(b Florence, before March 12, 1446; d Lucca, 1496).
Italian painter and illuminator. He was a Camaldolite monk; his appointment, from 1470, as Abbot of Agnano, Arezzo, and Val di Castro, Fabriano, was disputed, since he never resided at either abbey. His work is known from a signed triptych of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints (1460–67) in SS Martino e Bartolomeo at Tifi, Arezzo (in situ). It shows the influence of the most fashionable Florentine artists of the time, such as Neri di Bicci, and such artists from the Marches as Giovanni Boccati and Gerolamo di Giovanni da Camerino. The most noteworthy aspect of the altarpiece, however, is its chromatic quality. This undoubtedly derives from the work of Piero della Francesca and has made it possible to identify Amedei as the collaborator to whom Piero entrusted the small predella scenes and pilaster figures of the polyptych of the Misericordia (Sansepolcro, Pin.), a work that can be dated by the final payments made in ...
José Miguel Rojas
(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).
Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...
(b Bordeaux, Nov 4, 1761; d Paris, Dec 10, 1822).
French medallist, engraver and illustrator. He was first apprenticed to the medallist André Lavau (d 1808) and then attended the Académie de Peinture et de Sculpture in Bordeaux. In 1786 he travelled to Paris and entered the workshop of Nicolas-Marie Gatteaux. His first great success was a large, realistic and highly detailed medal representing the Fall of the Bastille (1789); because it would have been difficult and risky to strike, he produced it in the form of single-sided lead impressions or clichés, coloured to resemble bronze. The following year he used this novel technique again, to produce an equally successful companion piece illustrating the Arrival of Louis XVI in Paris. Andrieu lay low during the latter part of the French Revolution, engraving vignettes and illustrating an edition of Virgil by Firmin Didot (1764–1836). He reappeared in 1800, with medals of the Passage of the Great St Bernard...
[Fra Giovanni da Fiesole; Guido di Piero da Mugello]
(b nr Vicchio, c. 1395–1400; d Rome, Feb 18, 1455).
Italian painter, illuminator and Dominican friar. He rose from obscure beginnings as a journeyman illuminator to the renown of an artist whose last major commissions were monumental fresco cycles in St Peter’s and the Vatican Palace, Rome. He reached maturity in the early 1430s, a watershed in the history of Florentine art. None of the masters who had broken new ground with naturalistic painting in the 1420s was still in Florence by the end of that decade. The way was open for a new generation of painters, and Fra Angelico was the dominant figure among several who became prominent at that time, including Paolo Uccello, Fra Filippo Lippi and Andrea del Castagno. By the early 1430s Fra Angelico was operating the largest and most prestigious workshop in Florence. His paintings offered alternatives to the traditional polyptych altarpiece type and projected the new naturalism of panel painting on to a monumental scale. In fresco projects of the 1440s and 1450s, both for S Marco in Florence and for S Peter’s and the Vatican Palace in Rome, Fra Angelico softened the typically astringent and declamatory style of Tuscan mural decoration with the colouristic and luminescent nuances that characterize his panel paintings. His legacy passed directly to the second half of the 15th century through the work of his close follower Benozzo Gozzoli and indirectly through the production of Domenico Veneziano and Piero della Francesca. Fra Angelico was undoubtedly the leading master in Rome at mid-century, and had the survival rate of 15th-century Roman painting been greater, his significance for such later artists as Melozzo da Forlì and Antoniazzo Romano might be clearer than it is....
Béla Zsolt Szakács
Luxuriously illustrated hagiographical picture book from the 14th century. The codex is fragmented; the biggest part is preserved in the Vatican (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, Vat. Lat. 8541, 106 fols),while single pages are kept in St Petersburg (Hermitage, 16930–16934), Berkeley (U. CA, Bancroft Lib., f2MSA2M21300–37), New York (Met., 1994.516) and Paris (Louvre, RF 29940), and 85 miniatures are in the Morgan Library, New York (M.360.1–26).
Presently 549 miniatures of the original of more than 700 are known on 142 folios. The manuscript consists of pictures exclusively, without the full texts of the legends; one-line tituli are written in rubrics beside the images. The 58 existing cycles depict the life of Christ, the Death of the Virgin, and the legends of John the Baptist, the apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins and holy women in hierarchical order. The narrative follows the Legenda aurea or Golden Legend of Jacopo da Voragine and, in the cases of Eastern and Central European saints (Gerhard of Csanád, Ladislas, Emeric, Stanislas), other local legends, creating an extraordinarily rich iconographic treasury. The longest cycle is dedicated to James the Greater, originally with 72 scenes; other legends consist of between 2 and 24 scenes. The selection of saints points to a commission from the Hungarian Angevin court. Its style, typical of the second quarter of the 14th century, is closest to Bolognese manuscripts but with unique features, and as such Hungary has also been proposed as the place of execution....
Anne Pastori Zumbach
(b Anet, Berne, April 1, 1831; d Anet, July 16, 1910).
Swiss painter and illustrator. An early interest in art was kindled by visiting the exhibitions of the Société des Amis des Arts in Neuchâtel in 1842, and he took private drawing lessons with Louis Wallinger (1819–86) between 1845 and 1848. However he began studying theology in Berne in 1851, continuing these studies at the university in Halle. During his stay in Germany he became acquainted with major German collections, notably the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden, which impressed him deeply. His father reluctantly consented to an artistic career, and in 1854 Anker moved to Paris, where he joined the studio of Charles Gleyre. He studied at the Ecole Impériale des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1855 until c. 1860, meanwhile selling portraits. In 1861 he travelled in nothern Italy, copying Old Masters such as Titian and Correggio.
In the course of this training Anker started painting large original compositions, such as ...
[Gr.: ‘revelation’ or ‘unveiling’]
The last book of the New Testament, also known as Revelation, written by John, traditionally identified as the Evangelist. The Apocalypse is unique among the books of the New Testament in that it comprises descriptions of the author’s visions, each signalled by the words ‘I saw’ or ‘In my vision I heard’. Generated by the opening of seven seals, the sounding of seven trumpets and the pouring of seven vials, the narrative flows outside the boundaries of operative causes and effects since its events lie beyond time. The thrust of the text is prophetic and admonitory. Abstract forces of good and evil are inexorably caught up in a series of catastrophes and horrific battles waged between angels and demonic beasts, interspersed by ecstatic glimpses of celestial bliss, which ends in a vision of the heavenly Jerusalem. The text was a frequent subject of illustration in different media during the Middle Ages down to the 16th century; there was a particularly strong tradition in illuminated manuscripts and early printed books....
Janis Callen Bell
(b Milan, before 1592; d after Oct 4, 1648).
Italian collector. He is best known for his collection of works by Leonardo da Vinci. He owned 12 small Leonardo notebooks as well as the Codex Atlanticus, which he donated to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, in 1637, and several cartoons, among them the Virgin and Child with St Anne, known as the Burlington House Cartoon (London, N.G.), and a standing Leda (untraced). Inventories of the Arconati collection and Edward Wright’s travel diary (1730) reveal that he had also owned the 11 coloured chalk drawings (e.g. Chapel Hill, U. NC, Ackland A. Mus.; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria) after Leonardo’s Last Supper (Milan, S Maria delle Grazie), attributed to Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (Brown), and also paintings by Raphael and Andrea del Sarto. During the 1630s Arconati corresponded with Cassiano dal Pozzo, who was trying to procure Leonardo manuscripts for the Barberini library and to prepare compilations of Leonardo’s writings for publication. Passages on mechanics, hydraulics, light and shadow and perspective and additional chapters on painting were collected into ‘treatises’ by Arconati with the help of his son, ...
(b Haiphong, French Indo-China [now Vietnam], Oct 16, 1900; d Rodmersham, Kent, Nov 8, 1979).
English illustrator and author. From 1905 he grew up in England, becoming a professional artist in 1926 after part-time study at the Westminster School of Art, London. He became known as an illustrator of genre scenes in a variety of media, often with a comic Victorian flavour. He was best known for illustrated stories, the first of which, Little Tim and the Brave Sea-captain (Oxford, 1936), was followed by numerous imaginative and popular children’s books and by many other illustrated books. Baggage to the Enemy (London, 1941) reflected his appointment in 1940 as an Official War Artist, recording the German invasion of France, and the North African and Italian campaigns. His freelance career continued after the war with a steady production of illustrative and ephemeral work in an instantly recognizable style that relied on ink line and delicate washes.The Young Ardizzone: An Autobiographical Fragment (London, 1970) Diary of a War Artist...
Roy R. Behrens
(b Mason City, IA, Feb 13, 1893; d Yucca Valley, CA, March 15, 1975).
American book designer, writer, art collector and impresario . The son of an innovative cattle farmer, Elmer Armitage (the son’s name is an anagram of the father’s), he had a childhood fascination with locomotives and Parkard automobiles, whose sleek and smart advertising he collected. After working briefly in civil engineering and stage design, he became an impresario for world-famous opera, concert and ballet performers, including Anna Pavlova, Feodor Chaliapin, Rosa Ponselle, Amelita Galli-Curci and the Diaghilev Ballet, in New York and then Los Angeles. While living in southern California he became an influential force in the promotion of cultural opportunities as co-founder and manager of the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association, manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium and regional director of the Works Progress Administration. During those years ‘Armitage had more single influence on the arts in Los Angeles than anyone else’ (Dailey).
Having concluded that lowbrow advertising could be used effectively to promote highbrow art events, Armitage began to design all his own advertising layouts. Always an avid art collector (his collection included works by Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Klee), in ...
(b London, June 18, 1828; d London, Dec 4, 1905).
English sculptor, silversmith and illustrator. He was the son of a chaser and attended the Royal Academy Schools, London. At first he gave his attention equally to silverwork and to sculpture, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1851. An early bronze, St Michael and the Serpent, cast in 1852 for the Art Union, shows him conversant with the style of continental Romantics, and his debut in metalwork coincided with the introduction into England of virtuoso repoussé work by the Frenchman, Antoine Vechte (1799–1868). In the Outram Shield (London, V&A), Armstead displayed the full gamut of low-relief effects in silver, but its reception at the Royal Academy in 1862 disappointed him, and he turned his attention to monumental sculpture. Among a number of fruitful collaborations with architects, that with George Gilbert I Scott (ii) included a high degree of responsibility for the sculpture on the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, London. Here Armstead’s main contribution was the execution of half of the podium frieze (...
R. W. A. Bionda
[Flor; Pieter Florentius Nicolaas Jacobus]
(b Surabaya, Java, June 9, 1864; d The Hague, June 9, 1925).
Dutch painter, illustrator and printmaker. He moved to the Netherlands c. 1875, and was taught first by Johan Hendrik Frederik Conrad Nachtweh (1857–1941). He attended the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam from 1883 to 1888, studying under August Allebé and Barend Wijnveld (1820–1902). He then spent a year studying life drawing at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp under Charles Verlat before returning to Amsterdam, where he initially applied himself to painting landscapes in the countryside around The Hague and in Nunspeet in Gelderland in the style of the Hague school.
Arntzenius settled in The Hague in 1892. He was particularly active as a painter of Impressionist townscapes in both oil and watercolour from c. 1890 to 1910. His crowded street scenes with their misty, rainy atmosphere, such as The Spuistraat (The Hague, Gemeentemus.), were particularly successful and despite their greater emphasis on intimacy and tonality are reminiscent of the work of George Hendrik Breitner and Isaac Israëls. Arntzenius may have collaborated with ...
[Fr.: ‘other art’]
Term coined in a book published in 1952 by French writer and critic Michel Tapié to describe the kind of art many intellectuals and artists deemed appropriate to the turbulent mood of France immediately after World War II. He organized an exhibition entitled Un Art autre for the Studio Facchetti, in Paris, also in 1952. Inspired in part by the ideas of Vasily Kandinsky, by Existentialist philosophy and by the widespread admiration for alternative art forms (notably child art, psychotic art and ‘primitive’ non-Western art), Tapié advocated an art that worked through ‘paroxysm, magic, total ecstasy’, in which ‘form, transcended, is heavy with the possibilities of becoming’. He wrote of the need for ‘temperaments ready to break up everything, whose works were disturbing, stupefying, full of magic and violence to re-route the public. To re-route into a real future that mass of so-called advanced public, hardened like a sclerosis around a cubism finished long ago (but much prolonged), misplaced geometric abstraction, and a limited puritanism which above anything else blocks the way to any possible, authentically fertile future’. Although the term has been used more or less interchangeably with ...
[Fr.: ‘new art’]
Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.
Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...
Artistic manifestations of Arthurian legends antedate surviving textual traditions and sometimes bear witness to stories that have not survived in written form. Thus the Tristan sculptures (c. 1102–17) carved on a column from the north transept of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela show that the story was in circulation at least a generation before the earliest surviving written text was composed. The one surviving manuscript of Béroul’s Tristan is unillustrated, while the fragments of Thomas’s version include a single historiated initial showing Tristan playing the harp (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Fr. d. 16, fol. 10). Although Eilhart von Oberge’s Tristrant, composed in the late 12th century, is the earliest version of the Tristan story to survive complete, the only surviving illustrated copy dates from the 15th century (c. 1465–75; Heidelberg, UBib., Cpg 346), while the Munich manuscript of Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan was made in south Germany ...
Though much disputed over the decades, the term ‘artist’s book’ has a well-recognized definition that draws on historical traditions of book production and conception now part of the current wide field of practice. Broadly understood, an artist’s book is any work of original art created in the Book format. By this definition, an artist’s book is work that does not exist in any other form, is not a reproduction of pre-existing work, and is created as a book as the first instantiation and expression of a project. Artists’ books range from inexpensive multiples to one-of-a-kind artefacts and make use of every imaginable production and reproduction technology as well as taking a wide variety of forms. Artists’ books need not be made entirely by an artist, do not have to carry the signs of being handmade or unique, and have no particular constraints on the content, themes, or concerns they raise or the contexts in which they circulate. Even with such a broad scope in the definition, the artist’s book is readily identified because it takes the book as its primary mode of expression and is a work that comes into being as a book....