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Article

Stefania Frezzotti

(b Turin, Dec 8, 1871; d Rome, Jan 16, 1954).

Italian sculptor, medallist and printmaker. He studied ornamental modelling at the Accademia Albertina in Turin under Odoardo Tabacchi and first exhibited in 1891 at the Turin Promotrice, where he continued to show his work almost every year. From 1896 to 1898 he worked in the studio of Leonardo Bistolfi, who had a strong influence on his development. In 1898 he received his first important commission, a decorative group representing the Dora River for the Fountain of the Months in the Parco del Valentino, Turin. At the Esposizione Internazionale di Arte Decorativa held in Turin in 1902, Rubino created decorative groups representing Dance, Sculpture and Painting (destr.; repr. in Thovez) for the pavilion designed by Raimondo D’Aronco, in an Art Nouveau style close to that of Bistolfi; they earned him the gold medal. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale (1899, 1903, 1905, 1907) and at the Amatori e Cultori in Rome (...

Article

Maurice Culot

[Henry]

(b Rouen, May 10, 1873; d Paris, March 1932).

French architect. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1890 and became part of a progressive circle that included Louis Majorelle, Charles Plumet and Francis Jourdain; Jourdain’s father, Frantz, was to give Sauvage constant support. Sauvage’s marriage in 1898 to Marie-Louise Charpentier, the daughter of the sculptor Alexandre Charpentier, was proof of his integration into Art Nouveau circles. From 1900 he worked in association with Charles Sarazin (1873–1950), whom he had met at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Both produced large numbers of applied art designs: designs for goldwork and for furniture, and a considerable number for interior decoration. In 1898 they designed two salons for the Café de Paris (reconstruction in Paris, Carnavalet). In the same year they also worked on the Villa Majorelle in Nancy, a complete work of art resulting from collaboration with Charpentier, Frantz Jourdain and Majorelle, and from 1899 to 1913...

Article

Maria Makela, Beth Irwin Lewis and Cynthia Prossinger

Term applied to a group of artists who secede from academic bodies or associations in protest at their constraints. The term comes from the Latin secessio plebis, the revolt of the plebeians against the patricians. The Secessions in German-speaking Europe in the late 19th century developed out of the political and literary movement of the 1870s, Die Jungen, which had broken away from the rigidity of historicism (typified by the Ringstrasse style in Vienna), an eclectic synthesis of styles, and sought a modern style for modern living. The three main Secessions were those of Munich, Berlin, and Vienna, although others were formed in Dresden, Karlsruhe, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Weimar. Secessions also took place in other parts of Europe, including Rome (La Secessione, 1913) and Budapest (Szecesszió, 1896–1914, and, under different names, elsewhere, for example in Prague (Mánes Union of Artists, 1895) and Kraków (Sztuka Polish Artists Society). At issue in all areas was control over ...

Article

Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Aleksandrovich)

(b St Petersburg, Jan 19, 1865; d Moscow, Dec 5, 1911).

Russian painter, graphic artist and stage designer. As a child he lived in St Petersburg, but he made frequent trips abroad. In 1874 he travelled to Paris with his mother and frequented the studio of the Russian Realist painter, Il’ya Repin. In 1875 the art patron Savva Mamontov invited Serov and his mother to settle at Abramtsevo outside Moscow, where he again had the opportunity to study under Repin and to meet other artists in the Mamontov circle. The Symbolist paintings of Mikhail Vrubel’ and the late Impressionist landscapes and figure studies of Konstantin Korovin he saw at Abramtsevo had a lasting influence on the young Serov. From 1880 to 1885 he studied at the Academy of Art, St Petersburg, under Pavel Chistyakov (1832–1919). During the 1880s Serov also travelled abroad and became aware of French Impressionism. He began to use bright colours in portraits of figures seen in dappled sunlight and shade, as in his portrait of Vera Mamontov, ...

Article

Jacques-Grégoire Watelet

(b Liège, July 27, 1858; d Liège, Nov 10, 1910).

Belgian architect and designer. He studied architecture at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Liège from 1874. He was mainly interested in the theories of John Ruskin and William Morris, but above all in those of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, particularly those expressed in Entretiens sur l’architecture (1863–72), which Serrurier-Bovy enthusiastically discussed with his fellow students. From 1882 he practised as an architect with his father, Louis Serrurier, a contractor, and built the Gothic Revival chapel (1882) at the Château de Chaityfontaine (between Liège and Verviers). Soon, however, he was devoting all his time to furniture design. In 1884 he went to London to visit the Schools of Handicrafts, Fine and Applied Arts, and to see the work of A. H. Mackmurdo and C. F. A. Voysey; he also signed agreements with Liberty’s. In the same year he married Maria Bovy, an invaluable assistant, whose name he added to his own. The Serrurier-Bovy firm opened in Liège, selling imported objects and designing unique pieces of furniture. Its first important public showing was (probably due to the intervention of Serrurier-Bovy’s friend Henry Van de Velde) at the first salon of the ...

Article

Catherine Cooke

[Fedor; Frants] (Osipovich)

(b St Petersburg, July 16, 1859; d Moscow, June 26, 1926).

Russian architect, interior designer and teacher. In the 1890s and 1900s, when Moscow became the power-base for a new class of rich industrialists from largely peasant origins, he was the architect who, more than any other, created a synthesis of medieval Russian traditions with westward-looking modernity that reflected this class’s cultural and political aspirations.

From his late teens Shekhtel’ was the close friend of Anton Chekhov; he himself worked in stage design for the popular theatre of Lentovsky and moved among the founders of the Moscow Arts Theatre. He came to prominence, however, in the 1890s with his designs for great mansions, in which he used the full theatrical gamut of colour, carved and painted ‘scenery’ and light, to create highly dramatic environments. Almost without formal training, aside from one academic year (1876–7) in the Architecture Faculty of the Moscow College of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, he owed his rise to sheer output and talent. Although like most architects of his time in Russia he was not a theorist, he had a distinct aesthetic method. The only significant remaining verbal exposition of this is a lecture given to Moscow art students in ...

Article

Marie-Rose A. S. Bogaers

(b Engelen, North Brabant, Jan 22, 1863; d The Hague, June 8, 1931).

Dutch teacher, designer and writer. He attended drawing classes with A. Le Comte (1850–1921) at the Polytechnische School in Delft. From 1888 to 1891 he was in Paris, where he trained as a gold- and silversmith with E. J. Niermans. Between 1886 and 1888, and again between 1891 and 1895, he taught at the Haarlem School voor Kunstnijverheid. In 1895 he graduated as an engineer and succeeded Le Comte in Delft as teacher and, from 1905, professor of decorative arts and ornamental drawing.

As a designer Sluyterman was active in a number of fields. From c. 1890 to 1899 he produced work in various historical styles for the Amsterdam jewellers Hoeker & Zoon. In 1900 he made several designs for the Van Kempen silver factory in Voorschoten. In 1895 and 1896 he made a number of large-scale mural designs for ’s Hertogenbosch railway station in the florid Art Nouveau style which he had become acquainted with in France. The same style recurs in his decorations for the Dutch exhibition at the Paris Exposition Universelle of ...

Article

Vincenzo Fontana

(b Milan, July 11, 1869; d Milan, March 27, 1917).

Italian architect. He graduated in architectural design from the Accademia di Brera in Milan, attended courses for builders and then worked in the office of Luigi Broggi, before practising independently. Although some early works such as the Cirla house (1895–6), Ripa di Porta Ticinese 63, and the Marelli house (1896–7), Via M. Melloni, both in Milan, and the Villini Aletti (1897), Via Malpighi 14, Rome, are typical of late 19th-century neo-Baroque, with heavily bracketed projections and overhanging cornices, Sommaruga is best known as an exponent of Stile Liberty (It.: Art Nouveau). His style incorporated flowing bands of colour by using sculptural decoration (sometimes asymmetrical to windows) and high- and low-relief figural and floral bands, panels and friezes, executed in contrasting materials, often garnishing comparatively plain brick or stone surfaces. Sommaruga’s Palazzo Castiglioni (1900–03), Corso Venezia 47, Milan, is a Gesamtkunstwerk, with decorative wrought iron by ...

Article

Ferenc Batári

(b Liptószentmiklós, Hungary [now Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia], Dec 26, 1858; d Sepsibükszád, Transylvania [now Romania], Feb 23, 1944).

Hungarian glass artist. In 1881 he was employed in the Zayugrócz (now Uhrovec, Slovakia) Glassworks, in upper Hungary, where he was director of the glass-painting studio. He later worked in the Ujantalvölgy Glassworks. During this period he gained recognition for acid-etched pieces. From 1907 to 1914 he leased the Sepsibükszád Glassworks. He produced ornamental pieces in the Art Nouveau style, with acid-etched decoration of plants and animals. His pieces were built up of thin layers of different colours, resulting in fine pastel shades; the outer layer was left in a natural matt finish. Sovánka was awarded a gold medal at the World’s Fair in St Louis in 1904 and at the Esposizione Internazionale del Sempione in Milan in 1906.

I. Katona: ‘Sovánka és a Magyar üveg a szazadfordulón’ [Sovánka and Hungarian glass at the turn of the century], Művészettörténeti Értesitő, 29/3–4 (1980), pp. 237–48

Hungary, §VII: Glass

Slovakia, §V: Decorative arts...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1865; d 1938).

Alsatian cabinetmaker and decorative artist. His workshop in Saint-Léonard specialized in marquetry, which he used for both Art Nouveau furniture and as a pictorial medium, notably for panels of women in landscapes. Many of his panels were used for the decoration of restaurants and ocean liners. The business passed to Charles’s son Paul Spindler (...

Article

Stefano Della Torre

(b Florence, July 3, 1871; d Sanremo, 1947).

Italian architect. Soon after graduating in Rome he moved to Milan, where he set up an architectural practice with the engineer Giulio De Capitani. From the last years of the 19th century he worked for private patrons building houses, offices and shops, among them the Savini Café-Restaurant. He kept abreast of architectural fashion, working in the Art Nouveau style, in which he designed the wine store (1900–02) for the Unione Cooperativa in the Corso Sempione, Milan. His Milanese town houses were influenced by contemporary foreign styles. The house at Via Gioberti 1 (1903–4), for example, is a linear composition developed in parallel registers derived from Viennese models, rather than a coordinated and unified sculptural mass. The Casa Donzelli at Via Revere 7 (1907–9) is still expressed in geometric rather than the sculptural terms of Art Nouveau, however, with the decorative details in an imaginative Oriental style. In his winning competition entry for the Monza Cemetery (...

Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, Nov 10, 1859; d Paris, Dec 13, 1923).

French illustrator, printmaker, painter and sculptor, of Swiss birth. After studying at the University at Lausanne and working as an apprentice designer in a textile factory in Mulhouse, Steinlen arrived in Paris in 1881 and quickly established himself in Montmartre, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In 1883 the illustrator Adolphe Willette introduced him to the avant-garde literary and artistic environment of the Chat Noir cabaret which had been founded in 1881 by another Swiss expatriot, Rodolphe Salis. Steinlen soon became an illustrator of its satirical and humorous journal, Chat noir, and an artistic collaborator with writers such as Emile Zola, poets such as Jean Richepin, composers such as Paul Delmet, artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and, most important, the singer and songwriter Aristide Bruant, all of whom he encountered at the Chat Noir. Bruant’s lyrics incorporate the argot of the poor, the worker, the rogue, the pimp and the prostitute, for whom Steinlen’s empathy had been awakened on reading Zola’s novel ...

Article

Wanda Kemp-Welch

(b Carouge, nr Geneva, July 29, 1849; d Kraków, June 3, 1943).

Polish architect, writer and historian . He studied architecture under Gottfried Semper at the Polytechnikum, Zurich (1868–72), at the Technische Hochschule, Vienna, and the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Between 1874 and 1877 he worked as an architect for the government in Lima, and in 1878 he settled in Kraków where he worked on the restoration of historic buildings, including the church of St Mary. His early work was in a neo-classical and neo-Renaissance style; he then became involved with the Young Poland movement, which paralleled the Art Nouveau, Jugendstil and Arts and Crafts movements. In 1903–6 he redeveloped the Old Theatre, Kraków, which was one of the first large halls in Poland to be roofed in reinforced concrete. Its plan was refreshingly free, breaking away from the rigid rules of the past, and the Art Nouveau style was expressed in the curves of the window arches, echoed by the porch canopy and a prominent canopied cornice below which ran an ornamental frieze in relief by ...

Article

Petr Wittlich

(b Nová Paka, Bohemia, Nov 12, 1866; d Prague, May 5, 1916).

Bohemian sculptor. He came from a family of sculptors from north-east Bohemia. He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague (1886–92) under Josef Myslbek, and he taught modelling (from 1892) and later sculpture there (from 1899). He taught medallion design at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts (from 1915).

From early in his career Sucharda was dedicated to national folklore, but he soon conceived his work with a greater accent on the dramatic. Since he was engaged in ornamental sculpture he inevitably collaborated closely with architects, which affected his style. His cooperation with the architect Jan Kotěra in the early 20th century was significant in this respect, as together they were instrumental in asserting the Czech version of Art Nouveau, as in the decoration of the District House, Hradec Králové, east Bohemia (1904). Sucharda was among the founder-members of the journal ...

Article

(b 1844; d St Petersburg, 1919).

Russian architect. A graduate of the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, he designed over 100 residential and public buildings in St Petersburg. Among his most important projects were the ten houses he built on Pushkin Street (1876). In spite of these buildings’ uniformity of plan, the decoration of their façades is eclectic. Syuzor constructed several large corner buildings, such as 71 Yekaterininsky (now Griboyedov) Canal (1886–8), and began to develop his own architectural style, using distinctive two-storey oriel windows, corner towers and decorative sculptures, all faced in stucco in Baroque Revival style. In 1898–1900 he erected two complexes, each occupying an entire block: 32–34 Kirochnaya (now Saltykov-Shchedrin) Street and 13–15 Panteleymonovskaya (now Pestel’) Street. In both structures, two buildings are joined by a triumphal arch. The façades were located within the courtyard and metal was used for decorative purposes. Combining the magnificence of aristocratic palaces with the scale of commercial buildings, they are the ultimate achievement in 19th-century stuccoed eclecticism in St Petersburg and reveal Syuzor’s dependence on his French contemporaries. In ...

Article

Aleksandr U. Grekov

Russian estate lying 18 km from Smolensk. It was acquired in 1893 by Prince Vyacheslav Tenishev (1843–1903) and his wife Mariya Tenisheva. In the 19th century and the early 20th Princess Tenisheva, with the help of her husband’s capital (he was a leading industrialist and businessman), turned Talashkino into a unique artistic centre in the forefront of the revival of peasant handicrafts. She founded various workshops for joinery, ceramics, wood-carving, wood painting, metal chasing and fabric dyeing, where local craftsmen and apprentices from the peasantry worked under professional artists. They manufactured different objects for everyday life, including towels, clothes, wooden bowls, plates and toys. This took place in the context of the mutual enrichment of folk crafts and professional Art Nouveau in Russia at that time. Tenisheva formed a large collection of objects from traditional folk life, and of artistic products. Originally they were housed on the estate, where a museum, Russkaya Starina (‘Russian antiquity’), was opened to all in ...

Article

José Manuel Fernandes

(b Seixas, Minho, July 14, 1866; d Lisbon, April 30, 1919).

Portuguese architect. He was born into a humble family in northern Portugal and in 1881 went to the Escola de Belas Artes, Oporto, and thence to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris; there he joined the studio of Victor Laloux in 1886 and was an outstanding pupil. He returned to Portugal in 1896 when he won an international competition for the reconstruction of the vast building of the Câmara dos Deputados in the former convent of S Bento, Lisbon (now the Assembleia da República). The work, which continued into the 1930s, is in an elaborate and confident Neo-classical style.

Terra’s skill as a designer was soon shown in several housing projects in Lisbon that won the annual Valmôr prize instituted in Lisbon in 1902 by a public benefactor. In 1903 he won with a design for a residential block in Rua Alexandre Herculano, 57, Lisbon, where he himself eventually lived. Other prize-winning designs included the town house (...

Article

Giuliana Tomasella

(b Turin, Nov 10, 1869; d Turin, Feb 16, 1925).

Italian poet and critic. He published two collections of poetry, Il poema dell’adolescenza (1901) and Poemi d’amore e di morte (1922), and contributed as a literary, artistic and social critic to many daily newspapers and magazines, including La Stampa, the Gazzetta letteraria, The Studio and Emporium. Up to 1889 he was part of the Liberty movement in Turin; he was a great admirer of the Liberty style, which he considered to be the sole great achievement of contemporary art, and was a proud adversary of Impressionism and the avant-garde. He was a founder of L’Arte decorativa moderna (1902–7), and for ten years director of the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna in Turin. From 1905 to 1912 La Stampa printed several of his most controversial articles, in which he fiercely attacked the most important contemporary painters in Europe, from Renoir and Cézanne to van Gogh and Matisse. His own concept of art as an ‘ideal transcendence of reality’ led him to prefer the Pre-Raphaelites, especially William Holman Hunt, as well as Arnold Böcklin, Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati. His most famous book, ...

Article

Marja Supinen

[Wallgren, Carl Wilhelm]

(b Porvoo, Dec 15, 1855; d Helsinki, Oct 13, 1940).

Finnish sculptor. He began studying sculpture in Helsinki as a pupil of Carl Eneas Sjöstrand. In 1877 he moved to Paris, which was to prove much more significant for his studies. During his years there Vallgren followed the instruction of Pierre-Jules Cavelier at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Vallgren’s progress was leisurely. He spent the early part of the 1880s sketching figures and practising portrait sculpture. He was clearly attracted by the realist tendencies of the decade, as well as by the study of movement. The life-size marble sculpture Echo (1885; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) marks a turning point in his work; it combines the familiarity of drawing-room realism with the serenity of a lyrical depiction of nature. Towards the end of the 1880s Vallgren was greatly influenced by Auguste Rodin, and at the same time he moved closer to both decorative and Symbolist expression. His works dating from this period, such as the reliefs ...

Article

Jean-Claude Vigato

(b Herbeviller, Meurthe-et-Moselle, July 13, 1856; d Nancy, July 21, 1922).

French architect and cabinetmaker. He learnt his trade in the carpentry business belonging to his uncle Charles-Auguste Claudel (1827–93), a specialist in church furniture, in Nancy. Although he only spent a year at the municipal drawing school, through his uncle he discovered Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s famous Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVe siècle (Paris, 1854–68). He had been managing the business for six years when in 1887 he completed work on the great organ of the church of St Léon at Nancy where their passion for neo-medievalism made the sculptor voluble and the carpenter bold. The enthusiastic proselytizing of Emile Gallé and Victor Prouvé converted a developing love of Gothic into an engagement with Modernism, and by 1896 Vallin had designed a house for his own use—the first in the Ecole de Nancy manner. The décor is naturalist and the composition anti-classical, with a façade of which the features are differentiated by interior functions....