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Article

Juliana Nedeva-Wegener

(b Vratsa, Feb 1, 1900; d Sofia, April 2, 1940).

Bulgarian stage designer, printmaker and painter. In 1925 he graduated in design from the National Academy of Art in Sofia and the following year made a successful début as a stage designer at the Sofia National Opera House with his set for Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades. From 1929 to 1934 he lived and worked in Paris, studying first at Paul Loran’s atelier for applied art. Georgiev also became known as a printmaker and painter, exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne in 1929, and his art was favourably reviewed in Le Journal des arts, Matin and Temps by French critics. While in France he executed prints containing a strong social message (e.g. Unemployed, etching, 1930; Clochard, etching, 1931; Hotel, woodcut, 1932). His best-known paintings, among which are All Souls Day (1927) and Disaster (1931; both Sofia, N.A.G.), also contain strong social criticism. He also did a series of paintings entitled ...

Article

V. Rakitin

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Kozlov [now Michurinsk, Tambov region], Aug 12, 1881; d Moscow, July 23, 1963).

Russian painter, stage designer and administrator. He studied at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow (1903–15) under Abram Arkhipov, Nikolay Kasatkin and Korovin family, §2, among others. At the School he emerged as a leader of a group of traditionalists who contended with the avant-garde led by Mikhail Larionov. After service in the army he returned to Kozlov, where he worked as a stage designer and decorated the town for revolutionary festivities. In 1925 he moved to Moscow, where he was a member of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. The style Gerasimov was using by the mid-1920s in his landscapes and portraits, which was a combination of academic realism and Impressionism, remained practically unchanged throughout his life.

Gerasimov’s work is significant as representative of a solemn ‘heroic realism’ (e.g. Lenin on the Tribune, 1929–30; Moscow, Cent. Lenin Mus.), later considered a paradigm of Socialist Realism. He painted a series of pompous official portraits of Soviet leaders (e.g. ...

Article

Xavier Moyssén

(b Mexico City, June 17, 1915; d Mexico City, April 21, 2000).

Mexican painter and printmaker. He was sent by his parents to Cleveland, OH, to study stage design. On his return to Mexico in 1935 he joined the national film industry and worked for years on a large number of films. Soon afterwards he began to concentrate on painting; he had Julio Castellanos and Juan O’Gorman as mentors but was essentially self-taught. He was particularly influenced by Wolfgang Paalen and other Surrealist artists who arrived in Mexico during World War II. The impact of Surrealism was evident in the paintings shown at his first exhibition in 1950, by turns dramatic, witty and erotic. His feeling for colour was already much in evidence.

Still following Paalen’s example, though without imitating him, in the mid-1950s Gerzso moved towards abstraction, basing his first such paintings on prehispanic architecture, as in Landscape at Papantla (1955; Mexico City, Mus. A. Carrillo Gil). Even after 1960, when he began to concentrate on subtle relationships of colour within a geometric structure, he continued to hint at sensory and even erotic responses. While linear elements dominate the compositions of his mature and meticulously executed paintings and screenprints (e.g. ...

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

[Nicos]

(b Athens, Feb 26, 1906; d Athens, Sept 3, 1994).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, stage designer and theorist. While still a schoolboy he studied drawing under Konstantinos Parthenis. In 1922 he enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris for a course in French and Greek literature, but soon moved to the Académie Ranson where he studied painting under Roger Bissière and printmaking under Demetrios Galanis. He first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants at the age of 17. His first one-man exhibition, at the Galerie Percier, Paris (1927), was enthusiastically reviewed by Tériade in Cahiers d’art. His first one-man exhibition in Athens was at the Galerie Strategopoulos in 1928.

Ghika returned to Athens in 1934 and became closely involved with aesthetic and educational issues, specifically the popular art movement and the search for Greekness in art. In 1936–7 he edited the Third Eye, an avant-garde magazine in which he was able to introduce new aesthetic trends into Greek cultural life. In collaboration with the leading architects in Greece, he became actively concerned with the problem of urbanism and the restoration of traditional architecture. As a leading member of several cultural and artistic societies and a theoretician of art, he wrote and lectured extensively on art and education. From ...

Article

(b Rome, 1600; d Rome, May 3, 1672).

Italian architect, stage designer and musician, active in Poland. He arrived in Poland before 1632, being court architect first to King Sigismund III, then to Vladislav IV and John II Kazimir. Between 1643 and 1654 Gisleni was noted at the Polish court not only as a singer and composer but also as a director and designer of ephemeral decorations. His immense though mostly unrealized architectural and decorative oeuvre is chiefly known from three collections: the album Varii disegni d’architettura inventati e delineati da Gio: Gisleni Romano … (London, Soane Mus.); 12 loose drawings (Milan, Castello Sforzesco); and a sketchbook containing his own designs, copies after modelbooks, and designs by other architects (Dresden, Kupferstichkab.; ‘Skizzenbuch des G. Chiaveri’).

Gisleni’s architectural projects were relatively limited in scale compared to the grander early Baroque palaces of the court architects Matteo Castelli and Constante Tencalla. The residences he built for the nobility then settling in Warsaw combined elements of the Italian villa and the north European castle, sometimes reduced to the scale of the small wooden-built house—a type that served for vernacular architecture for two centuries. Churches by Gisleni were usually single-naved, with a wall-pillared interior common in the north, to which new Baroque articulation had been applied (e.g. Brigittine church of the Holy Trinity, Warsaw, ...

Article

N. Ya. Malakhov

(Sergeyevich)

(b Leningrad [now St Petersburg], June 10, 1930).

Russian painter, stage designer and draughtsman. He studied at the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad from 1951 to 1957. His early works caused heated debate as they went against the official Socialist Realism style of the early 1950s. Since then his work, principally in oils (sometimes including decorative appliqué work), pastels, tempera and charcoal, has attracted increasing attention and has been exhibited widely, surrounded by public acclamation and mass-media debates. The cycle Eternal Russia is dedicated to Russian, principally medieval, culture. The works in the cycle, for example the sub-cycle Kulikovo Field (1980), display intense and vibrant colours and epic patriotic concepts. The more lyrical cycle City of the 20th Century, begun earlier, depicts the emotional life of the individual, estranged and isolated in the modern megalopolis. The sections Vietnam (1967), Chile (1969) and Nicaragua (1973) are journalistic graphic dispatches. Russian literature plays an important part in his art and he illustrated works by, among others, ...

Article

Jeremy Howard

(Nikolayevna)

(b St Petersburg, March 28, 1900; d Stary Petergof, 1985).

Russian painter, illustrator and stage designer. She studied at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts (1924–7) under Aleksandr Savinov (1881–1942), though her most influential teacher was Pavel Filonov, who had temporarily been given a studio in the Academy at that time. Filonov’s system of Analytic art attracted many followers, who formed the collective MAI (Mastera Analyticheskogo Iskusstva: Masters of Analytic Art) in 1925, of which Glebova became a leading member. She based her evocation of the inner world of the object on the forms of naive art and on colour given psychological intensity, as in Sketch for the Painting ‘Prison’ (1927; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). She participated in MAI’s exhibitions, theatrical productions and graphic work, notably the illustration of the Finnish epic Kalevala (Moscow, 1933), and during this period collaborated closely with Alisa Poret (1902–84). Glebova remained one of Filonov’s most loyal followers, even after the official closure of MAI in ...

Article

Renato Barilli

(b Rome, May 3, 1933; d New York, April 17, 1970).

Italian painter and stage designer. His interest in art was encouraged by his father, the art historian Umberto Gnoli, and his mother, the painter and ceramicist Annie de Garon, but his only training consisted of lessons in drawing and printmaking from the Italian painter and printmaker Carlo Alberto Petrucci (b 1881). After holding his first one-man exhibition in 1950, he studied stage design briefly in 1952 at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome; he enjoyed immediate success in this field, for example designing a production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It for the Old Vic Theatre in London in 1955. He then began to live part-time in New York, where he began to work as an illustrator for magazines such as Sports Illustrated. During this period he drew inspiration from earlier art, especially from master printers such as Jacques Callot and Hogarth, from whom he derived his taste for compositions enlivened by large numbers of figures stylized to the point of caricature. In other works he emphasized the patterns of textiles or walls, boldly succumbing to the seduction of manual dexterity and fantasy in a style that was completely out of step with the prevailing trends of the 1950s....

Article

V. Rakitin

(Yakovlevich)

(b Moscow, March 1, 1863; d Detskoye Selo [now Pushkin], nr St Petersburg, April 17, 1930).

Russian stage designer and painter. He studied architecture, then painting under Vladimir Makovsky, Vasily Polenov and Illarion Pryanishnikov at the Moscow College of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1881–90). In 1889 he attended Jacques-Emile Blanche’s studio in Paris and in 1895 travelled in Italy, France and Spain. In 1897 he studied under Raphaël Collin (b 1850) and Luc-Olivier Merson in Paris. A member of the Moscow Society of Painters from 1894, he lived in Moscow until 1901. Golovin expressed a great interest in Art Nouveau and in the search for a new national style of Russian art. Together with Yelena Polenova he devised a project in 1898 for the decoration of a Russian dining-room at the house of the painter Maria Yakunchikova, and he collaborated with Konstantin Korovin on the décor of the artisan section in the Russian pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900...

Article

Anthony Parton

(Sergeyevna)

(b Negayevo, Tula Province, June 16, 1881: d Paris, Oct 17, 1962).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker and illustrator. She was a leading artist of the Russian avant-garde in the early 20th century but became a celebrity in the West through her work for Serge (de) Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s she played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until her death.

She was the daughter of Sergey Mikhaylovich Goncharov, an architect, and Yekaterina Il’icha Belyayeva but grew up in her grandmother’s home at Ladyzhino, near Kaluga, in Tula Province. She attended the Fourth Gymnasium for Girls in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture as a sculpture student where she was taught by Paolo Troubetskoy. At the school Goncharova became friendly with Mikhail Larionov. He became her lifelong companion and colleague, and he encouraged her to relinquish sculpture for painting. Goncharova’s early work comprised mainly pastels, which were exhibited in ...

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

(b Turin, Dec 16, 1808; d Giaveno, nr Susa, Piedmont, Sept 14, 1889).

Italian painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. He studied at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti in Turin under the painters Giovan Batista Biscarra (1790–1851) and Luigi Vacca (1778–1854), whose daughter he married. He was one of the first Italian artists to specialize in lithography and wood-engraving, and he became famous as the major illustrator of I promessi sposi and the Storia della colonna infame by Alessandro Manzoni (published together, Milan, 1840). He also illustrated a selection of the poetry of Carlo Porta and Tommaso Grossi written in Milanese dialect, Poesie scelte in dialetto milanese di C. Porta e T. Grossi (Milan, 1842), and in these illustrations he revealed a taste for the humble and the picturesque. He was a versatile artist and, after collaborating with Vacca in the 1830s, received royal commissions for frescoes: with Carlo Bellosio (1801–49) he decorated the ballroom of the Palazzo Reale in Turin and the Sala delle Verne in the Castello di Racconigi (both ...

Article

[P’yetro di Gonzaga]

(b Longarone, nr Venice, March 25, 1751; d St Petersburg, Aug 6, 1831).

Italian painter, stage designer and landscape designer, also active in Russia. He studied in Venice (1769–72) under Giuseppe Moretti and Antonio Visentini (1688–1782) and finished his education in Milan (1772–8), studying with the stage designers Bernardino, Fabrizio and Giovanni Antonio Galliari. He was considerably influenced by the works of Canaletto and Piranesi. He made his début as a stage designer in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala in 1779 and designed over 60 productions in Milan, Rome, Genoa and other Italian cities. From 1792 he worked in Russia, where he went on the recommendation of Prince Nikolay Yusupov, who was at that time the chief director of music and pageantry at the court of Catherine II.

In his stage designs Gonzago put into effect his theoretical principles, which he explained in the handbook Information à mon chef ou éclaircissement convenable du décorateur théâtral (St Petersburg, ...

Article

Roberto Segre

(b Venice, Jan 30, 1927).

Italian architect, stage designer and teacher, active in Cuba. He graduated from the Istituto Superiore d’Archittetura in Venice in 1952, where he was a pupil of Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini and Luigi Piccinato (b 1899). He began his professional career in BBPR Architectural Studio in Milan. In 1957 he went to Venezuela to work in a local studio and in 1960 was invited to join a Cuban programme. Thereafter he trained architectural students in the problems of creativity and plasticity as professor of Basic Design of the Faculty of Architecture in Havana. In 1961 he took part with Ricardo Porro and Vittorio Garatti in designing the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte at Cubanacán, Havana, his particular role being the designing of the Escuela de Artes Dramáticas. In this building he combined the compact volumetric tradition of brick walls and the irregular urban spaces of medieval Italian cities with the internal courtyards of Spanish colonial tradition. The work was broken off in ...

Article

Pontus Grate

(b Stockholm, Aug 14, 1896; d Stockholm, Aug 3, 1983).

Swedish sculptor, painter and stage designer. After studying at the Akademi för de Fria Konsterna in Stockholm and travelling in Germany, Italy and Greece (1922–4), he lived in Paris until 1933. At that time his art developed in two directions, one more traditional, at times classical, the other modernist. Grate largely relinquished his modernist work in the alien cultural climate on his return to Sweden. His more traditional style was inspired by ancient Greek and Renaissance sculpture, and influenced by Aristide Maillol and Charles Despiau, among others. A series of female and male figures culminated in the Four Seasons (1937–44; entrance hall of the Kanslihus, Stockholm) and the powerfully simplified form of Goddess at the Hyperborean Sea (1949–56; in front of Gävle Stadshus), while a more complex, fanciful and narrative style led to the rich granite architecture of the Fountain of Transformations (1943–56; Sundbyberg, Marabou Park). By the time of the last two commissions Grate had resumed his modernist style. He was stimulated in particular by non-Western art, Kandinsky, Klee and later Surrealism. Although he never considered himself a Surrealist, many of his works are related to Surrealism, for example ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, 1920).

Colombian painter, sculptor, printmaker, film maker and stage designer. He studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1941 to 1943 and subsequently visited Italy, where he studied fresco and etching techniques before settling again in Colombia. Consistently devoted to the human form, he initially depicted figures with angular heads and striped tunics in a strong light, with symbolic objects such as eggs, masks or cages.

In such later paintings as Boy with Umbrella (1964; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas) Grau’s figures were transformed into plump, fleshy and voluptuous beings, richly arrayed with lace, feathers, hats and fans, like characters taken from the theatre or from popular turn-of-the-century postcards. His scenes were gradually filled with anecdotal details and numerous objects, including cupboards, easels, boxes, masks and flowers, through which he suggested emotionally charged atmospheres. Grau also produced murals, prints, stage sets, films and especially sculptures. The first of these were assemblages of antique and industrial objects, but he subsequently made cast-bronze sculptures that convey a sensuousness, mystery and nostalgia similar to that evoked by his paintings....

Article

Jacqueline Stare

(Hirsche)

(b Stockholm, Sept 2, 1888; d nr Oslo, May 22, 1946).

Swedish painter, stage designer and teacher. He studied at the Konstnärförbund school in Stockholm (1905–8), then travelled to Paris and studied at Matisse’s school (1908–11). He was a member of the Young Ones group. In 1911 he married Sigrid Hjertén. Grünewald was greatly influenced by Matisse between 1910 and 1920, and Fauvism was generally important to him. His prize-winning design (1912–14) for decorating the Register Office of Stockholm Town Hall was purely Fauvist, and he was forbidden to execute the project. This French influence can be seen in Ivan in the Armchair (1915; Stockholm, Mod. Mus.). Cézanne’s paintings also had an early significance for him. In 1915 he exhibited together with his wife at the Sturm-Galerie in Berlin. Grünewald carried out the first of many stage designs for a production of Samson and Delilah at the Kungliga Teater, Stockholm, in 1921. He was a sought-after decorator during the 1920s and worked in a classical spirit. He was also an able portrait painter and illustrator, e.g. ...

Article

Lucius Grisebach

(b Berlin, Sept 30, 1937).

German painter and stage designer. From 1957 to 1964 he studied under the German painter Peter Janssen (b 1906) at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in West Berlin. At first he painted figurative works influenced by Baroque models and by 19th-century history painting. In aligning himself with the great tradition and the values of figurative painting in the idiom of Rubens or Hans Makart, he deliberately set himself apart from all the artistic tendencies predominant in West Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. Characteristic of his painting is a theatrical element that in the 1960s occasionally took on a quality of caricature. This is in keeping with his interest in the theatre, in which he also worked as an actor, musician, playwright and scene painter (particularly in the 1980s, when he was associated with the director Peter Zadeck in Berlin and Hamburg). As a 20th-century artist who thought in historical terms, Grützke played on the contradiction between the traditional form of figure painting and its contemporary content. In some works, such as ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

[Vladimir] (Davidovich)

(b Tiflis [now Tbilisi], March 30, 1896; d Tbilisi, July 20, 1980).

Georgian painter, draughtsman, illustrator and stage designer. From 1910 to 1914 he trained at the Tiflis School of Painting and Sculpture and from 1919 to 1926 at the Académie Ronson in Paris. While in Paris he became closely acquainted with Modigliani, Ignacio Zuloaga, Natal’ya Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov. His early works, with their theatrically romantic depictions of Georgian national life, fantastic and Symbolist motifs and surreal effects of colour, combine elements of the grotesque with a charming poetic mystery (e.g. the ‘Tsotskhali’ Fish, 1920; Tbilisi, Mus. A. Georg.). His affinity with ancient Georgian and Persian art, of which he was a connoisseur, intensified on his return to Georgia in 1926; his colours became shimmering and tinged with gold, and, at the same time, the visual link with theatre became even stronger (many of his paintings have opera or ballet performances as their subjects or portray actresses in costume). He frequently depicted fantastic and mythological subjects (e.g. ...

Article

[Guillet, Georges]

(b Thiers, Puy-de-Dôme, c. 1624; d Paris, 16 April 1705). French writer and stage designer. He began his career as a stage designer for the actors at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, Paris. His first important work was Athènes ancienne et nouvelle (1675), an account of the history and customs of Athens. Although he claimed that this work was an account of the travels of his brother La Guilletière, in fact it relied on missionaries’ letters and a large measure of the author’s imagination, and it brought furious criticism from the antiquary Jacob Spon. However, although often inaccurate, the work contains interesting material on social institutions. The sequel, Lacédémone ancienne et nouvelle (1676), is even more fantastic. He followed this success with Les Arts de l’homme d’épée, ou: Dictionnaire du gentil’homme (1676), a manual of the manners of polite society, which reached its definitive form in the fifth edition (...

Article

Éva Bajkay

(b Budapest, Oct 12, 1882; d Budapest, Feb 2, 1932).

Hungarian painter, draughtsman, stage designer and writer. He studied at the School of Crafts and Design in Budapest (1900–01); in 1902 he registered at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence and in 1903 at the Accademia in Rome. From 1902 his work was regularly included in the exhibitions of the Budapest National Salon. In 1906 he went to Paris and from there travelled extensively. His work was inspired variously by small Italian towns, by Giotto, Botticelli and Alessandro Magnasco; in his early work the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites is also noticeable, as is that of the Viennese Secessionist style (e.g. Paolo and Francesca, 1903; Budapest, N.G.). In 1907 he exhibited with Ödön Márffy at the Uránia bookshop in Budapest, and the following year he took part in an international exhibition in London. In 1909 he took part in a travelling exhibition of Neo-Impressionist painters and literary figures. He sought to express himself through the themes and forms of the past: his ‘Rococo’ period was directly inspired by Italian and French art, and is characterized by its finesse, as well as by the use of the grotesque and the tragi-comic. The work of Toulouse–Lautrec was also influential on Gulácsy’s style. He called his Rococo works ‘Biedermeier frolics’, and he professed to live in a world of ‘noble dreams’. His work as a whole expresses raw feelings with soft lyricism, as in ...