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Article

Catherine Cooke

(Yakovlevich)

(b Moscow, 1873; d Moscow, Oct 9, 1924).

Russian poet and theorist. He is generally seen as the leader of the Russian Symbolist movement in non-visual arts, but he was also closely associated with Symbolist painters and graphic artists through the glossy journals that were mouthpieces for their synthesist philosophy. Thus during 1901–04 he contributed to the literary section of Mir iskusstva (‘World of Art’), and from 1904 to 1909 he was editor of Vesy (‘The scales’); in 1906–07 he wrote for Zolotoye runo (‘Golden fleece’) and during 1909–11 for Apollon, as well as for several literary journals. Becoming aware as a student of the growing ‘decadent’ trend in European poetry he set out consciously in 1893 to lead such a movement in Russia, publishing three small poetry collections in 1894–5 with a schoolfriend, A. Miropolsky-Lang. His translations of European poets such as Paul Verlaine initially brought him more respect than his early poems. Drawing heavily on formal and technical innovations abroad, Bryusov developed a theory of artistic synthesis that emphasized technical precision and control of form over mimetic or theosophical concerns. This attention to detail and emphasis on the aesthetic was symptomatic of the ‘first generation’ of Russian Symbolists, who, under the leadership of Bryusov and Konstantin Bal’mont (...

Article

Colette E. Bidon

(b Cuisery, Saône-et-Loire, April 24, 1862; d Saulieu, Côte d’Or, Oct 29, 1928).

French painter, illustrator and printmaker. He was taught by his father, Victor Bussière, a decorative painter in Mâcon. He went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and then to Paris, where he studied in the atelier of Alexandre Cabanel. During further studies under Puvis de Chavannes, he came into contact with Gustave Moreau. Symbolist paintings followed, drawing on French legend, as in the Song of Roland (exh. Salon 1892), and Nordic myth (Valkyries, exh. Salon 1894); he exhibited at the Symbolist Salon de la Rose+Croix, 1893–5. In 1905 he rented a studio at Grez-sur-Loing on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau. Paintings such as the Rhine Maidens (1906; Mâcon, Mus. Mun. Ursulines) drew on observations of the forest, populating its streams with adolescent water nymphs. Such studies of the female nude—a lifelong speciality of Bussière’s—uphold a rigorous draughtsmanship that is yet not devoid of sensuality....

Article

Robert J. Bantens

(b Gournay, Seine-et-Oise, Jan 27, 1849; d Paris, March 27, 1906).

French painter and printmaker. The eighth of nine children of a poor insurance salesman, he was brought up in Strasbourg, where he received his initial training in art at the Ecole Municipale de Dessin as part of his apprenticeship in commercial lithography. In 1868, while briefly employed as a lithographer, he visited Paris and was so inspired by the paintings of Rubens in the Louvre that he resolved to become an artist. His studies under Alexandre Cabanel at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts were interrupted by the Franco–Prussian War (1870–71), during which he was taken prisoner. In 1872–3 he worked in the studio of Jules Chéret. In 1878 he participated in the Salon for the first time, but his work went unnoticed. The following year he ended his studies under Cabanel, married and moved briefly to London where he saw and admired the works of Turner. Success eluded him for a number of years after he returned to Paris and he was forced to find occasional employment, usually with printers, until as late as ...

Article

Nancy Mowll Mathews

(Stevenson )

(b Allegheny City [now in Pittsburgh], May 22, 1844; d Le Mesnil-Théribus, France, June 14, 1926).

American painter and printmaker, active in France. One of the great American expatriates of the later 19th century (along with Sargent and Whistler), Cassatt was an active member of the Impressionist group in Paris and carved out a lasting international reputation for her famous ‘modern’ representations of the mother and child (see fig.). Because of her success, her life and art have been closely examined to gain a better understanding of how gender affects artists during their lifetimes and afterwards in historical perspective.

Daughter of a Pittsburgh broker, Mary Stevenson Cassatt received a cultured upbringing and spent five years abroad as a child (1851–5). In 1860, at the age of 16, she began classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and in 1866 sailed again for Europe. During the next four years she studied in Paris with Jean-Léon Gérôme and Charles Chaplin, in Ecouen with ...

Article

Geneviève Monnier

(b Aix-en-Provence, Jan 19, 1839; d Aix-en-Provence, Oct 23, 1906).

French painter. He was one of the most important painters of the second half of the 19th century. In many of his early works, up to about 1870, he depicted dark, imaginary subjects in a violent, expressive manner. In the 1870s he came under the influence of Impressionism, particularly as practised by Camille Pissarro, and he participated in the First (1874) and Third (1877) Impressionist Exhibitions. Though he considered the study of nature essential to painting, he nevertheless opposed many aspects of the Impressionist aesthetic. He epitomized the reaction against it when he declared: ‘I wanted to make of Impressionism something solid and enduring, like the art in museums.’ Believing colour and form to be inseparable, he tried to emphasize structure and solidity in his work, features he thought neglected by Impressionism. For this reason he was a central figure in Post-Impressionism. He rarely dated his works (and often did not sign them either), which makes it hard to ascertain the chronology of his oeuvre with any precision. Until the end of his life he received little public success and was repeatedly rejected by the Paris Salon. In his last years his work began to influence many younger artists, including both the Fauves and the Cubists, and he is therefore often seen as a precursor of 20th-century art....

Article

Carolyn Kinder Carr

(b Williamsburg, IN, Nov 1, 1849; d New York, Oct 25, 1916).

American painter and printmaker. Chase received his early training in Indianapolis from the portrait painter Barton S. Hays (1826–75). In 1869 he went to New York to study at the National Academy of Design where he exhibited in 1871. That year he joined his family in St Louis, where John Mulvaney (1844–1906) encouraged him to study in Munich. With the support of several local patrons, enabling him to live abroad for the next six years, Chase entered the Königliche Akademie in Munich in 1872. Among his teachers were Alexander von Wagner (1838–1919), Karl Theodor von Piloty and Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907). Chase also admired the work of Wilhelm Leibl. The school emphasized bravura brushwork, a technique that became integral to Chase’s style, favoured a dark palette and encouraged the study of Old Master painters, particularly Diego Velázquez and Frans Hals. Among Chase’s friends in Munich were the American artists Walter Shirlaw, J. Frank Currier and Frederick Dielman (...

Article

Fabio Benzi

(b Florence, Dec 2, 1873; d Florence, Aug 24, 1956).

Italian painter and potter. He began his artistic activity at a very early age, as a decorator and fresco painter. In 1894, as a pupil of the Italian painter Augusto Burchi (b 1853), he painted a ceiling and a frieze in the Palazzo Budini–Gattai in Florence; these frescoes are in a lively style combining naturalism with elements derived from Italian painting of the 16th century. In the following years Chini was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and by Art Nouveau, for example in illustrations for the magazine Fiammetta in 1896–7, in Portrait of my Sister Pia (1897; priv. col., see 1987 exh. cat., p. 20) and in paintings enriched by Divisionist effects, such as Seashore in Versilia (1899; priv. col., see 1987 exh. cat., p. 21).

By the early 1900s Chini was working in a wholly Symbolist idiom, as in Self-portrait (1901; Pistoia, Cassa di Risparmio, see ...

Article

(b Vive-Saint-Eloi, Sept 27, 1849; d Astène, June 5, 1924).

Belgian painter. He had various menial jobs before the composer Peter Benoît persuaded his father to let him study at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp. He was taught there by Nicaise De Keyser and Jacob Jacobs (1812–79) but found the atmosphere uncongenial and soon left. In 1879 he travelled around Spain and North Africa and in 1881 went to live with his sister at Waereghem. His painting of this period was influenced by Charles Verlat and depicted rural subjects, such as Cock Fight in Flanders (1882; Waereghem, Devos priv. col., see Lemonnier, p. 6).

In 1883 Claus settled in Astène and began to develop a style similar to that of Jules Bastien-Lepage with works such as Flax Harvest (1883; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.). He spent the winters from 1889 to 1892 in Paris, where he became acquainted with Anders Zorn, Henri Le Sidaner and other artists. During this period he began to adopt the subject-matter and style of Impressionism, as shown in works such as ...

Article

Martha Ward

[Delacroix, Henri-Edmond-Joseph]

(b Douai, May 20, 1856; d Saint-Clair, May 16, 1910).

French painter and printmaker. The only surviving child of Alcide Delacroix, a French adventurer and failed businessman, and the British-born Fanny Woollett, he was encouraged as a youth to develop his artistic talent by his father’s cousin, Dr Auguste Soins. He enrolled in 1878 at the Ecoles Académiques de Dessin et d’Architecture in Lille, where he remained for three years under the guidance of Alphonse Colas (1818–87). He then moved to Paris and studied with Emile Dupont-Zipcy (1822–65), also from Douai, whom he listed as his teacher when exhibiting at Salons of the early 1880s. His few extant works from this period are Realist portraits and still-lifes, painted with a heavy touch and sombre palette (example in Douai, Mus. Mun.)

To avoid working under the shadow of his celebrated namesake, Eugène Delacroix, in 1881 he adopted an abbreviated English version of his surname, signing his works ‘Henri Cross’ until around ...

Article

(b Kisszeben [now Sabinov, Slovak Republic], July 5, 1853; d Budapest, June 20, 1919).

Hungarian painter and draughtsman. He was born Tivadar Kosztka and adopted the name Csontváry in 1900. A practising chemist, he had a mystical experience at the age of 41, which gave him a sense of mission. He took up regular studies in art, determined to become the world’s greatest plein-air painter with a reputation surpassing that of Raphael. Csontváry’s mission was to legitimize the historical existence of the Hungarian nation through his art. His idiosyncratic world view and his sense of vocation, which concentrated all his efforts into a single aim, underline the grandeur of his oeuvre; he asserted artistic sovereignty by disregarding all rules, and he defied attempts to categorize him as a naive painter.

For a short period Csontváry studied art intensively, first in Budapest (at Simon Hollósy’s School, 1894–5), then in Munich, in Paris (at the Académie Julian) and in Düsseldorf. His training is evident in some virtuoso drawings made during his time at the academies (Pécs, Csontváry Mus.). Yet, as he later stated in his autobiography, he still considered nature to have been his real master. From ...

Article

Charlotte Moser

(b Utica, NY, Sept 26, 1862; d Florence, Oct 24, 1928).

American painter and illustrator. He first trained as an architectural draughtsman at the Academy of Design, Chicago (1878). After studying briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, he went to New York, where he attended the Gotham School and the Art Students League (1886–8). By 1887 he was working as an illustrator for Century magazine. A realist landscape painter in the 19th-century academic tradition, he was influenced by the painters of the Hudson River school and particularly by the luminist, dream-like landscapes of George Inness.

Around 1900 Davies’s paintings became Symbolist in style, with the introduction of mystical nude figures in the landscape, as in Meeting in the Forest (1900; Montclair, NJ, A. Mus.) and Autumn—Enchanted Salutation (1907; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.). Themes combining Classical figures and landscape, which evolved in a mythical classicist style reminiscent of the work of Puvis de Chavannes, typified Davies’s work throughout his career. Increasingly drawn to ancient art and Greco-Roman civilization, he eventually identified the archaic with modernism, for example in ...

Article

Ross C. Anderson

(b Cincinnati, OH, Nov 5, 1858; d Boca Grande, FL, Feb 11, 1923).

American painter. He first studied in Cincinnati, at the McMicken School of Design, and in 1875 travelled to Munich, where he attended the Kunstakademie with Frank Duveneck, whom he later accompanied on a trip to Italy. DeCamp returned to America in 1883 and settled in Boston, where he embarked on a highly successful career. He exhibited regularly with many arts organizations in Boston and New York and held several influential teaching posts, including instructor of antique drawing at the Boston Museum School. In 1897, with John H. Twachtman and others, he became a founder-member of the group of American Impressionists known as the Ten American Painters.

Like his Boston colleagues Edmund Tarbell and Frank Weston Benson, DeCamp is best known for his portraits of elegant, fashionable women, in which he paid great attention to bodily structure and the precise delineation of facial contours. He was less vulnerable than some of his contemporaries to criticisms of studied prettiness and excessive gentility; he often eschewed elaborate interiors and decorative furnishings in favour of flat, dark backdrops, as in the introspective portrait of his daughter ...

Article

Geneviève Monnier

(b Paris, July 19, 1834; d Paris, Sept 27, 1917).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor, pastellist, photographer and collector. He was a founder-member of the Impressionist group and the leader within it of the Realist tendency. He organized several of the group’s exhibitions, but after 1886 he showed his works very rarely and largely withdrew from the Parisian art world. As he was sufficiently wealthy, he was not constricted by the need to sell his work, and even his late pieces retain a vigour and a power to shock that is lacking in the contemporary productions of his Impressionist colleagues.

The eldest son of a Parisian banking family, he originally intended to study law, registering briefly at the Sorbonne’s Faculté de Droit in 1853. He began copying the 15th- and 16th-century Italian works in the Musée du Louvre and in 1854 he entered the studio of Louis Lamothe (1822–69). The training that Lamothe, who had been a pupil of Ingres, transmitted to Degas was very much in the classical tradition; reinforced by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which he attended in ...

Article

Francine-Claire Legrand

(b Monthermé, France, Feb 28, 1867; d Stavelot, March 1, 1935).

Belgian painter of French birth. After the Franco-Prussian war (1870–71), his parents settled in Belgium. Although self-taught, he was advised by Jan Toorop, with whom he shared a studio, and later lived with Henry de Groux. In 1894 he married Juliette Massin, a painter and Emile Verhaeren’s sister-in-law, who introduced him to the circle of Symbolist poets. His art, which bears the influence of poetry, transfigures reality in the sense that it affords a view of the invisible. Degouve de Nuncques belonged to the avant-garde group Les XX and later exhibited at the Libre Esthétique. He travelled widely and painted views of Italy, Austria and France, often of parks at night. He excelled in the use of pastel. Two works, in particular, demonstrate the magical quality of his work: Pink House (1892; Otterlo, Kröller–Müller) and Peacocks (1896; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.)

From 1900 to 1902 Degouve de Nuncques lived with his wife in the Balearic Islands; he painted the rugged coastline and the orange groves. After suffering a religious crisis ...

Article

Gisèle Ollinger-Zinque

(b Brussels, April 14, 1872; d Brussels, Sept 11, 1940).

Belgian painter. Orphaned at the age of 14, he worked successively as a house painter, cobbler and picture framer before devoting himself to painting. He was completely self-taught, and like Louis Thévenet he was supported by Auguste Oleffe, who took him in and advised him generously. As with many other Belgian painters the Midi had an enormous influence on his work. Some time before World War I he made several journeys there and so came into contact with French avant-garde painting.

Dehoy exhibited from 1901, particularly at the Antwerp Salon, showing paintings that were light in touch and with a luminosity that owed much to Impressionism. He met Ferdinand Schirren and began to develop his mature style in the context of Brabant Fauvism. During World War I his work was marked by the influence of Cézanne and Rik Wouters, as in the Tea Table (1918; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.). Although his style developed gradually, his paintings were always delicate in execution. After ...

Article

Francine-Claire Legrand

(b Leuven, Jan 19, 1867; d Brussels, Jan 19, 1953).

Belgian painter, decorative artist and writer. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, with Jean-François Portaels and the Belgian painter Joseph Stallaert (1825–1903). Among his fellow students were Eugène Laermans, Victor Rousseau and Victor Horta. From 1887 he exhibited at L’Essor, where in 1888 Mother (untraced), which depicts a woman writhing in labour, caused a scandal. Although his drawings of the metallurgists working in the Cockerill factories near Charleroi were naturalistic, from 1887 he veered towards Symbolism: the drawing of Tristan and Isolde (1887; Brussels, Musées Royaux B.-A.), in its lyrical fusion of the two bodies, reveals the influence of Richard Wagner. Circle of the Passions (1889), inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divina commedia, was burnt c. 1914; only drawings remain (Brussels, Musées Royaux B.-A.). Jef Lambeaux copied it for his relief Human Passions (1890–1900; Brussels, Parc Cinquantenaire). Delville became associated with Joséphin ...

Article

Belinda Thomson

(b Granville, Nov 25, 1870; d Paris, Nov 13, 1943).

French painter, designer, printmaker and theorist. Although born in Normandy, Denis lived throughout his life in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just west of Paris. He attended the Lycée Condorcet, Paris, where he met many of his future artistic contemporaries, then studied art simultaneously at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian (1888–90). Through fellow student Paul Sérusier, in 1888 he learnt of the innovative stylistic discoveries made that summer in Pont-Aven by Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. With Sérusier and a number of like-minded contemporaries at the Académie Julian—Pierre Bonnard, Paul Ranson, Henri-Gabriel Ibels and others—Denis found himself fundamentally opposed to the naturalism recommended by his academic teachers. They formed the Nabis, a secret artistic brotherhood dedicated to a form of pictorial Symbolism based loosely on the synthetic innovations of Gauguin and Bernard. Denis’s first article, ‘Définition du néo-traditionnisme’, published in Art et critique in 1890 (and republished in ...

Article

Jean-Pierre de Bruyn

(b Lille, Feb 8, 1861; d Ghent, Jan 7, 1938).

Belgian painter, sculptor, illustrator, and stage designer. He studied music at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium and sculpture at the Gewerbeschule, Ghent (after 1877). He visited Paris in 1887 and Italy in 1890, with a grant from the city of Ghent. He was deeply impressed by the masters of the Quattrocento, and was encouraged to take up painting after meeting Constantin Meunier (1891). He painted Symbolist scenes and was influenced by Art Nouveau. After exhibiting his work with Les XX in Brussels (1893), he made decorative panels for Oostakker Castle.

As an illustrator Doudelet worked on Pol De Mont’s Van Jezus (Antwerp, 1897) and books by Maurice Maeterlinck, for example Douze chansons (Paris, 1896) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Brussels, 1892 or 1922). He illustrated the periodicals Réveil (1895–1896), De Vlaamsche school, Mercure de France, Pan, L’Eroica, Nuovo Convito, De Vlaamsche School, Woord en beeld...

Article

Salme Sarajas-Korte

(b Hamina, Nov 9, 1870; d Stockholm, Nov 26, 1925).

Finnish painter and designer. He was the leading figure in the generation of Finnish Symbolist artists that included Ellen Thesleff. After studying in Finland he travelled to Paris in 1891 and enrolled at the Académie Julian. He remained in Paris almost uninterruptedly until the spring of 1894. He was immediately attracted by the current in contemporary French painting that modelled itself on primitive art, the work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and the work of Manet at the time of his Olympia (1865; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay). Enckell was also strongly influenced by the literary mysticism of the Soleil d’Or groups and of Joséphin Péladan. He firmly rejected Realism and developed a sculptural and synthetist style, adopting extreme asceticism in his treatment of colour, which was limited almost entirely to various shades of grey, black and ochre.

In the early 1890s Enckell’s preferred subjects were solitary figures, usually nude, androgynous boys (e.g. ...

Article

Francine-Claire Legrand

(b Ostend, April 13, 1860; d Ostend, Nov 19, 1949).

Belgian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. No single label adequately describes the visionary work produced by Ensor between 1880 and 1900, his most productive period. His pictures from that time have both Symbolist and Realist aspects, and in spite of his dismissal of the Impressionists as ‘superficial daubers’ he was profoundly concerned with the effects of light. His imagery and technical procedures anticipated the colouristic brilliance and violent impact of Fauvism and German Expressionism and the psychological fantasies of Surrealism. Ensor’s most memorable and influential work was almost exclusively produced before 1900 (see The Intrigue, 1890), but he was largely unrecognized before the 1920s in his own country. His work was highly influential in Germany, however: Emil Nolde visited him in 1911, and was influenced by his use of masks; Paul Klee mentions him admiringly in his diaries; Erich Heckel came to see him in the middle of the war and painted his portrait (...