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Article

Dimitris Plantzos

(fl 5th century bc).

Greek gem-engraver, presumably born on the island of Chios. His signature survives on four of the gems he engraved, all fine specimens of 5th-century Classical Greek art. Two of these works come from sites in southern Russia, in the region to the north of the Black Sea, widely populated by Greek colonists since the 6th century bc. It is thus suggested that Dexamenos was active in the Black Sea colonies, catering for the Greeks residing there or for clientele drawn among the native populations, who widely interacted with the Greeks in most matters, as well as art.

Between 480 and 450 bc, gem-cutting in mainland Greece and the islands had undergone significant changes, gradually abandoning Late Archaic forms and motifs. The shape of choice was the scaraboid, a plain-backed, often highly domed oval stone, carrying a device engraved on its flat side. These stones were perforated lengthways, in order to be fitted in a metal swivel hoop or a plain piece of string. Chalcedony is the commonest material, in its white and blue varieties, though there are many examples cut in cornelian, rock crystal, agate and jasper. Dexamenos’ four signed works show a remarkable variety of subject-matter, as well as being some of the finest examples of Greek art of the time (...

Article

Dimity  

Gordon Campbell

Article

Fabian Stein

(b Biberbach, Dec 26, 1664; d Dresden, March 6, 1731).

German goldsmith and jeweller. He was one of the most famous goldsmiths of his time, and almost all his works are in the Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden. After his training in Ulm he travelled as a journeyman to Augsburg, Nuremberg and Vienna. He is first recorded in Dresden in 1692. His two brothers, the enameller Georg Friedrich Dinglinger (1666–1720) and the jeweller Georg Christoph Dinglinger (1668–1728), are documented as active there in 1693; they remained his closest collaborators, particularly Georg Friedrich.

From the beginning of his career, Johann Melchior Dinglinger worked for Frederick-Augustus I of Saxony, even before the latter became Elector in 1694. The jewellery produced for Frederick-Augustus’s coronation as King Augustus II of Poland (also known as Augustus the Strong) in 1697 was Dinglinger’s first important commission. In 1698 he was appointed Court Jeweller, and all his projects were personally supervised by the King. In the late 17th century and early 18th Dinglinger probably produced most of the jewellery for the court: almost all the orders of chivalry and military decorations came from his workshop, including those in emeralds and diamonds for the revived Polish Order of the Knights of the White Eagle. Various designs for banquets for the King are also kept in the Grünes Gewölbe....

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

Greek city situated at the foothills of Mt Olympus in northern Greece (district of Pieria), 14 km south of modern city of Katerini. It was an important Macedonian political and cultural centre from the Classical to the Roman periods (6th century bc–4th century ad). By the 6th century bc it seems that the Macedonians were gathering at Dion in order to honour the Olympian gods, chiefly Zeus; according to myth, Deukalion, the only man to survive the flood at the beginning of time, built an altar to Zeus as a sign of his salvation. His sons, Macedon and Magnes, lived in Pieria, near Olympus, and became the mythical ancestors of the Macedonians. The altar allegedly erected by Deukalion remained the centre of the cult life at Dion throughout its history.

King Archelaos of Macedon (c. 413–399 bc) organized athletic and dramatic contests in the framework of the religious celebrations, following the practice of the Greeks in the south, such as at the great sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi. Philip II (...

Article

Lourdes Font

(b Granville, Jan 21, 1905; d Montecatini, Oct 24, 1957).

French fashion designer. Dior, the creator of the ‘New Look’, is one of the most celebrated figures in the history of fashion. With his first collection, presented on 12 February 1947, Dior established a silhouette that dominated the following decade. By using the finest materials in abundance and emphasizing construction, he helped revive European luxury industries after World War II and preserve traditional crafts. For ten years, Dior presided over the largest and most successful couture house in Paris, admired for leadership in design and business management. Although it represented the uncompromising quality and exclusivity of haute couture, it was also the headquarters of an empire that included ready-to-wear collections in London and New York and boutiques in cities around the world selling fragrances and licensed products. In 1957, the fate of this empire hung in the balance when Dior suddenly died.

The son of a prosperous industrialist, Dior grew up in Paris and at Les Rhombs, the family home in Normandy. When his parents disapproved of his desire to study architecture, he reluctantly enrolled in ...

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

(fl late 1st century bc).

Roman gem-engraver active in Rome at the time of Augustus (27 bcad 14). According to Pliny, Dioskourides made ‘an excellent likeness’ of the Augustus emperor on the emperor's personal seal, which was also used as a state seal by successive emperors (Natural History 37.8). The story is repeated by Suetonius, who adds that Augustus ‘at first used the figure of a sphinx, afterwards the head of Alexander the Great, and at last his own, engraved by the hand of Dioskourides’ (Life of Caesar Augustus 50).

No fewer than 11 intaglios and cameos signed by Dioskourides survive (Richter, nos 664–72; Plantzos, 96–7), and many more have been attributed to him and his workshop. Dioskourides signed his name in Greek, with his name in the genitive case, as was customary for gem-engravers in the Greek world. Although several Roman artists of the Augustan period assumed a Greek professional name to enhance their business prospects, or signed their Italian names in Hellenized form and script, it seems that Dioskourides was actually of Greek origin. He belonged, therefore, to the wave of artists and craftsmen who came to Italy in the ...

Article

Malcolm Gee

revised by Pamela Elizabeth Grimaud

(b Paris, Feb 19, 1853; d Paris, July 17, 1929).

French couturier, patron, collector and bibliophile (see fig.). He joined his family’s clothing business in 1875 and played a central role in its development into one of the premier haute couture houses in Paris. Refined, exacting and possessed of an unerring appreciation for beauty, Doucet was an avid patron of the arts whose taste was reflected in the fashions designed under his name. He may initially have bought art for public relations purposes; however, it became the central interest in his life, partly, it seems, because the superior exercise of taste allowed him to compensate for social disappointments. Following a vogue that was already quite widespread by 1880, he built up an outstanding collection of 18th-century French art and design, which he housed in a magnificent 18th-century style hôtel in the Rue Spontini: it included Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Le Feu aux poudres (Paris, Louvre), Jean-Siméon Chardin’s House of Cards...

Article

Dress  

Aileen Ribeiro, Margaret Scott, Hero Granger-Taylor, Jennifer Harris, Jane Bridgeman, Diana de Marly and Eleanor Gawne

Clothing or ornament used to cover and adorn the body.

Aileen Ribeiro

Throughout history, dress and art have been linked in the sense that artists have depicted costume in their work. In addition, some artists have designed textiles and costumes, both literally and imaginatively; in the latter sense dress has often been ‘invented’ or ‘generalized’ to suit artistic notions of, for example, the romantic past. Representational art can be one of the most important sources of evidence for the historical study of dress; and dress, whether through the depiction of historical, exotic or fanciful costume, can be one of the artist’s most powerful resources in the creation of meaning in his work. This article is concerned primarily with the history and development of secular dress in the Western tradition. Further information on dress is given within the relevant country surveys under the heading ‘Textiles’, and articles on the following civilizations and countries have separate discussions of dress: ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

[toilet table; toilette]

Table fitted with a mirror and drawers in which items of toiletry were stored; as the user was seated at a dressing table, the table was sometimes supplied with a stool. The form originated in early 17th-century France; early examples are simple tables with two or three drawers, but cabinetmakers soon began to devise ways of concealing the mirror and other fittings. By the late 17th century dressing tables were being made in America and England; American examples tend not to have a mirror, but may have been used in front of a mirror that was attached to the wall. In France, the dressing table came to be known in the 18th century as the table de toilette or simply the toilette, and in the 19th century as the coiffeuse or poudreuse, a term that also refers to a type of lady’s dressing table made in the time of Louis XV, often fitted with a lid that lifts up to reveal a mirror. In both England and France the tables were sometimes fitted with a sumptuous cloth cover, which was known in England as a toilet-cover. The dressing table is the antecedent of the modern vanity table....

Article

Alice Mackrell

[Bécu, Marie-Jeanne]

(b Vaucouleurs, Lorraine, Aug 19, 1746; d Paris, Dec 8, 1793).

French royal favourite, patron and collector. She was the daughter of Anne Bécu, a dressmaker, who took her to Paris at eight years old. She was educated at the convent of the Daughters of St Aure and in 1760 became an assistant in the shop in Paris of the celebrated dressmaker Labille. She came to the attention of Comte Jean du Barry, who installed her in his house in the Rue de la Jussienne, where she presided over a celebrated literary salon. In 1768 she married her protector’s brother, Comte Guillaume du Barry, as was required for her presentation at court in 1769; by that time she had already become the mistress of Louis XV. Beautiful, graceful and intelligent, she became the last enduring liaison of the King’s life.

Like the Marquise de Pompadour, her predecessor, Mme du Barry came to dominate French fashion and was a great patron of the arts. In ...

Article

(b ?Antwerp, before 1616; d Antwerp, Aug 15, 1691).

Diamond dealer, jeweller, art collector and dealer. He belonged to a Portuguese family of crypto-Jewish extraction, who established themselves in Antwerp during the 16th century. His father, Gaspar Duarte the elder (1584–1653), was a wealthy diamond dealer, jeweller in ordinary to Charles I of England, an amateur musician and a friend of the Dutch poets Constantijn Huygens and Anna Roemer Visscher. Diego the younger, named after his grandfather, continued the family business. From the correspondence of Constantijn Huygens it is clear that Duarte was a good musician and composer as well as a collector. In 1682 Duarte compiled an inventory of his collection (MS., Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er), which contained more than 200 paintings, most of the highest quality, including works by such artists as Hans Holbein (ii), Adam Elsheimer, Raphael, Titian and Tintoretto. However, the core of the collection was Flemish. He owned works by Quinten Metsys, ...

Article

Franz Müller

(b Solothurn, Dec 9, 1930; d Berne, July 12, 2000).

Swiss sculptor, painter, printmaker and jewellery designer. From 1946 to 1951 he was apprenticed to a maker of stained glass while at the same time attending the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berne. He then studied at the painting school, also in Berne, run by Max von Mühlenen (1903–71). In 1955 Eggenschwiler, Peter Meier (b 1928), Konrad Vetter (b 1922) and Robert Wälti (b 1937) formed the Berner Arbeitsgemeinschaft, which operated until 1971.

Until the mid-1960s Eggenschwiler’s work was essentially Constructivist, although until 1968 he was still regarded as a stained-glass maker. His prints and paintings, as well as his sculptures, were dominated by basic geometric forms, especially the cube, as in the sculpture Stair Cubes (iron, 155×155×155 mm, 1968; Westphalia, priv. col., see 1985 exh. cat., p. 41). From the 1960s he worked with objets trouvés, collecting discarded objects made of metal, wood or other materials, as well as stones and other natural objects. He either worked on these ...

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

[Satra]

Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc–7th century bc).

Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century bc (the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of Greek history) to the late Roman and Byzantine period (6th–7th century bc). Even before that, archaeological finds suggest the existence of a continuous presence on the site from the late Neolithic (4th millennium bc) through to a flourishing Minoan site of the 3rd to 2nd millennia bc. Although later construction all but eliminated traces of prehistoric architecture, there is still significant evidence to confirm unbroken habitation. In historical times (9th century...

Article

Article

Kristen Shirts

(b Portsmouth, VA, March 3, 1940; d New York, May 30, 1986).

American fashion designer. Ellis’s sportswear designs were prime examples of the relaxed, youthful American look popularized in the 1980s (see fig.). His design signatures included natural fibres, hand knits and a casual fit. Despite a career cut short by his death at the age of 46, he built a fashion empire that included several lines of apparel as well as accessories, furs and other licenses.

Born to upper-middle-class parents, Ellis had a happy childhood. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in business from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and a brief stint in the United States Coast Guard, Ellis enrolled at New York University, earning a master’s degree in retailing. He returned to Virginia in 1963 to work as a buyer for Miller and Rhodes, a venerable department store in Richmond, VA. Assigned to work in the junior sportswear department, Ellis honed his sense of what his customers wanted and made his department the most profitable in the store. As an influential buyer, he soon began to make design suggestions to manufacturers such as John Meyer of Norwich. John Meyer executives were so impressed with Ellis’s ability to spot trends that in ...

Article

Emerald  

Gordon Campbell

Green variety of Beryl, mined in Upper Egypt and India from antiquity and in Colombia both before and after the Spanish Conquest. Nero is said to have watched gladiatorial contests through an emerald. The two best-known emeralds are the Devonshire Emerald (London, Nat. Hist. Mus.) and the Patricia Emerald (New York, Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.). The most famous historical emeralds are the 453 emeralds (totalling ...

Article

Robert J. Belton

(b Jassy [now Iaşi], Romania, Aug 29, 1933).

Canadian sculptor, film maker, costume designer, playwright and poet of Romanian birth. His formal art training began in 1945 but in 1950 he emigrated to Israel. From 1953 he studied at the Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Tel Aviv. Etrog’s first one-man exhibition took place in 1958 and consisted of Painted Constructions, wood and canvas objects blurring the distinctions between painting and low relief (see Heinrich). In these works he tried to embody uncertainties that stemmed from his experience of Nazi aggression as a boy. The results were loosely expressionistic versions of geometric abstraction, derived in part from the work of Paul Klee.

Assisted by the painter Marcel Janco, Etrog went on a scholarship to New York, where he was inspired by Oceanic and African artefacts he saw in the collections there. This led to a preoccupation with organic abstractions, flowing totemic forms, and metaphors of growth and movement, seen in ...

Article

Etui  

Gordon Campbell

Article

A. Kenneth Snowman

(Gustavovitch)

(b St Petersburg, May 30, 1846; d Lausanne, Sept 24, 1920).

Russian goldsmith and Jeweller. He was descended from Huguenot stock, and his family had fled France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and had settled in eastern Germany. In the 18th century a goldsmith from Württemberg with the name of either Faberger or Fabiger settled in St Petersburg; he may have been a relative. Fabergé’s father, Gustav (Petrovitch) Fabergé (1814–72), moved c. 1830 to St Petersburg, where he served his apprenticeship as a goldsmith and became a master in 1841 with an independent workshop. In 1842 he opened a jewellery shop. Carl toured Europe between 1860 and 1864; he returned to St Petersburg as a master goldsmith and joined his father’s firm, which he took over in 1870. In 1882 his brother, Agathon Fabergé (1862–95), joined the firm.

At the beginning of his career Fabergé produced bracelets and medallions decorated with stones and enamels. He transformed the conventional jewellery business by insisting that the value of an object should reside in its craftsmanship rather than its materials. Under his direction, the firm moved away from the contemporary custom of setting large gemstones in shoddy settings and produced elaborate diamond-set pendant brooches, ribbon-knot necklaces and trelliswork bracelets. From ...

Article

Clare Le Corbeiller

(b Paris, Aug 4, 1839; d Paris, Sept 4, 1897).

French Jeweller. He was the son of the jeweller Alexis Falize (1811–98) and received his training (1856–71) in his father’s firm. His early work was influenced by East Asian art, which he saw at the International Exhibition of 1862 in London and at the Exposition Universelle of 1867 in Paris. About 1867 the firm began to produce cloisonné-enamelled jewellery in the Japanese manner, which was made in collaboration with Antoine Tard (fl c. 1860–c. 1889). It cannot be determined how much of this work was by Falize, even with marked pieces, as both jewellers used the firm mark af, with a fusee hook in a lozenge. In 1875 the symbol was changed to a cross of St Andrew. In 1878 Falize exhibited an eclectic range of work in his own name for the first time: wares included silver statues, clocks, Japanese-inspired jewellery enamelled by Tard and jewellery in the Renaissance Revival style. From ...