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Article

Album  

Jerome Silbergeld, David Shrensel, Daniel Ehnbom and Wheeler M. Thackston

Bound edition of paintings, drawings, calligraphy, writings or a combination of these, by a single or several artists. This article deals with its existence in the East, where it was a common format for illustration; a special case in the West was the Album amicorum. (See also Mounting.)

Jerome Silbergeld and David Shrensel

The album originated in China and spread from there to Korea and Japan. In China it was the last of the major painting formats to be developed, preceded by the mural, standing screen, handscroll, fan and hanging scroll (see China, People’s Republic of, §V, 1). Since early Chinese texts on the subject of the album are limited and lack adequate terminology, and since in the remounting of early works of art formats were frequently changed, the detailed history of the album remains obscure. However, it seems that calligraphy and book printing, rather than painting, were important in establishing the early use of the album, both for the remounting of antique pieces and as a format for contemporary works....

Article

Chris L. Heesakkers

[Lat.: ‘book of friendship’; Ger. Stammbuch]

Bound collection of autographs, writings, paintings and drawings collected by the owner from his friends and acquaintances. The earliest detailed study of the album amicorum (Michael Lilienthal’s Königsberg dissertation, 1712) traced its origins to peerages with genealogical information, which is believed to have played some role in tournaments. Lilienthal added, however, that no examples of such peerages were known to exist at the time of writing; he also noted that the emergence of the album amicorum seemed to be closely connected with the beginning of the Reformation. The Keil brothers (1893) adopted Lilienthal’s theory, according to which the albums originated from lost peerages, but they disregarded the rest of his observations. Many scholars followed this view uncritically, but in 1910 the theory was challenged by Rosenheim, who rightly pointed out that the earliest known albums did not, in fact, include coats of arms and that they came from academic circles in Germany, in particular Wittenberg. After Nickson (...

Article

Alchemy  

Laurinda Dixon

Ancient science from which modern chemistry evolved. Based on the concept of transmutation—the changing of substances at the elemental level—it was both a mechanical art and an exalted philosophy. Practitioners attempted to combine substances containing the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) in perfect balance, ultimately perfecting them into a fifth, the quintessence (also known as the philosopher’s stone) via the chemical process of distillation. The ultimate result was a substance, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, or ‘elixir of life’, believed capable of perfecting, or healing, all material things. Chemists imitated the Christian life cycle in their operations, allegorically marrying their ingredients, multiplying them, and destroying them so that they could then be cleansed and ‘resurrected’. They viewed their work as a means of attaining salvation and as a solemn Christian duty. As such, spiritual alchemy was sanctioned, legitimized, and patronized by the Church. Its mundane laboratory procedures were also supported by secular rulers for material gain. Metallurgists employed chemical apparatus in their attempts to transmute base metals into gold, whereas physicians and apothecaries sought ultimately to distill a cure-all elixir of life. The manifold possibilities inherent in such an outcome caused Papal and secular authorities to limit and control the practice of alchemy by requiring licences and punishing those who worked without authorization....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Style of late 15th- and early 16th- century North Italian bookbinding associated with Aldus Manutius but not restricted to the publications of the Aldine Press. The design of the bindings, which were usually in brown or red morocco, was relatively simple, consisting of geometrical strapwork or rectangular panels of gold fillets. The arabesques in the corners of the panels are called ‘Aldine fleurons’ or ‘Aldine knot leaves’....

Article

Els Maréchal

(b Brussels, Oct 19, 1927).

Belgian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and film maker. He studied book illustration and typography at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs from 1944 to 1946. In 1947 he became a member of the Jeune Peinture Belge group and had his first one-man exhibition in the Galerie Lou Cosyn in Brussels. In 1949 he became a founder-member of the Cobra movement after meeting Christian Dotremont. With a number of artist friends he set up a type of research centre and meeting-place in Brussels, the Ateliers du Marais. Towards the end of 1951 he went to Paris, moving to Japan in 1955 to study the art of calligraphy, also making a film called Calligraphie japonaise (1956). He adopted the Oriental manner of painting, whereby the paper is spread on the floor and the artist leans over the work holding the bottle of ink, allowing a greater freedom of movement. In ...

Article

Article

José Manuel Arnáiz

(b Madrid, Nov 6, 1807; d Madrid, June 30, 1845).

Spanish painter and illustrator. He studied at the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, under Juan Antonio Ribera y Fernández and José de Madrazo y Agudo. He worked independently of court circles and achieved some fame but nevertheless died in such poverty that his burial was paid for by friends. He is often described as the last of the followers of Goya, in whose Caprichos and drawings he found inspiration for the genre scenes for which he became best known. Of these scenes of everyday life and customs the more interesting include The Beating (Madrid, Casón Buen Retiro) and Galician with Puppets (c. 1835; Madrid, Casón Buen Retiro). Alenza y Nieto’s numerous drawings include the illustrations for Alain-René Lesage’s Gil Blas (Madrid, 1840), for an edition of the poems of Francisco de Quevedo published by Castello and for the reviews Semanario pintoresco and El Reflejo. The painting Triumph of David...

Article

Roman Prahl

(b Mirotice, nr Písek, Nov 18, 1852; d Prague, July 10, 1913).

Czech painter, illustrator and designer. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under Josef Mathias von Trenkwald (1824–97) and Jan Swerts (1820–79), and he rarely travelled, except to Vienna in 1873 and Italy in 1877. He was one of the leading Bohemian artists of the so-called Generation of the National Theatre. The décor of this theatre, opened in 1881 and again after a fire in 1883, marked a national artistic rebirth. Aleš, together with František Ženíšek, had won the competition in 1877 to decorate the walls, lunettes and ceilings of the theatre foyer. Aleš’s cycle My Country, designed for the lunettes, is one of the most famous Czech works of art.

In the late 1870s Aleš emerged as a draughtsman and painter with a rich imagination. He outlined many cycles to be finished later and he studied heraldry, which contributed to the development of his original ornamental style. He applied this style for the first time on painted furniture, as in ...

Article

Eleanor Jones Harvey

(b Allegheny, PA, Oct 7, 1856; d New York, May 31, 1915).

American painter and illustrator. He began his career in New York in 1875 as a political cartoonist and illustrator for Harper’s Weekly. In 1877 he went to Paris for his first formal art training, and then to Munich, where he enrolled at the Kunstakademie under Gyuala Benczúr. In 1878 he joined a colony of American painters established by Frank Duveneck in Polling, Bavaria. In 1879 they travelled to Italy, where Alexander formed friendships with James McNeill Whistler and Henry James. In 1881 he returned to New York, working as an illustrator for Harper’s, as a drawing instructor at Princeton and as a highly successful society portrait painter (see fig.). He also exhibited at the National Academy of Design. By 1893 his reputation in both Europe and America had soared, and in 1895 he was awarded a prestigious commission for a series of murals entitled the Evolution of the Book...

Article

[Khwāja ‛Alī Tabrīzī]

(fl Herat, 1420–45).

Persian illustrator. Khwaja ‛Ali of Tabriz is named as illuminator and illustrator in the colophon to a fine copy (Istanbul, Tokapı Pal. Lib., H. 781) of Nizami’s Khamsa (‘Five poems’), completed in 1445–6 for Ismat al-Dunya, the wife of the Timurid prince Muhammad Juki. The artist is probably to be identified with the ‘portraitist’ of that name who, according to Dust Muhammad, was brought by Muhammad Juki’s half-brother Baysunghur to Herat from Tabriz in 1420. Khwaja ‛Ali’s paintings in the Khamsa are distinguished by round-headed snub-nosed figures, refined and meticulous architecture and interiors, fresh and verdant foliage, and a palette of primary colours with much green and purple. Many of his compositions repeat those used in earlier manuscripts. His style can be identified in several other manuscripts produced at Herat: a copy (1431; Istanbul, Mus. Turk. & Islam. A., MS. 1954) of Nizami ‛Arudi’s Chahār maqāla (‘Four discourses’) made for ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Mīr Sayyid ‛Alī-i Tabrīzī]

(b Tabriz, c. 1510; d Mecca, after 1572).

Persian painter, active also in India. He was the son of the Safavid-period painter Mir Musavvir. Though Qazi Ahmad, writing in the late 16th century, deemed him cleverer in art than his father, Mir Sayyid ‛Ali reveals paternal influence in his meticulous rendering of ornamental patterns and details. As he was a junior artist at the time of the royal Shāhnāma of c. 1525–35 (dispersed, see Dickson and Welch), his contribution to this was limited. Only two miniatures (fols 135v and 568r; priv. col. and New York, Met., respectively; see 1979–80 exh. cat., nos 20 and 33) are attributed to him, and possibly passages in other works by Sultan Muhammad and Aqa Mirak. By the time of the illustration of the Khamsa (‘Five poems’) of Nizami of 1539–42 (London, BL, Or. MS. 2265), Mir Sayyid ‛Ali was a first-rank Safavid court artist, painting four (or possibly five) miniatures, three (or possibly four) of which were subsequently removed from the manuscript (Cambridge, MA, Sackler Mus., 1958.75 and 1958.76; Edinburgh, Royal Mus. Scotland, ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair

[Mīrzā ‛Alī ibn Sulṭān-Muḥammad]

(b ?Tabriz, c. 1510; d before 1576).

Persian illustrator. According to the Safavid chronicler Qazi Ahmad, during the lifetime of the famous painter Sultan-Muhammad, his son Mirza ‛Ali worked in the library of the Safavid ruler Tahmasp I and had no match in figural and decorative painting and in portraiture. The Ottoman historian Mustafa ‛Ali placed Mirza ‛Ali at the head of the list of designers and called him a celebrated master and painter. Two paintings in the magnificent copy (London, BL, Or. MS. 2265, fols 48v and 77v) of Nizami’s Khamsa (‘Five poems’) made for Tahmasp in 1539–43 are ascribed to Mirza ‛Ali. Their realism, logical arrangement of space and psychological insight led Dickson and Welch to attribute other works to the artist and trace a long career, stretching into the 1570s. They suggested that in the 1530s and 1540s Mirza ‛Ali worked on the major manuscripts produced for the Safavid court, contributing six paintings to the monumental copy (ex-Houghton priv. col., fols 18...

Article

[Muḥammad ‛Alī al-Mashhadī ibn Malik Ḥusayn al-Iṣfahānī]

(fl Isfahan, 1645–60).

Persian illustrator. The son of a painter, Muhammad ‛Ali became one of the most popular and prolific painters at the court of the Safavid monarch ‛Abbas II (reg 1642–66). Muhammad ‛Ali was a skilled and competent artist who preferred rounded contours and simple forms. Although he was not as innovative in form and style as his contemporary Mu‛in, Muhammad ‛Ali’s figures convey tremendous charm, animation and vitality. Eight of his paintings illustrate his own copy (Baltimore, MD, Walters A.G., MS 649) of Muhammad Riza Naw‛i’s Sūz u gudāz (‘Burning and consuming’). The largest number of the artist’s ink drawings highlighted with colour washes and gold illustrate a copy (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 1010) of Hafiz’s Dīvān (collected poetry). His album pages include standard figures of youths, elderly men and lovers as well as more unusual group scenes, such as one of bears imitating a court.

See images tab for additional illustrations....

Article

Sheila S. Blair

[Muẓaffar ‛Alī ibn Haydar ‛Alī al-Tabrīzī]

(fl late 1520s–70s; d Qazvin, c. 1576).

Persian calligrapher, illustrator, painter and poet. He was a versatile artist who belonged to the second generation working for Tahmasp I (reg 1524–76) at the Safavid court in north-west Iran (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(a)). His career has been reconstructed by Dickson and Welch on the basis of brief notices by Safavid artists and historians, signed calligraphies and ascribed paintings. He studied calligraphy with the master Rustam ‛Ali, and several folios in the album compiled for Bahram Mirza in 1544–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2154) are signed jointly by Rustam ‛Ali for the writing and Muzaffar ‛Ali for the découpage (Arab. qat‛). He was a master of nasta‛lıq script, and two examples in the album prepared for Amir Ghayb Beg in 1564–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2161) are signed by him. In the introduction to this album, Malik Daylami wrote of his skill in calligraphic decoration and gold illumination, and the chronicler Qazi Ahmad reported that he also excelled in gold-flecking, gilding and varnished painting. Muzaffar ‛Ali reportedly studied painting with the renowned master ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Qāsim ibn ‛Alī Chihra-gushāy: ‘portrait painter’]

(fl c. Herat, 1475–c. 1526).

Iranian illustrator. He was one of the most renowned painters at the court of the Timurid sultan Husayn Bayqara (see Timurid family §II, (8)) and his associate ‛Alishir Nava’i (see also Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(d)). The chronicler Mīrzā Muhammad Haydar Dughlāt (1500–51) described him as a portrait painter and pupil of Bihzad and said that Qasim ‛Ali’s works came close to Bihzad’s but were rougher. The historian Khwāndamīr (d 1535–6) noted that Qasim ‛Ali worked in the library of ‛Alishir Nava’i, the poet, bibliophile and major patron, but that by the 1520s, having made the pilgrimage to Mecca and moved to Sistan, he apparently had ceased painting. His style is difficult to define because many works are falsely ascribed to him. The four paintings most convincingly attributed to him are in the style of Bihzad and illustrate a copy (divided, Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Elliott 287, 317, 339 and 408; Manchester, John Rylands U. Lib., Turk. MS. 3) of ‛Alishir’s ...

Article

Peter Walch

(b Alloa, Feb 13, 1744; d Edinburgh, Aug 6, 1796).

Scottish painter and illustrator. In 1755 he was apprenticed to Robert Foulis, a printer who, with his brother Andrew Foulis, founded the Foulis Academy, Glasgow, at which Allan was a student until 1764. Allan’s association with the Foulis brothers was long and fruitful; several of his sets of illustrations in the 1780s were for books published by the brothers. In the mid-1760s Charles, 9th Baron Cathcart (1721–76), and several families, including the Erskines of Mar, provided Allan with funds that enabled him to study in Italy, considered essential at that time for any aspiring artist. He probably reached Rome by 1767 and remained there until 1777. During this period he studied with Gavin Hamilton, the leading Scottish artist resident there, and Hamilton encouraged Allan’s ambitions to become a history painter.

In 1771 Allan sent two history pictures to the Royal Academy exhibition in London: Pompey the Great after his Defeat...

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Burton on Trent, Staffs, Sept 26, 1848; d Haslemere, Surrey, Sept 28, 1926).

English illustrator and painter. The daughter of a physician, she was brought up in Altrincham, Ches, and, after her father’s death in 1862, in Birmingham. She studied at the Birmingham School of Design and, from 1867, at the Royal Academy Schools, London. From 1869 she provided illustrations for Joseph Swain and subsequently for the Graphic and Cornhill magazines. She exhibited watercolours at the Dudley Gallery. In 1874 she married the Irish poet William Allingham, and her consequent financial independence allowed her to abandon black-and-white illustration. Her new circle of friends included Tennyson, Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle, whose portrait she drew (version of 1879; Edinburgh, N.P.G.). In 1875 she was elected an associate of the Old Water-Colour Society (she became a full member in 1890 after the prohibition on lady members was withdrawn); she was a regular exhibitor there.

After 1881, when the family moved to Witley, Surrey, Allingham developed a characteristic style and subject-matter in her watercolours: views of the vernacular architecture of southern England, garden scenes (such as ...

Article

Marianne Saabye

(bapt Copenhagen, May 16, 1726; d Copenhagen, July 8, 1776).

Danish painter. Although he was mentioned in the court account-books as early as 1743, his first known painting dates from 1750. From then until 1756 he was active as one of the most important portrait painters of the Danish Rococo. His colouristic style and impasto technique were strongly influenced by the Swedish painter Carl Gustaf Pilo. The double portrait of the Court Jeweller C. F. Fabritius and his Wife (1752; Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst) and the full-length Frederik V (1756; priv. col., see A. Russell, ed.: Danske slotte og herregårde [Danish palaces and manor houses] (Copenhagen, 2/1963–8), iv, p. 385) are among his masterpieces. An important collection of portraits by Als from this period is housed in the Nationalhistoriske Museum på Frederiksborg, Hillerød.

In 1755 Als was the first major gold medal winner at the newly founded Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen, and the next year he began a six-year study trip to Italy and France. In Rome (...

Article

[ho Kunhae ; Koun ; Ch’oja ; Haengch’on ]

(b 1297; d 1364).

Korean calligrapher. He is considered one of the last great calligraphers of the Koryŏ period (918–1392). Born into a noble family, at the age of 17 he passed his first examinations and entered the Confucian academy in Kaesŏng, where he eventually rose to prominence in the central administration. Information on his life, and in particular on his career as an official, can be found in the Koryŏsa, the history of the Koryŏ dynasty.

Yi was directly influenced by the calligraphic works of Zhao Mengfu, who at that time was considered among the greatest painters and calligraphers of Yuan-period (1279–1368) China, with which Korea had close political and cultural contacts. However, only one of Yi’s calligraphic works survives, and that only as a rubbing (Seoul, priv. col.) from a stele inscription. This is the celebrated Munsu ṣa changgyŏng pi (‘Inscription for the sūtra repository of Munsu Temple’; see Kim, Choi and Im, pl. 118), a piece written to commemorate the building of a new library for sacred texts (Skt ...

Article

Sarit Shalev-Eyni

Thirteenth-century Ashkenazi illuminated Bible (Milan, Ambrosiana, MSS. B.30–32 INF). One of the earliest illuminated Hebrew manuscripts originating in Germany, it is a giant manuscript in three volumes, containing the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible. As attested by a colophon at the end of the first volume, the Bible was commissioned by Joseph ben Moses from Ulmana, possibly referring to Ulm in Swabia or to Nieder-Olm in the Rhineland. The Bible was copied by Jacob ben Samuel and was massorated and vocalized by Joseph ben Kalonymus in collaboration with another masorete. The first part was completed between 1236 and 1238. The three volumes were illuminated by two artists, whose style is related to the 13th-century school of Würzburg. Illustrations with biblical scenes are located mainly within the initial word panels of the various biblical books, or at their end. Some of the illustrations carry a messianic or eschatological meaning. A broad cosmological composition occupies an opening at the end of the third volume, suggesting an impressive climax for the entire Bible. The full page miniature on the right illustrates the seven heavens, accompanied by the four animals of Ezekiel’s vision and the luminaries (fol. 135...