Jan Jaap Heij
(b Amsterdam, May 26, 1878; d Dachau, April 2, 1945).
Dutch painter, designer and applied artist. He trained in design and decorative painting at the Quellinus school and the Rijksschool voor Kunstnijverheid (National School of the Applied Arts) in Amsterdam from 1892 to 1899. He was assigned to assist with the decoration of the Dutch pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. A number of his designs for the pavilion were executed in batik, a Javanese technique that had been recently introduced in the Netherlands. In subsequent years Lebeau developed a very personal approach to batiking and within a short time became the leading Dutch artist in this field. His batiked screens in particular were widely acclaimed (examples in Assen, Prov. Mus. Drenthe) and are considered masterpieces of Dutch Jugendstil.
Lebeau is one of the most important representatives of the severe, geometrical trend in Dutch applied arts of the early 20th century. From 1903 he designed damask tablecloths and household linen for the ...
(b Argentan, Orne, Feb 4, 1881; d Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise, Aug 17, 1955).
French painter, draughtsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist. Among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.
Born in rural Normandy, Léger often said that he was of ‘peasant stock’. Although his father was a cattle merchant, Léger was sent by his family to Caen in 1897 to be an apprentice in an architect’s office, where he remained until 1899. In 1900 he went to Paris and again worked in an architect’s office as a draughtsman. After compulsory military service in ...
Raquel Henriques da Silva
(b Lisbon, 1812; fl Lisbon, 1840s).
Portuguese architect and stage designer of Italian descent. He was a son of Francisco Lodi, the impresario of the Teatro S Carlos, Lisbon. Nothing is known of his academic training, and his importance to the architecture of 19th-century Lisbon is largely due to his design of the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II (1842–6), Praça do Rossio, Lisbon. When a public competition for the design of the theatre was proclaimed in 1841 none of the entries submitted was chosen, but the Conde de Farrobo, a powerful capitalist and the principal financial backer of the theatre, ensured the presentation and acceptance of the designs of Lodi, who was his brother-in-law. In spite of the unusual way in which Lodi was appointed to build the theatre, over the heads of more highly reputed and experienced architects and academics, the result was nevertheless a satisfactory one. The theatre was built swiftly and became a landmark in one of the most important squares in the city. Of Neo-classical derivation with Palladian elements, the design of the building is notable for the erudition of its central portico of six Ionic columns, which elegantly emphasizes the comparative austerity of the wings, and for its balanced proportions, which blend into the overall context of the city. The building became one of the most familiar sights of Lisbon. Lodi also designed the Teatro da Quinta das Laranjeiras (...
(b Strasbourg, Oct 31, 1740; d London, March 11, 1812).
Alsatian painter, illustrator and stage designer, active in France and England. Loutherbourg’s father, Philipp Jakob (1698–1768), was an engraver and miniature painter to the court of Darmstadt. In 1755 he took his family to Paris, where Loutherbourg became a pupil of Carle Vanloo; he also attended Jean-Georges Wille’s engraving academy in the Quai des Augustins and Francesco Casanova’s studio. Wille directed Loutherbourg’s attention to 17th-century Dutch landscape artists, such as Philips Wouwerman and Nicolaes Berchem, and in 1763 Denis Diderot noticed the inspiration of the latter in Loutherbourg’s first Salon exhibit, a landscape with figures (Liverpool, Walker A.G.). In this and other works, focus is on the foreground figures, which are framed by natural formations that occasionally fall away to reveal distant horizons. This informal style found favour with the French public; Loutherbourg’s vivid, fresh colour and ability to catch specific light and weather conditions made the pastoral subjects of François Boucher and his school seem contrived and fey. Rather more romanticized were Loutherbourg’s shipwreck scenes (e.g. ...
Raquel Henriques da Silva
(b Crema, March 8, 1848; d Brescia, 1936).
Italian architect and stage designer, active in Portugal. He studied at the Accademia di Brera (now Accademia di Belle Arti), Milan, under Carlo Ferrario (1833–1907), stage designer at La Scala, Milan. Manini was appointed stage designer of the Teatro S Carlos, Lisbon, in 1879, at a time when the theatre received the most important European operatic productions. In this position he succeeded his compatriot Giuseppe Cinatti and, like his predecessor, in addition to his work in the theatre he designed houses for middle-class clients with a taste for his late Romantic façades, influenced by scenery design. He carried over into his architectural designs his passion for painting and for trompe l’oeil landscapes, and his principal achievements were decorative: the interior decoration of the Teatro do Funchal, Madeira; the ceiling of the Teatro S João, Oporto; and the winter garden (1893) of the Teatro Dona Amélia, Lisbon. His contributions to the layout of the terrace of the Palácio da Cidadela, Cascais, and the Portuguese Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle, Paris (...
(b Bergamo, Dec 22, 1908; d Rome, Jan 17, 1991).
Italian sculptor, draughtsman, painter, printmaker and stage designer. A mainly self-taught artist, working outside the avant-garde, Manzù developed a sculptural language unusual in that, while devoted primarily to the naturalistic, pre-modernist traditions of the free-standing human figure and the bas-relief, its strong design and imaginative qualities enabled it to avoid academicism. Manzù came from a poor family and at 13 started work as a gilder and stuccoist soon learning the skill of carving and the properties of wood, stone and plaster. Although ignorant of contemporary art and interested in painting only as a curiosity, he looked avidly at Greek art and the works of Michelangelo in reproduction and at 15 was captivated by the natural tactile qualities of Aristide Maillol’s sculpture, which he also discovered in a book. While doing his military service in Verona in 1927, he was strongly affected by the reliefs on the doorway of S Zeno Maggiore and the equestrian statue of ...
(b Aix-en-Provence, Feb 10, 1907; d 1997).
French painter, illustrator, stage designer and tapestry designer. He started painting at the age of 13 in spite of his family’s categorical opposition to art as a profession, and six years later he moved to Paris to pursue his vocation. He was self-taught. He began exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in 1932 and at the Salon des Indépendants from 1933, when he was producing stark realist paintings of figures in desolate landscapes, such as The Strangers (1935–6; Paris, Pompidou).
Marchand was prone to striking changes in his style and technique, ranging from Ingres-style drawings between 1933 and 1937 to a developing interest in the 1940s in more textured surfaces and a more stylized form of representation, as in Landscape with Olive Trees (1943; see 1963 exh. cat., no. 18), in which the angular branches of the trees create an almost abstract pattern. In the early 1950s, in such works as ...
Polish family of artists of Italian origin. The Italian architect Francesco Marconi had two sons, Leandro Marconi (1763–1837), an architect, painter and stage designer who was active in Rome and taught at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Bologna, and Giovanni Battista Marconi, an architect and painter who worked in Mantua. Leandro’s son Ferrante Marconi (1798–1868), a sculptor, went to work in Poland at the request of his older brother (1) Henryk Marconi; Ferrante’s son Leonard Marconi (1836–99) was born in Warsaw and worked in Poland as an architect and sculptor. Of (1) Henryk’s eight children, Karol Marconi (1826–64) was a painter working in Poland and Italy, while (2) Leandro Jan Ludwik Marconi and (3) Władysław Marconi were both architects.
(b Rome, Jan 7, 1792; d Warsaw, Feb 21, 1863).
Architect. He began his training under his father Leandro Marconi and studied at both the University and the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Bologna (...
(b Balagne, Jan 4, 1896; d Paris, Oct 28, 1987).
French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, and stage designer. His work played an important role in the development of both Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, although his independence, iconoclasm, and abrupt stylistic transitions make him difficult to classify. Masson was admitted to the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts et l’Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Brussels at the age of 11. Through his teacher Constant Montald, he met the Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren (1855–1916), who persuaded Masson’s parents to send him to Paris for further training. Masson joined the French infantry in 1915 and fought in the battles of the Somme; he was gravely wounded, and his wartime experiences engendered in him a profound philosophy about human destiny and stimulated his search for a personal imagery of generation, eclosion, and metamorphosis.
Masson’s early works, particularly the paintings of 1922 and 1923 on a forest theme (e.g. Forest, 1923; see Leiris and Limbour, p. 93), reflected the influence of André Derain, but by late ...
(b Moscow, 1899; d c. 1935).
Russian sculptor and stage designer. He studied at the Stroganov School in Moscow from 1914 to 1918, specializing in stage design, and then at the State Free Art Studios (Svomas). He was involved in decorating Moscow for May Day 1918 and for the first anniversary of the October Revolution and became a founder-member of the Society of Young Artists (Obmokhu) in 1919. His contributions to the group’s exhibitions included a series of abstract constructions at the third show of May 1921.
Medunetsky was one of the original members of the First Working Group of Constructivists, founded in March 1921, which inaugurated Constructivism in Russia. The following January he displayed six sculptural works entitled Construction of a Spatial Structure in a joint exhibition with Georgy and Vladimir Stenberg. The artists’ declaration in the catalogue was the first publication of the principles of Constructivism and was elaborated in their paper to the Institute of Artistic Culture (Inkhuk), in February. The only extant example of Medunetsky’s sculpture, ...
(b London, Jan 13, 1904; d St James, Barbados, July 13, 1978).
English stage designer and painter. He was the grandson of the cartoonist Linley Sambourne (1844–1910) and was educated at Eton College, Berks. After studying at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, he began painting portraits of his friends. An early influence was the English painter Glyn Warren Philpot (1884–1937). Messel’s first work for the theatre was to design masks for the production at the Coliseum in London of Serge Diaghilev’s ballet Zéphyr et Flore (1925), which had sets by Georges Braque. He achieved success with his masks, costumes and décor for C. B. Cochran’s revues between 1926 and 1931 (e.g. mask for This Year of Grace, painted papier-mâché, 1928; London, Theat. Mus.), and his sets for the production in London of Helen (1932) drew accolades from theatre critics. His all-white décor for a bedroom scene inspired the interior decorator Syrie Maugham (...
(b Kazanlŭk, Feb 19, 1897; d Sofia, Jan 25, 1927).
Bulgarian painter, stage designer, printmaker and stained-glass designer. At the time of his graduation in 1925 from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, he had already had three successful solo exhibitions in which his interest in decorative paintings of ethnic themes was already apparent. He continued to work in a rather avant-garde style, painting Bulgarian folk themes that avoided the excesses of academic realism and ethnographic detail. He worked in a wide variety of media, executing figure compositions, portraits and landscapes that depict the romance and fantasy of Bulgarian folklore and mythology, as in St Elijah (distemper and ink, 1923; Sofia, priv. col.), a Rebec-player (watercolour, 1924; Sofia, N.A.G.) and Shepherds (India ink, 1926; Sofia, N.A.G.). He also painted frescoes and designed stained glass. In 1926, after returning from Italy and Austria, he held a further exhibition in Sofia and worked as senior scene-painter at the National Theatre (Naroden Teatâr Ivan Vazov) in Sofia, a position he held until his death in ...
(b Guadalajara, Feb 19, 1887; d Mexico City, Oct 13, 1968).
Mexican painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. In 1903 he began studying painting in Guadalajara under Félix Bernardelli, an Italian who had established a school of painting and music there, and he produced his first illustrations for Revista moderna, a magazine that promoted the Latin American modernist movement and for which his cousin, the poet Amado Nervo, wrote. In 1905 he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, where Diego Rivera was also studying, and won a grant to study in Europe. After two years in Madrid, Montenegro moved in 1907 to Paris, where he continued his studies and had his first contact with Cubism, meeting Picasso, Braque and Gris.
After a short stay in Mexico, Montenegro returned to Paris. At the outbreak of World War I he moved to Barcelona and from there to Mallorca, where he lived as a fisherman for the next four years. During his stay in Europe he assimilated various influences, in particular from Symbolism, from Art Nouveau (especially Aubrey Beardsley) and from William Blake....
(b Arta, April 23, 1916; d Athens, Dec 20, 2009).
Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, stage designer and decorative artist. From 1931 to 1936 he studied painting and printmaking at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Athens under Konstantinos Parthenis and Yannis Kefallinos (1893–1957). As soon as he graduated he participated in the exhibition of Greek printmakers that was organized in Czechoslovakia in 1936. The same year, on a scholarship from the Academy of Athens, he went to Rome and then to Paris to study at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole des Arts et Métiers. He returned to Athens in 1940, when he participated in the last pre-war panhellenic exhibition, in which he was awarded the first prize. During the period of the German occupation (1941–4) he started painting portraits to earn his living. In these his restricted palette and the opposition of light and shadow with as little half-tone as possible reveal his concern with the flattening of form and space. His post-war canvases are painted with a directness of execution and solidly modelled forms. His concern with the structure of form led him gradually to geometrical compositions. In ...
D. C. Barrett
(b Cholet, Maine-et-Loire, April 30, 1926; d Cholet, Maine-et-Loire, May 11, 2016).
French painter, sculptor and stage designer. A self-taught artist, he began his career in 1952, painting endless repetitions of tirets (Fr.: ‘hyphens’), which formed optically vibrating patterns. In the late 1950s he began series of trames, grids of small squares (see From Yellow to Purple, 1956), then of lines drawn on paper and finally of aluminium rods. In works such as 8 Grids (1958; Paris, Pompidou) the vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines at times form circles, creating the sparkling effect of a galaxy. In more sculptural works such as Sphere-grid (1962; priv. col., see 1986 exh. cat., p. 83) straight metal rods form a sphere that revolves when hung.
Morellet was a founder-member of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) in 1960. Besides contributing experiments with lines and spaces, like other members of GRAV he worked with optical effects, light and movement, producing grids of randomly flashing light bulbs, and from ...
(b Copenhagen, Oct 23, 1910; d Copenhagen, Jan 12, 1993).
Danish painter and stage designer. He studied at the art academy in Copenhagen from 1931 to 1932. In 1932 he visited Berlin with the painter Ejler Bille and saw paintings by Vasily Kandinsky, after which he began to make abstract pictures with pure, geometrical forms. He was also attracted by Surrealism and in his paintings of 1933–4 sometimes incorporated fragments of reality, such as an eye and a pair of lips, in otherwise abstract compositions, which gave them a fantastic and erotic character. In 1934 he made some paintings that were purely Surrealist (influenced by Salvador Dalí and Yves Tanguy) as well as drawings of an automatist nature; his works were already exceptionally striking in colour.
From January 1934 Mortensen was associated with the magazine Linien, edited by Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen, and from September 1934 he became its co-editor with Bille. By 1935 he had turned against the more naturalistic kinds of Surrealism; he was inspired by two summers spent on the island of Bornholm to paint a series of pictures based on fantastic impressions of botanical forms, with vigorous interwoven patterns and rich colours. In ...
(b Velika Pisanica, nr Bjelovar, May 4, 1921; d Zagreb, Jan 2, 2005).
Croatian painter, printmaker, stage designer, graphic designer and illustrator. Before World War II he studied at the Zagreb Academy. In 1943 he joined the partisan forces where he founded, together with another painter Zlatko Prica (1916–2002), an engraver’s printshop and edited a portfolio of prints in illustration of the epic poem Pit by I. G. Kovačić. In 1951 he abandoned his Post-Impressionist style of painting Adriatic landscapes after a stay in the USA and Canada. In 1953 he exhibited in Belgrade and Zagreb the cycle Experience of America (1950–51), which contained about 30 paintings and was greatly criticized. These pictures (now Zagreb, Gal. Mod. A. and Mun. A. G.; Belgrade, Min. Foreign Affairs; priv. cols) conveyed impressions of American megalopoles such as Pittsburgh and New York in the manner of American Abstract Expressionism. Mimetic elements began to disappear from his work, and by the late 1950s Murtić developed his own dramatic brushwork. Around ...
(b Prague, June 26, 1900; d Prague, Nov 1, 1974).
Czech painter, draughtsman, typographer, stage designer, writer and teacher. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague from 1919 to 1924, under Jakub Obrovský (1882–1949), Karel Krattner (1862–1926) and, later on, Jan Štursa. In 1921 he became a member of the important group of avant-garde artists Devětsil, and in 1922 he participated in their Spring exhibition with a group of 12 paintings. In 1923 he also joined the Mánes Union of Artists. After graduating from the Academy he spent a year at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He attended lectures by František Kupka and was in contact with Josef Šíma and Jan Zrzavý. In 1927 he started working with the Prague publishing house Aventinum as a book designer, typographer, caricaturist and art critic. At the same time he began to work for the theatre, and from 1927 to 1947 he created 107 stage designs. He took part in the international ...
(b ?Siena, 1505–10; d before July 12, 1571).
Italian painter, illuminator, architect, stage designer, and engineer. His earliest surviving documented works, illuminations for an Antiphonal, signed and dated 1531–2 (ex-Olivetan convent, Finalpia; Genoa, Bib. Berio), suggest training with or sympathy for Sodoma, and later he seems to have been drawn more broadly into the orbit of other influential painters in Siena, such as Domenico Beccafumi, and Baldassare Peruzzi, the latter having returned there after the Sack of Rome (1527). Although he shows an affinity with all three at one time or another, the breadth of Neroni’s activities, from painting to engineering and especially his architectural work, most closely resembles the arc of Peruzzi’s career, and Vasari describes him as a follower.
Neroni’s first independent large-scale commission, in which he reveals the strong influence of Sodoma, is the fresco depicting the Departure of SS Maurus and Placid, executed in 1534 for the cloister of the convent of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. In the same year he was also commissioned to decorate the chapel of the master masons in the cathedral, Siena. Fragments of the fresco survive, notably scenes depicting the ...