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Leah Lipton

(b Killingly, CT, Feb 3, 1800; d Florence, March 27, 1880).

American painter and lithographer. He studied briefly with Alexander Robertson (1768–1841) in New York and copied portraits by John Trumbull and Samuel Waldo. From 1821 to 1825 he painted portraits in Killingly, CT, and Providence, RI. He received encouraging advice from Gilbert Stuart in Boston, probably in 1825, and by 1828 was a prominent portrait painter and lithographer there. Portraits such as Mrs Jared Sparks (1830; Cambridge, MA, Harvard U.) demonstrate a well-developed sense of pattern and design but display some deficiency in draughtsmanship, with conventional shapes used to determine the sitter’s features.

From 1831 to 1833 Alexander travelled and painted in Italy. After returning to Boston, he exhibited 39 paintings in 1834 at Harding’s Gallery, many of which were derived from the Italian trip. His unusually theatrical portrait of Senator Daniel Webster (1835; Hanover, NH, Dartmouth Coll., Hood Mus. A.) shows the effect of his exposure to Romanticism; Webster is presented with fiery eyes and wild hair, silhouetted against a dramatic sky. When Dickens visited America in ...

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Paul J. Karlstrom

(b San Francisco, CA, c. 1860; d New York, NY, May 16, 1894).

American painter. San Francisco’s first native-born artist, he was among the most intriguing of late 19th-century American painters. Little is known about his short life and career, for which there are only four or five reliable dates. He was the second child of an eastern European Jewish immigrant family that settled in San Francisco sometime before 1860. He received his early art training at the California School of Design, where he studied with Toby Rosenthal (1848–1917), probably in 1872–3. A year or two later he left for Europe for prolonged study in Munich. The first definite date of his career is his arrival in New York in 1883 and subsequent return to San Francisco, where he maintained studios in the financial district for about four years. On 15 April 1887, he sailed by way of Panama for New York City, where, seven years later—ill, poverty-stricken and deeply despondent—he took his life by drinking a carbolic acid ‘cocktail’. Most of what is known about Alexander, other than the evidence of some 30 surviving paintings, appears in the newspaper obituaries reporting his suicide at the age of about 35....

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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...

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Patrick Conner

(b Maidstone, Kent, April 10, 1767; d Maidstone, July 23, 1816).

English painter, engraver, draughtsman and museum official. The son of a coachbuilder, he was apprenticed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson before enrolling in 1784 at the Royal Academy Schools, London. In 1792 he accepted the post (previously declined by Ibbetson) of draughtsman to George, 1st Earl Macartney, on his embassy to China. As the embassy returned by inland waterway from Beijing to Canton, Alexander made detailed sketches of the Chinese hinterland—something achieved by no British artist previously and by very few subsequently. These sketches formed the basis for finished watercolours (e.g. Ping-tze Muen, the Western Gate of Peking, 1799; London, BM) and for numerous engravings by both himself and others. For over fifty years his images of China were widely borrowed by book illustrators and by interior decorators in search of exotic themes.

Alexander was also a keen student of British medieval antiquities, undertaking several tours in order to make drawings of churches and monuments; many of these were reproduced in the antiquarian publications of ...

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[Pierre Urbain]

(b Paris, 1859; d Paris, 1937).

French writer and collector. He wrote for a number of journals including Le Figaro, Le Voltaire and L’Evénement. He was the first to use the term Neo-Impressionism in a French publication (L’Evénement, 10 Dec 1886) after its use by Félix Féneon in September in Art moderne in Brussels. His attitude to the emerging Neo-Impressionist movement was somewhat equivocal. In Paris (13 Aug 1888) he wrote of Seurat as ‘the man of great achievements who is in some danger of having the paternity of his own theory wrested from him by ill-informed critics or unscrupulous colleagues’. Although he admired Seurat, he had grave doubts about the effect of his theories on other artists, claiming (in the same article) that they had ‘spoilt some great talents, painters like Angrand and Signac’. His comments particularly infuriated Paul Signac and caused tension within the group. He also wrote on the work of the ...

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Pilar Benito

(b Palma de Mallorca, 1845; d Madrid, Jan 17, 1892).

Spanish writer. He began writing art criticism in Valencia, where he appears to have lived for a time, and after moving to Madrid he contributed articles to such periodicals as La Ilustración española y americana. Important among these are the various studies he published on the Catalan painter José Bernardo Mariano Fortuny y Marsal in 1874, the year of the artist’s death. In 1876 he was invited by the Minister of Public Works, Conde de Toreno, to attend the Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA, as the official correspondent of the Spanish government. His articles on the exhibition adversely criticized the Spanish pavilion, both for the choice of works displayed and because the most interesting artists, such as Eduardo Rosales Martines and Fortuny, were not included. Two years later he was appointed Spanish representative at the International Literary Congress in Paris. In 1886 he published his first book, Murillo: El hombre, el artista, las obras...

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Lee Fontanella

(b Mazarambroz, Toledo, Aug 14, 1832; d Toledo, Dec 3, 1914).

Spanish photographer. He moved to Toledo c. 1862, and he and Fernando González Pedroso were the first two professional photographers to set up a permanent establishment there. His suite of 12 vistas de Toledo (Toledo, 1871) consisted of 14 photographs mounted on decorated passe-partouts. Alguacil is known for this format, which he enlarged for certain views contained in the 1870s series of publications of Monumentos artísticos do España (Toledo; R. Amador de los Ríos, ed.). Alguacil is usually identified with this series, in which the views were not limited to Toledo. He also maintained a ‘Museo fotográfico’, produced a series of photographs on San Juan de los Reyes (1895) and in 1906 won the photographic competition in La Mancha for photographing monuments and art objects. The Alguacil archives are located in the town hall in Toledo.

M. Carrero de Dios and others: Toledo en la fotografía de Alguacil, 1832–1914...

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‛Ali  

S. J. Vernoit

[‛Alī; Ḥusayn ‛Alī]

(fl c. 1800–20).

Persian enamel painter. All of his work is associated with the patronage of the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834). ‛Ali signed his work with the title ghulām khānazād (‘slave born in the household’) signifying ‘artist in the royal service’. A jewelled nephrite dish (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus., Samml. Plastik & Kstgew., M3223) presented in 1819 by the Persian ambassador Abu’l-Hassan Khan to the Austrian emperor Francis I (reg 1792–1835) has a central gold plaque enamelled with a full-length portrait of Fath ‛Ali Shah (dated 1817–18), inspired by Mihr ‛Alis life-size oil portrait (Tehran, Nigaristan Mus.). Other objects enamelled by ‛Ali include an oval mirror with a carved jade handle (Tehran, Bank Markazi, Crown Jewels Col.); on the back is an enamel portrait of Fath ‛Ali Shah seated within a floral frame, probably the finest painted enamel in the collection (see Islamic art, §viii, 3...

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S. J. Vernoit

[Şeker Ahmet Pasha]

(b Üsküdar, Istanbul, 1841; d Istanbul, 1907).

Turkish painter. In 1859 he became an assistant teacher of painting at the Military Medical High School in Istanbul. In 1864 Sultan Abdülaziz (reg 1861–76) sent him to Paris where, after a preparatory education at a special Ottoman school, he studied painting in the studio of Gustave Boulanger and then under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Ahmet Ali was also instrumental in the acquisition of paintings from France for the Ottoman court. After nearly eight years of studies in Paris, he stayed in Rome for a year before returning to Istanbul, where he resumed his work at the Military Medical High School. In 1873 he organized in Istanbul the first group exhibition of paintings by Turkish and foreign artists to be held in Turkey. He was later appointed master of ceremonies at the Ottoman court and by the time of his death had risen to the office of intendant of the palace. His paintings were influenced by European art. They include landscapes, such as ...

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[Mihr ‛Alī]

(fl c. 1795–1830).

Persian painter. He produced at least ten full-size oil paintings of the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834). One of the earliest (1797–8; Calcutta, Victoria Mem. Hall), a portrait of him kneeling on a carpet, was probably sent as a present to the amirs of Sind in 1800. Two fine portraits (1803–4 and 1804–5) were painted for the Hall of the Marble Throne in the Gulistan Palace, Tehran, and a third, of the King enthroned (undated; Versailles, Château), was sent to Napoleon. These early portraits show Fath ‛Ali Shah with a squat neck and round face, but Mihr ‛Ali’s drawings improved in the first decade of the 19th century and later portraits show the King with more flattering proportions. These later paintings include portraits of the King standing (1809–10; St Petersburg, Hermitage), kneeling and holding a mace (1813–14; St Petersburg, Hermitage), and a third with the date obliterated (London, B. W. Robinson priv. col.). Mihr ‛Ali’s finest portrait, and perhaps the finest ...

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(b Chaume, Nevers, Jan 24, 1798; d Lyon, Feb 24, 1871).

French painter. His father was the artist Jean-Baptiste Caruelle (d 1801). About 1859 he added to his name that of his stepfather, Claude Meure-Aligny. He spent his early life in Paris, leaving the Ecole Polytechnique in 1808 to frequent the studios of Jean-Baptiste Regnault and the landscape artist Louis-Etienne Watelet (1780–1866). He exhibited at the Salon for the first time in 1822 with Daphnis and Chloe (untraced), which went unremarked. He finished his apprenticeship with the customary journey to Italy, staying in Rome from 1822 to 1827. During 1826 and 1827 he became friendly with Corot, whom he acknowledged as his master, although Aligny preceded Corot in his repeated studies of the Roman countryside and even appears to have led the way for the group of landscape artists who stayed there at the same time as himself, such as Edouard Bertin and Prosper Barbot. The sketches from this period (Rennes, Mus. B.-A. & Archéol., and Rome, Gab. Stampe) already bear witness to his conception of landscape as an organization of form and mass. He established himself in Paris in ...

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Erika Billeter

Italian family of photographers. From 1845 to 1850 Leopoldo Alinari worked in Florence for a wealthy lithographer, Giuseppe Bardi. With him he organized Fratelli Alinari, Presso Bardi, a small photographic laboratory in the Via Cornina, Florence. In a city that took a keen interest in the thriving photographic industry, their venture was soon successful. By 1854 Leopoldo was able to purchase the business from Bardi, and with his brothers Romualdo Alinari (1830–91) and Giuseppe Alinari (1836–92) he founded Fratelli Alinari, Editori Fotografichi. They specialized in art reproductions, as well as portraits and landscapes (e.g. photographs of Tuscany and of the buildings and monuments in Florence, Pisa (see fig.), Siena, Rome and Naples). In 1861 they moved the studio to new premises at 8, Via Nazionale. After Leopoldo’s death his brothers carried on the business. Giuseppe experimented with such new photographic processes as wet collodion, and the firm published numerous catalogues, concentrating on photographs of buildings and works of art. In ...

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Vivian Atwater

(b 1762; d Paris, Dec 27, 1817).

French printmaker. During the last two decades of the 18th century he followed Jean-François Janinet and Louis-Marin Bonnet in popularizing the technique of multiple-plate colour printing for the progressive tonal intaglio processes of mezzotint, aquatint, stipple and crayon manner. Alix produced many illustrations of contemporary Parisian life and fashion but was best known for his colour aquatint portraits of celebrated figures of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic period. In 1789 he provided 18 sheets for an engraved portrait collection published by Levacher de Charnois, which documented members of the French National Assembly. Alix also produced colour prints of such Revolutionary heroes as Jean-Paul Marat, Marie-Joseph Chalier and Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, after pastel drawings by Jacques-Louis David and other artists. Chief among such prints, which were widely distributed to promote patriotic zeal, were Alix’s portraits of the boy heroes Joseph Barra and Agricola Viala. One of his best works of the period is a portrait of ...

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David Alexander and Stephen Deuchar

English family of artists of Danish descent. The earliest member active in England was Sefferien Alken (1717–82), who was a wood-carver, gilder and stone-carver employed by William Chambers. His son (1) Samuel Alken was an engraver. Four of Samuel Alken’s sons, Samuel Alken (1784–c. 1825), (2) Henry (Thomas) Alken, George Alken (c. 1794–?1837) and Sefferien John Alken (1796–1857), were sporting artists. In the next generation Henry Alken’s sons Samuel Henry (Gordon) Alken (1810–94), known as Henry Alken junior, and Sefferien Alken (1821–73) were also artists.

Gunnis F. Siltzer: The Story of British Sporting Prints (London, 1928, rev. 1979) S. Mitchell: The Dictionary of Equestrian Artists (Woodbridge, 1985)

David Alexander

(b London, Oct 22, 1756; bur; London, Nov 9, 1815).

Engraver. He entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, as a sculptor in 1772. In 1779...