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Colette E. Bidon

(b Algiers, March 23, 1861; d Marlotte, Seine-et-Marne, March 1932).

French painter and designer. He began his career painting the Algerian scenes of his youth, rendering Orientalist subjects—such as markets and musicians—with a distinctive, unaffected precision. In 1888 he went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Auguste Herst (b 1825) and Fernand Cormon. He exhibited at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1890.

The discovery of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, and a visit to Italy in 1894, led Point to model his work on the artists of the Florentine Renaissance. The inspiration of Botticelli and Leonardo can be seen in such works as the Eternal Chimera (c. 1895; London, Piccadilly Gal.). Under the dominating influence of Gustave Moreau, his work was also aligned with Symbolism. He became a disciple of Rosicrucianism and a friend of Sâr Peladan, fastidiously rejecting the modern industrial world and what he considered the excessive realism of Zola or Courbet. He painted magicians, endowed with a pure and ancient beauty, or figures of Greek mythology (e.g. ...


Caroline Boyle-Turner

Term applied to the reaction against Impressionism led by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat. It can be roughly dated from 1886, the year of the last Impressionist exhibition, to c. 1905, when Fauvism appeared and the first moves towards Cubism were made. While it was predominantly a French movement, there were related developments in other countries, which often occurred somewhat later. Post-Impressionism can be loosely defined as a rejection of the Impressionists’ concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour in favour of an emphasis on abstract qualities or symbolic content. It therefore includes Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism, and the later work of some Impressionists. The term was coined in 1910 by the English critic and painter Roger Fry for an exhibition of late 19th-century French painting, drawing, and sculpture that he organized at the Grafton Galleries in London.

After considering more substantive terms such as ‘expressionism’, Fry settled on ‘Post-Impressionism’ for the title of the exhibition at the Grafton Galleries in ...


Aurora Scotti Tosini

(b Ferrara, Aug 31, 1852; d Lavagna, June 21, 1920).

Italian painter and writer. He was one of the leading exponents of Divisionism, particularly skilled at large-scale decorative schemes, and especially important for his writings on technique and theory.

He was born into a moderately prosperous family and completed his first studies in the technical school at Ferrara, later graduating to the advanced technical institute. After a year, however, he left the institute to enrol in the School of Fine Arts at the Ateneo Civico, studying the works of the Renaissance masters in the local art gallery. After military service (1873–5) in Livorno, he returned to Ferrara where the death of his father had brought a deterioration in the family’s circumstances. With financial assistance, partly from the authorities and partly from his brother Giuseppe Previati, he moved to Florence, where he was the pupil of Amos Cassioli (1832–91). In November 1876, however, attracted by the work of Lombard artists, particularly Giuseppe Bertini, he moved to Milan and enrolled in the life drawing class at the Accademia di Brera. Here, apart from Giuseppe Mentessi, a childhood friend, his companions included Leonardo Bazzaro (...


Belinda Thomson

(b Limoges, 1864; d Paris, Feb 20, 1909).

French painter and designer. The son of a successful local politician, Ranson was encouraged from the outset in his artistic ambitions. He studied at the Ecoles des Arts Décoratifs in Limoges and Paris but transferred in 1886 to the Académie Julian. There he met Paul Sérusier and in 1888 became one of the original members of the group known as the Nabis. From 1890 onwards, Ranson and his wife France hosted Saturday afternoon meetings of the Nabis in their apartment in the Boulevard du Montparnasse, jokingly referred to as ‘Le Temple’. Ranson acted as linchpin for the sometimes dispersed group. Noted for his enthusiasm and wit and for his keen interests in philosophy, theosophy and theatre, he brought an element of esoteric ritual to their activities. For example he introduced the secret Nabi language and the nicknames used familiarly within the group. He also constructed a puppet theatre in his studio for which he wrote plays that were performed by the Nabis before a discerning public of writers and politicians....


Richard Hobbs


(b Bordeaux, April 20, 1840; d Paris, July 6, 1916).

French printmaker, draughtsman and painter (see fig.). He spent his childhood at Peyrelebade, his father’s estate in the Médoc. Peyrelebade became a basic source of inspiration for all his art, providing him with both subjects from nature and a stimulus for his fantasies, and Redon returned there constantly until its enforced sale in 1897. He received his education in Bordeaux from 1851, rapidly showing talent in many art forms: he studied drawing with Stanislas Gorin (?1824–?1874) from 1855; in 1857 he attempted unsuccessfully to become an architect; and he also became an accomplished violinist. He developed a keen interest in contemporary literature, partly through the influence of Armand Clavaud, a botanist and thinker who became his friend and intellectual mentor.

Redon’s vocation was still undecided in 1864 when he studied painting briefly and disastrously at the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris. He returned to Bordeaux, and his commitment to the visual arts was strengthened by his friendship with ...


Anne Distel

(b Limoges, Feb 25, 1841; d Cagnes-sur-Mer, Dec 3, 1919).

French painter, printmaker, and sculptor. He was one of the founders and leading exponents of Impressionism from the late 1860s, producing some of the movement’s most famous images of carefree leisure. He broke with his Impressionist colleagues to exhibit at the Salon from 1878, and from c. 1884 he adopted a more linear style indebted to the Old Masters. His critical reputation has suffered from the many minor works he produced during his later years.

Renoir was born in Limoges but lived with his family in Paris from 1844. The sixth of seven children, he came from a humble background; his father, Léonard Renoir, was a tailor and his mother, Marguerite Merlet, a dressmaker. At the age of 13 he was apprenticed to M. Levy, a porcelain painter who perceived and valued his precocious skill. Nevertheless his ambition was to become a painter.

From 1860 he copied Old Master paintings in the Louvre, and by ...


Judit Geskó

(b Kaposvár, May 23, 1861; d Kaposvár, Nov 27, 1927).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, pastellist, ceramicist and designer. In 1881 he graduated in pharmacy from the Budapest University of Sciences. He worked as a pharmacist for a short time and then became tutor to Count Ödön Zichy. In 1884 he registered at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, becoming a student in the life class and studying under Johann Caspar Herterich (1843–1905) and Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907). In 1887 he went to Paris to work in the studio of Mihály Munkácsy, for whom he copied and finished paintings for export to the USA. In 1889 Rippl-Rónai went to Pont-Aven, where he painted In a Pont-Aven Bar (1889; Budapest, priv. col.) and Woman in a White Spotted Dress (1889; Budapest, N.G.), which shows the influence of Whistler (which persisted throughout his career) and in which, as in many of his paintings of this period, the dominant colour is black. In ...


Jane Clark

[Thomas] (William)

(b Dorchester, March 9, 1856; d Kallista, Victoria, Sept 14, 1931).

Australian painter of English birth. A leader of the Heidelberg school and pioneer of plein-air Impressionism in Australia, he has been described as ‘the father of Australian landscape painting’. Having moved to Melbourne in 1869, he studied at the East Collingwood and Carlton Schools of Design and the National Gallery of Victoria’s School of Art (1874–81) while working as a photographic assistant. He led sketching expeditions with Frederick McCubbin and initiated student requests for reforms at the school. Returning to England, he enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools, London, on 6 December 1881, officially recommended by Edwin Long. In the summer of 1883 he toured Spain with the painter John Peter Russell. He learnt something of French Impressionism from Spanish art students Ramon Casas and Loreano Barrau (b 1864), and then followed the latter’s advice to visit the Académie Julian in Paris. He returned to Melbourne in ...


Danielle Molinari


(b Paris, May 27, 1871; d Paris, Feb 13, 1958).

French painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Although he first came to prominence with works displayed in 1905 at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, in the company of paintings by Henri Matisse and other initiators of Fauvism, he established a highly personal and emotive style. His technique and palette were also highly personal, and they ranged from watercolour blues to a rich, thick application of materials. These demonstrate, in their very complexity, not only originality but also the craft of the artist always in search of a greater form of expression. Even though he never stopped observing mankind, his deep religious feeling allowed him to imbue his work with great spirituality.

Rouault was born to a humble family during the brief period of the Paris Commune. Through his maternal grandfather, Alexandre Champdavoine, an unassuming post office employee, he discovered artists such as Courbet, Manet and Honoré Daumier at an early age. Having shown a lively interest in drawing at school, at the age of 14 Rouault became a glazier’s apprentice with ...


Vanina Costa

(b Lorry-les-Metz, Moselle, Dec 10, 1867; d L’Etang-la-Ville, Yvelines, June 6, 1944).

French painter, printmaker and decorative artist. While still at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, he met Edouard Vuillard (whose sister Marie he married in 1893), Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier; once they had finished their studies, they all went together to the Académie Julian, where Pierre Bonnard, Georges Lacombe, Paul Ranson and Félix Valloton were already enrolled. Dissatisfied with the teaching of William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jules Lefèbvre, they left the Académie in 1890, two years after they had begun to meet together as the Nabis. Roussel took part in the exhibitions at the Café Volpini in 1889 and the Le Barc de Boutteville gallery in 1891. At that time his pictures applied the rules of Synthetism outlined by Sérusier—flat planes of repeated colour encircled by dark lines forming a harmonious rhythm; a typical example of his oil paintings of this period is My Grandmother (1888; Paris, priv. col., see ...


Francesc Fontbona de Vallescar

(b Barcelona, Feb 25, 1861; d Aranjuez, June 13, 1931).

Spanish Catalan painter and writer. He studied under Tomás Moragas (1837–1906) and exhibited as early as 1878, when he was still working in a conventional realist style. He went to Paris in 1889 with Miguel Utrillo (1862–1934) and other artists. There he and his close friend Ramón Casas, who lived with him in the Moulin de la Galette, began to paint suburban views of Paris, mainly of Montmartre, and interior scenes with figures. The pictures of Paris that they exhibited in Barcelona in 1890 and 1891 opened Catalan art to a new wave of Impressionism influenced by Edgar Degas and James Abbot McNeill Whistler, a form of modernism that was symptomatic of the cultural renewal in Catalonia, and of which Rusiñol, not only a painter but also an active intellectual, was the undisputed leader. In the small seaside town of Sitges, near Barcelona, he created an important cultural centre closely bound to other European developments. Reference to Botticelli and the Pre-Raphaelites can be detected in the Symbolist style which he adopted in his three large canvases, ...


Lija Skalska-Miecik

(b Bohdanów, nr Vilna [now Vilnius, Lithuania], Dec 10, 1870; d Bohdanów, Oct 30, 1936).

Polish painter, printmaker and stage designer. In 1890–92 he studied law at the University of St Petersburg, but from the autumn of 1892 dedicated all his time to painting classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was a student of the Russian landscape painters Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuindzhi. During his studies Ruszczyc went twice to the Crimea (1894 and 1895) to paint seascapes. In 1896 and 1897 he went to the Baltic islands of Rügen and Bornholm and to the southern coast of Sweden to paint studies of northern landscape. He also went several times to Berlin, where he first saw works by German Symbolist painters. The influence of Arnold Böcklin may be detected in works on fantastical themes, while Spring (1897; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) recalls Kuindzhi’s luminism and the lyrical Russian landscape tradition. After graduation Ruszczyc made an extensive tour of western Europe, thus substantially enlarging his knowledge of contemporary European art. At the end of his journey (...


Jeremy Howard

[Nikolai] (Pavlovich)

(b Moscow, 1876; d Nice, 1951).

Russian patron, collector, artist and critic. He was a member of a wealthy Moscow industrial and banking family. His most lasting achievement was the foundation of the art and literary journal Zolotoye runo (‘Golden Fleece’) in Moscow in 1906 (see Golden Fleece). Through his sponsorship of the journal (which he also edited and to which he contributed under the pseudonym N. Shinsky) and the associated Blue Rose and Golden Fleece exhibitions, Ryabushinsky promoted the most recent work of the young Russian and French avant-garde. Thus he introduced Fauvism to Russia with works by Braque, Derain, Matisse and Marquet and encouraged the development of the indigenous Russian movement of Neo-primitivism that first appeared in the work of Mikhail Larionov and Natal’ya Goncharova at the third Golden Fleece salon (1909–10). Zolotoye runo had an approach to culture that was essentially fin-de-siècle; without establishing an official aesthetic viewpoint it reflected the Symbolists’ rejection of contemporary society and pursuit of universal relevance. Ryabushinsky gave special prominence to ...


V. Rakitin


(b Moscow, Dec 17, 1880; d Gulf of Finland, nr Terrioki [St Petersburg region], June 14, 1912).

Russian painter and stage designer. From 1894 to 1904 he studied at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow under Konstantin Korovin and Vladimir Serov, and under Isaak Levitan, who had a formative influence on his early landscape studies. On a visit to Rome, Florence and Pisa in 1902 Sapunov was impressed by the painting of Adolphe Monticelli. In 1904 Sapunov participated in the exhibition of the Crimson Rose (Rus. Alaya roza) group of Symbolists in Saratov.

In 1905 Sapunov met the director Vsevolod Meyerhold at his theatre studio in Moscow and he later participated in Meyerhold’s attempts to create a ‘Symbolist theatre’ in the production of Aleksandr Blok’s Balaganchik (‘The little fairground booth’; designs in St Petersburg, Theat. Mus.) and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at Vera Komissarzhevskaya’s theatre in St Petersburg in 1906. In attempting to polemicize against the detailed realism of the Moscow Arts Theatre, Sapunov and Meyerhold presented the sets for these productions as painted panels and bas-reliefs, and the figure of the actor was seen as an integral part of the overall pictorial schema. In ...


Marian Burleigh-Motley


(b Nakhchyvan’-on-Don [now Rostov-on-Don], Feb 28, 1880; d Yerevan, May 5, 1972).

Armenian painter and museum director. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1897 to 1903 and then worked in the studios of Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin. He was a member of the Moscow Symbolist group around Pavel Kuznetsov who participated in the Crimson Rose (Alaya Roza) exhibition in Saratov, 1904, and the Blue Rose group’s exhibition in Moscow in 1907. Like the other members of the group, Saryan painted fantastic themes, sometimes based on folk tales, although in brighter colours and with stronger rhythmic patterns than were typical of the other Symbolists. Man with Gazelles (1906–7; untraced, see Gray, rev. 2/1986, pl. 45), exhibited at the Blue Rose exhibition and Panthers, also known as Deserted Village (1907; Yerevan, Pict. Gal. Armenia), with its bright blue sky, yellow tree and dark blue panthers, indicate a growing interest in exotic places and an increasingly stylized treatment of figures and animals....


(b Antwerp, Nov 8, 1872; d Brussels, Feb 1944).

Belgian painter and sculptor. Born of Russian parents, he trained as a sculptor at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. In 1898 he was a co-founder of the group Labeur together with Auguste Oleffe, the Belgian painter Willem Paerels (1878–1962) and Louis Thévenet. One of his earliest sculptures is a mask of the Theosophist Madame Blavatsky (1898; see exh. cat., pl. 37). Around 1900 he suffered a nervous breakdown, after which he devoted himself largely to painting. His few sculptures are monumental and static, as in Eve with Apple (1910; see exh. cat., pl. 55).

In his painting Schirren was initially influenced by the Impressionism of Emile Claus and Théo Van Rysselberghe but he soon turned to Fauvism, producing such works as The Chestnut Trees (1915–16; see exh. cat., pl. 16). After about 1925 his style became more austere, as in The Study (1933...


(b Fresne-St-Mamés, Haute-Saône, Dec 8, 1851; d Paris, ?Aug 1934).

French painter. In 1871 he entered the stockbroking firm of Bertin, where he met Paul Gauguin who was also employed there. In his spare time he took drawing classes and studied with Paul Baudry and Carolus-Duran, making his début at the Salon in 1874. He also became acquainted with Armand Guillaumin and Camille Pissarro. Following the stock market crash of 1882, he, like Gauguin, was forced to leave Bertin’s and gained a job teaching art at the Lycée Michelet in Vanves. In 1884 he was one of the co-founders of the Salon des Indépendants and took part in the 8th and last Impressionist Exhibition in 1886, the year in which he also met Emile Bernard in Concarneau and sent him on to see Gauguin, thus initiating their joint development of Cloisonnism. Though he mixed with the members of the Pont-Aven group his own artistic tastes were very different. While Gauguin and his disciples had little more than contempt for Neo-Impressionism, Schuffenecker was much interested in pointillist techniques....


Taube G. Greenspan

(b Altona, Holstein, July 21, 1877; d Avon, Seine-et-Marne, 1926).

Swiss painter and printmaker of German birth. He became a Swiss citizen and received his artistic training under Joseph Mittey (b 1853) at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Geneva. Following brief success there, Schwabe moved to Paris where he supported himself as a designer of wallpaper while he developed considerable graphic skills. He soon became active in Symbolist circles, winning favour as an illustrator of mystical religious themes. His highly refined drawings and watercolours accompany texts such as Le Rêve by Emile Zola (published 1892; drawings, Paris, Pompidou; exhibited Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, also in 1892), Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal (1900), Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Catulle Mendes’s L’Evangile de l’enfance de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ selon Saint Pierre (1900) and Albert Samain’s Jardin de l’Infante (1908). Luxurious editions of his coloured etchings, woodcuts and lithographs, created for bibliophiles, were exhibited at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in ...


Madeleine Rocher-Jauneau

(b Chazelles-sur-Lyon, 1855; d Paris, May 7, 1917).

French painter and illustrator. On 9 November 1872 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon where he worked with the engraver J.-B. Danguin (1823–94) and on 19 March 1877 he was enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and joined Henri Lehmann’s studio, where he befriended Seurat. In 1879 he sent some drawings to the Salon and in the following year two paintings, Hunting and Fishing (untraced). Shortly afterwards he became the pupil of Puvis de Chavannes, working closely with him for the next ten years. Séon assisted Puvis principally with his murals for the Panthéon in Paris and the great staircase of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon. In 1884 he won first prize in the competition organized by the municipality of Courbevoie for the decoration of the banqueting halls of the town hall, choosing the theme of The Seasons (executed in 1889). During this period he was appointed drawing-master for the schools of the city of Paris. He believed that ‘art should be instructive’ and interested himself deeply in social problems. In ...


Belinda Thomson


(b Paris, Nov 9, 1864; d Morlaix, Oct 6, 1927).

French painter and theorist. Son of a wealthy perfume and glove manufacturer, he was a star pupil at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, early on showing a bent towards philosophy. Having little inclination for business, Sérusier was eventually allowed to follow his chosen career of art. He studied at the Académie Julian (1885–90), where his popularity and wide-ranging intellectual gifts led to his election as chief student monitor (massier). This position gave him a certain authority, which was increased when his painting of a Breton Weaver (1888; Senlis, Mus. A. & Archéol.) won an honourable mention at the Salon of 1888.

Sérusier’s encounter with Gauguin in Pont-Aven that year proved decisive in changing his stylistic direction away from a dark-toned naturalism towards a more arbitrary, anti-naturalistic use of colour and simplification of form. Under Gauguin’s direction he started to paint a small landscape from nature, the ...