explore the relationship between sculpture and architecture. The most typical of these was the sculpture for the Scala Kasino in Berlin (...

Article

(b Paris, Aug 20, 1902; d Paris, Feb 12, 1949).

French painter and stage designer. He attended the Académie Ranson from 1920 (under Vuillard and Denis) and first exhibited at the Galerie Druet in 1924, as part of the group orchestrated by the critic Waldemar George. These ‘Neo-Romantics’ or ‘Neo-Humanists’ included Eugene Berman and Pavel Tchelitchew; at this point their eclectic, self-consciously traditional art offered an important alternative to modernism. Pittura Metafisica interiors provided one exemplar, yet Bérard’s dark-toned moody portraits, such as Pierre Colle (1931; priv. col., see 1983 exh. cat., p. 18), also suggest the directness of 17th-century realism, and in 1934 he painted a Homage to Le Nain.

In the Paris of the late 1920s, Bérard emerged as a promising young realist painter. His masterpiece, On the Beach (1933; New York, MOMA), presents a disturbing double self-portrait against a hallucinatory backdrop, infusing the real with morbid or perverse overtones; in this, Bérard was the precursor of Balthus, who in the mid-1930s inherited Bérard’s role and creative environment. In ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Zawory, nr Gdańsk, June 15, 1934).

Polish painter, sculptor and stage designer. He studied at the Higher School of Plastic Arts in Poznań between 1952 and 1958. His abstract work has a certain affinity with hard-edge painting and Minimalism. In his early paintings the circular or oval shape of the canvas restates the shape of the form painted on it and thereby becomes its real analogue (as in Double Circles and Circle Compositions, 1962–5). At about the same time he produced sculptures made from thin wire. In the paintings after 1965 the actual space becomes a part of the composition and begins to supplant painted, illusory forms; and the ‘empty’ space starts to play an increasingly important role (e.g. Structural Painting with Hole, 1965).

At the end of the 1960s Berdyszak produced the series of double and triple Integral Paintings, in which the initial formal composition is subjected to multiplication and modification. The sculptures from this period are loosely assembled groups of simple, geometrical elements that allow the viewer to rearrange them. Between ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

[Yevgeny (Gustavovich)]

(b St Petersburg, Nov 4, 1899; d Rome, Dec 14, 1972).

Russian painter and stage designer. His family moved to Western Europe in 1908 and his basic training was in Germany, Switzerland and France (apart from a brief residence in St Petersburg in 1914–18, when he received lessons in art from the painter Pavel Naumov and the architect Sergey Gruzenberg). In 1919 he enrolled at the Académie Ranson in Paris, attending courses under Edouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis, and two years later he exhibited at the Galerie Druet, Paris. From the late 1930s Berman worked increasingly in the USA, creating designs for ballet and other musical productions, for example for the Music Festival in Hartford, CT, in 1936. In spite of his cosmopolitan background, Berman maintained close connections with Russian artists, critics and dancers, collaborating, for example, with Serge Lifar on the production of Icare in Monte Carlo in 1938.

Berman lived in France from 1918 to 1939, although he also spent long periods in Italy, manifesting a particular interest in Renaissance art and architecture, which he interpreted in his studio paintings, some of which were shown at his one-man show at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in ...

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Marc’alvise de Vierno

In 

Article

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

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, Sept 6, 1943).

Latvian painter, stage designer and graphic designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963–72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia’s most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Žanna d’Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upīts, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Pleszew, April 25, 1920; d Warsaw, Feb 2, 1980).

Polish painter, sculptor and stage designer. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, in the studios of Jan Cybis (b 1897) and Jan Seweryn Sokołowski (1904–53) between 1945 and 1948. He was a co-founder and later head of the Painting Section of the Club of Young Artists and Scientists (Klub Młodych Artystów i Naukowców), an interdisciplinary avant-garde institution that flourished in Warsaw between 1947 and 1949. In 1955, together with Zbigniew Dłubak and Kajetan Sosnowski he founded Group 55, which took a stand against the ideas of the exhibition at the Arsenal, Warsaw (see Arsenalists), and which formulated a programme of modern art. From 1956 to 1965 he ran the Galeria Krzywe Koło in Warsaw, which showed innovative work by Polish artists. Bogusz staged the First Koszalin Plein-air Art Session in Osieki (1963) and jointly organized the First Biennial of Spatial Forms in Elblag (...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

[Santiago]

(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...

Article

Michael Howard

(b Vercelli, Piedmont, March 11, 1806; d Dijon, March 5, 1867).

French painter, illustrator, set designer and poet. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Guillaume Lethière from 1821. The Punishment of Mazeppa (1827; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.), inspired by the scene from Byron’s poem, in which Mazeppa is tied to the back of a wildly stampeding horse, is his most important early painting and one of the key images of the Romantic movement.

Early in his career Boulanger became friendly with Eugène and Achille Devéria. Through them he met Victor Hugo, who became his ardent supporter and the source of many of his most typical works. Among Boulanger’s illustrations were those for Hugo’s Odes et ballades (1829), Les Orientales (1829), Les Fantômes (1829) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1844). Boulanger interpreted the macabre and romantic quality of Hugo’s texts with an imaginative power and freedom that anticipated Redon (e.g. ‘...

Article

Ingeborg Kuhn-Régnier

[Erich]

(b Vienna, Jan 4, 1929).

Austrian painter, printmaker, stage designer and singer. He studied from 1945 to 1951 with Albert Paris Gütersloh at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna, where his colleagues included Ernst Fuchs, Wolfgang Hutter (b 1928) and Anton Lehmden (b 1929), with whom he helped develop the style known as Phantastischer Realismus. He first exhibited his works with the Art-Club at the Zedlitzhalle. In 1950 he cycled from Vienna to Paris, also travelling to Spain, North Africa, Israel and Yemen. During this period he struggled to earn a living as a folk singer. From 1958 he lived and worked as an artist in Paris, but from 1964 he divided his time between Vienna and the house he had decorated himself in Ein Hod, an artists’ village in Israel.

Brauer’s early paintings were strongly influenced at first by the peasant paintings of Pieter Bruegel I in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and then by the work of Hieronymus Bosch; Brauer developed an anecdotal style, mainly depicting rustic landscape genre scenes. After ...

Article

Ludwig Tavernier

(b Berlin, Nov 2, 1909; d Bremen, Nov 17, 1973).

German painter. He studied under the wood-engraver Hans Orlowski and the stage designer Harold Bengen at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Berlin (1930–34). Bredow was inspired by Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and, above all, Max Kaus. His depictions of picturesque towns and harbours, coastal and mountain landscapes, fruit and flowers and, less often, of people were shaped by his quest for motifs that characterized the region. They show tensions between glowing, sometimes even incandescent colours and sparsely outlined forms, especially in the watercolours, for example Village Church in Greetsiel (1957; Chemnitz, Städt. Kstsamml.) or Hofwinkel mit Räucherhäuschen (1957; Halle, Staatl. Gal. Moritzburg). In some of his chalk drawings and oil paintings Bredow sought to portray the objective in an abstraction, reminiscent of the geometric idiom of Werner Gilles or the abstract expressionism of Ernst Wilhelm Nay.

G. Meissner: ‘Rudolf Bredow’, Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, 13 (Munich and Leipzig, 1995) G. Meissner...

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Alberto Cernuschi

(b Fresnaye-sur-Sarthe, nr Alençon, July 11, 1899; d Paris, March 1, 1979).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. He studied briefly at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and from 1917 at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris under Eugène Morand (b 1885), whose innovative teaching influenced his later work.

Brianchon was an eclectic artist, and there are traces in his work of many of the styles that succeeded each other in Paris during the period in which he worked. Taking landscapes, cityscapes and images of women as his main subject-matter, he nevertheless managed to maintain a distinctive approach based on a harmonious colour sense and a concern with calm, silent or moonlit atmospheres. The Courtesans (1932; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris) and Rue La Fontaine (1946; Geneva, Petit Pal.) are typical of his work as a painter. He also produced murals (e.g. Symphony, 1936; Paris, Pal. Chaillot), book illustrations (e.g. lithographs for André Gide’s Le Théâtre complet...

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Carola Wenzel

[Ludovico] (Ottavio)

(b Mantua, 1636; d Vienna, 1707).

Italian architect and stage designer, active in Austria. He went to Vienna in 1651 as the apprentice of his father, Giovanni Burnacini (d 1655), the Venetian theatre architect who introduced to Vienna the system of stage design developed by Giovanni Battista Aleotti and who produced stage sets in the Florentine–Venetian style of Giulio and Alfonso Parigi and Giacomo Torelli. Lodovico Burnacini was his father’s assistant until the latter’s death and succeeded him in the office of theatre architect and imperial court engineer to Emperor Leopold I. Although he participated in the construction of various imperial castles in the vicinity of Vienna, Burnacini was mainly engaged in theatre design, developing his father’s style of stage settings and becoming the founder of the Viennese style, which had considerable influence on German theatre. Designs for 115 compositions and plays have survived, and many of Burnacini’s designs were reproduced as engravings in luxury editions of the libretti. Holograph drawings are preserved (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib.). They include religious themes, physiognomic sketches, figurines and grotesques as well as narrative illustrations....