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Denys Sutton

(b London, Jan 24, 1846; d London, Aug 9, 1924).

English critic, art historian, museum director and collector. While practising as a barrister he began to write for the Manchester Guardian, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Magazine of Art, Art Journal, Fortnightly Review and Nineteenth Century. Artists he discussed include Edward Burne-Jones, Franz von Lenbach, Gustave Moreau and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. He reviewed exhibitions at the New Gallery, London, of Florentine art (Mag. A., xvii (1894), pp. 145–52, 196–201) and Venetian art (Fortnightly Rev., 63 (1895), pp. 423–34), and published several discoveries in the Burlington Magazine, including Carpaccio’s Meditation on the Passion of Christ (xix (1911), pp. 144–52). His last contribution to the magazine appeared in 1919. He reached a wider public with his volumes in the Portfolio series and his monograph on Reynolds (1894). In 1897 he became art critic of the Daily Telegraph, a post he retained until his death. He commented with insight on ...


(b New York, Jan 8, 1865; d London, Nov 23, 1943).

American painter, patron and collector, active in France. The daughter of Isaac Merritt Singer, inventor of the sewing machine, and Isabelle Boyer, she was educated in Paris, where she studied painting with Félix Barrias, first exhibiting at the Salon of 1885. Following the annulment of her marriage to Count de Scey-Montbéliard in 1893, she married Prince Edmond de Polignac (d 1901), a musician and composer, whom she had met through their shared interest in Impressionism. She was particularly attracted to the work of Edouard Manet, adapting his style to her own paintings and acquiring his painting Reading (Paris, Mus. d’Orsay) from his widow. Among her many friends and frequent guests were John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Paul César Helleu, Jean-Louis Forain and Antonin Proust. She also shared an interest in music with her husband, whose friends included the composers Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, Charles Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré. At the Princesse’s popular salons at her hôtel in Paris, held in a room decorated by ...


Two circulation models that constitute the art market: a primary market that structures the initial launch of an artist’s work and a secondary, or resale, market. Primary and secondary markets exist within the context of the Art market, in which works of art are exchanged for money or barter, allowing for creative value to be measured against other investment alternatives.

The art market emerged from the cultural and economic changes after the Reformation, especially in the northern Netherlands. When art became divorced from religious worship, the tradition of ecclesiastical patronage ceased. During this same period, there was an expansion of the Protestant mercantile class, who became the new art buyers. For the new bourgeois middle class, art served as a symbol of social achievement. Artists began to challenge their roles as mere craftsmen and demand that their creations be considered intellectual property. Founded in 1648, the Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture (...



John O’Grady

(b Dún Laoghaire, March 22, 1848; d Dublin, Aug 7, 1943).

Irish painter and patron. She studied in Dublin and briefly in Paris, where she attended the Académie Julian (1878–9), developing a vigorous technique and realist style. She often revisited Paris and knew such artists as Degas and Forain. She befriended the Swiss artist Louise C. Breslau (correspondence in Dublin, N. Lib., Purser MSS) as well as Mariya Bashkirtseva, who described Purser as ‘peintre et philosophe’. From 1872 she exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy and in 1879 began to receive favourable reviews for her paintings of peasants and urchins (e.g. the Gardener’s Daughter, c. 1885; Washington, DC, Georgetown U. A. Col.). In 1881 a Parisian friend, the singer Maria Feller, posed for Le Petit déjeuner (Dublin, N.G.), a small picture full of atmosphere and personality. Such works as Lady with a Rattle (1885; Dublin, N.G.) show her lively handling of paint.

Purser’s life-size portrait of Constance and Eva Gore-Booth...


[Qājār; Kadjar]

Turkoman dynasty of rulers and patrons. They reigned in Iran from 1779 to 1924. After the fall of the Safavid family dynasty and the campaigns of Nadir Shah (d 1747), the Qajar tribe of Turkoman competed against the Zand dynasty for power in Iran. Under Agha Muhammad Khan (d 1797) the various branches of the Qajar tribe were united, and their authority expanded over the country. In 1785 Agha Muhammad took Tehran and adopted it as capital. In 1794 he captured the last Zand ruler Lutf ‛Ali (reg 1789–94) at Kirman, and the following year he was formally crowned in Tehran. With the country pacified, subsequent Qajar rulers in the 19th century, particularly Agha Muhammad’s nephew (1) Fath ‛Ali Shah and the latter’s great-grandson (2) Nasir al-Din, became important patrons of art and architecture at a time when Iran was increasingly exposed to European ideas. By the end of the 19th century, however, the country was deeply in foreign debt due to incessant warfare and royal extravagance. A demand for political liberalism arose, and in ...


Carol Michaelson


Last Chinese dynasty, founded by the Manchus, dating to 1644–1911. The Manchu emperors early became sinicized and patronized all forms of Chinese art and culture. Until the 19th century there was relative prosperity and peace under the Qing. Population and trade increased on an unprecedented scale, and expansion of territory made China the richest and largest state in the world. The reign periods of the Kangxi (1662–1722), Yongzheng (1723–1735) and Qianlong (1736–96) emperors represent the height of Qing cultural attainment. In 1683 Kangxi founded the zaobanchu, a department of public artworks within the palace. He also promoted regional crafts and encouraged the latest Western inventions. Qianlong was also a great patron and collector. As enlightened despots, the emperors won over many patriotic Chinese, particularly by means of publishing enterprises that stimulated intellectual life, and by holding special examinations. In art the emperors were essentially conservative, but many merchants in Yangzhou and elsewhere in the south were also great artistic patrons....


Jaynie Anderson

(b Dresden, Jan 7, 1847; d Lugano, Aug 25, 1937).

German art historian, collector and dealer. The son of a Lutheran clergyman, he first studied theology at Leipzig but while travelling in Italy in 1869 became interested in early Christian archaeology, in which field he determined to continue. His first publications were on the sources of Byzantine art history and the mosaics of Ravenna. In 1876 he met Giovanni Morelli, whose disciple he became. Their lengthy correspondence constitutes an important source for the early history of connoisseurship. Richter published a short biography of Leonardo in 1880, then a series of articles in the Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst and finally his edition of the Literary Works of Leonardo (1883), the work that established his reputation as a scholar. This was the first scholarly edition of Leonardo’s writings, illustrated, moreover, with a selection of mostly authentic drawings at a time when books on Leonardo were normally illustrated by his pupils’ works....


Emmanuel Cooper

(de Sousy)

(b Geneva, Oct 2, 1866; d London, Oct 7, 1931).

English painter, designer, writer and collector. He trained as an illustrator at the City and Guilds Technical Art School, Lambeth, London, where he met and formed a lifelong relationship with Charles Shannon. He identified with the ideals of the Aesthetic Movement, finding inspiration in Renaissance art as well as in the French artists Gustave Moreau and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In 1888 he took over James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s house, The Vale, in Chelsea and drew together an artists’ colony. Inspired by the work of A. H. Mackmurdo and William Morris, he set up a small press over which he exercised complete control of design and production, producing art journals and books that included Oscar Wilde’s A House of Pomegranates (1891) and The Sphinx (1894). Ricketts later designed founts, initials, borders and illustrations for the Vale Press (1896–1904), blending medieval, Renaissance and contemporary imagery. His crisp woodcut illustrations often incorporated the swirling lines of Art Nouveau and androgynous figures....


Helen Davies

(b Nottingham, Dec 16, 1824; d Swanage, April 10, 1913).

English museum curator, collector and connoisseur. He began studies in architecture but then turned to painting, working in the 1840s in the studio of Michel-Martin Drolling in Paris, among others. During this time he laid the foundations of his vast knowledge of Western art. On his return to England in 1847 he taught at the School of Design at Hanley and in 1852 was called to London to become a teachers’ training master. His curatorial abilities were noticed, and in the same year he was made Keeper of the new Museum of Ornamental Art at Marlborough House (transferred to South Kensington in 1857 and later named the Victoria and Albert Museum).

He was chiefly responsible for all the important acquisitions made for the museum between 1852 and 1867, excluding those of contemporary art. He built up all the collections, including those of ceramics, metalwork, manuscripts and drawings, but particularly that of Italian Renaissance sculpture, for which he made purchases of 13th- and 14th-century works. Among the acquisitions that he made for the museum were 69 works from the collections of ...


Ralph M. Cleminson and G. I. Vzdornov

Russian dynasty of rulers, patrons and collectors. The period of political chaos that followed the extinction of the house of Riurik in 1598 was finally brought to an end in 1613 by the election of Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov as tsar: his descendants occupied the Russian throne until 1917. The early Romanovs were essentially medieval monarchs, whose influence on the artistic life of the country was primarily expressed in its public building, though Tsar Alexei (reg 1645–76) also placed the weight of his authority behind Patriarch Nikon’s campaign against ‘Frankish’ icons (i.e. those influenced by Western European painting). In secular culture, however, the Tsar was much more in favour of Western influence, and in his reign the style of portraiture known as parsuna, in which native and European traditions mingled, flourished. Alexei’s son, (1) Peter I (who assumed the title of Emperor), went much further: his rejection of his native traditions in favour of the culture of Western Europe led to a cultural reorientation that affected art and architecture as much as other areas of life. It also led to the exclusion of popular and native motifs from the work of professional artists until their rediscovery in the late 19th century. Peter’s daughter, ...


Bet McLeod

[de Rothschild]

European family of collectors and patrons. It can be said that the fortune of the Rothschild family, acquired over six generations, began with Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1743–1812) of Frankfurt am Main, who, from the 1760s, supplied William of Hesse-Kassel (later William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel) with rare coins. Mayer Amschel was appointed financial adviser to William in 1801, and his family emerged from the Napoleonic Wars with immense personal fortunes, based on finance, that were to increase considerably throughout the 19th century. Mayer Amschel had five sons: the four sons living on the Continent were raised to the rank of Baron of the Austrian Empire in 1822; the English branch of the family was raised to the baronetcy in 1847 and one section to the peerage in 1885. Unless otherwise stated, all the works mentioned are in Rothschild family private collections.

Baron James Mayer de Rothschild (1792–1868...


(b Paris, Oct 2, 1833; d Paris, Jan 2, 1912).

French collector, painter and industrialist. Among his fellow pupils at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris was Edgar Degas who became a lifelong friend. Rouart entered the Ecole Polytechnique in 1853, graduating as an engineer; his inventions included a machine for making ice (1862) and another for sending telegrams (1867). In the Siege of Paris in 1870 he served with Degas in the artillery. He was an amateur painter, and exhibited at the Paris Salon between 1868 and 1872. He was also a steadfast supporter of the Impressionists, and showed paintings at all their exhibitions between 1876 and 1886, except in 1882, when Degas and his followers withdrew. He painted mostly landscapes, a characteristic example being the Terrace on the Banks of the Seine at Melun (exh. 5th Impressionist Exhibition 1880; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay). It is, however, as a collector that Rouart is remembered. He shared with Degas a passion for the early work of ...


Lillian B. Miller

(b Chicago, IL, 1856; d Chicago, Aug 12, 1932).

American businessman, collector, and philanthropist. Scion of one of Chicago’s wealthiest families and educated at Harvard Law School in the 1870s, he was convinced of the importance of culture for community development. He took an active role in most of Chicago’s cultural and civic institutions, becoming president of the University of Chicago’s board of trustees and vice-president of the Chicago Art Institute.

From the 1890s Ryerson began to create a private art collection, which was considered the greatest in Chicago. His taste ranged widely; he collected works by painters of the early Italian Renaissance (Perugino, Ghirlandaio, Jacopo del Sellaio, Tiepolo, and Neroccio de’ Landi), Dutch and Flemish masters (Gerard David, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Breughel the younger, Jan van Goyen, Pieter de Hooch, Jacob van Ruisdael, David Teniers the younger, Rogier van der Weyden, and Lucas van Leyden), French Impressionists and American 19th-century painters (Winslow Homer watercolours), and oriental artists. Most of the Ryerson Collection came, by gift or bequest (...


Harley Preston and Lin Barton



S. J. Vernoit

(b Berlin, June 22, 1865; d Neubabelsberg, June 1945).

German archaeologist, art historian and collector. He travelled to the Middle East and met Carl Humann, who was excavating Pergamon and advised Sarre to study the monuments of medieval Anatolia. In 1895 he visited Phrygia, Lycaonia and Pisidia and in 1896 went on a longer journey in Asia Minor. His principal aim was to discover architectural monuments and archaeological sites; he always travelled with a trained architect and became a talented photographer. He also collected epigraphic material which he sent to such Arabists as Bernhard Moritz, Eugen Mittwoch and Max van Berchem. In the years 1897 to 1900 Sarre travelled to Iran. Objects from his collection were exhibited in Berlin (1899) and at the Exposition des arts musulmans (Paris, 1903). In 1905 he met Ernst Herzfeld, and in 1907–8 they travelled together from Istanbul via Aleppo and Baghdad to the Gulf to find an Islamic site suitable for excavation. Their choice, which Herzfeld later described as Sarre’s, fell upon ...



[Āl Sa‛ūd]

Dynasty that has ruled most of the Arabian peninsula since 1746. The foundations of Saudi rule were laid when Muhammad ibn Sa‛ud (reg 1746–65) formed an alliance with the theologian Muhammad ibn ‛Abd al-Wahhab (d 1791), who wanted to purify Islam in Arabia. Under ‛Abd al-‛Aziz I (reg 1765–1803) Riyadh and most of the Najd region came under Saudi rule, and the Hijaz region, including Mecca and Medina, soon followed. Saudi expansion was countered when the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II (reg 1808–39) commissioned his viceroy in Egypt, Muhammad ‛Ali (reg 1805–48), to reconquer the Hijaz and Najd. After the withdrawal of Turco-Egyptian forces, Riyadh was recaptured by Turki (reg 1823–34) and became the new capital of a reduced ‘second’ Saudi state. After the death of Faysal I (reg 1834–65 with interruption), Saudi fortunes began to wane, and by 1891 the ‘second’ Saudi state had come to an end. ‛Abd al-‛Aziz II (...


James Miller

revised by Molly Dorkin

Auction house founded in London by Samuel Baker (1713–78), a bookseller. His first recorded auction sale was of the library of Sir John Stanley on 11 March 1744 in the Great Room, over Exeter Exchange, in the Strand, London. While primarily selling books, from the start he included the fine arts. The business prospered, and Baker moved the firm to York Street, Covent Garden. His first sale there, in 1754, was of the library of the physician Dr Richard Mead, which was sold in two parts lasting 57 days and realized £5,508 10s. 11d. In 1767 Baker took George Leigh (1742–1816) into the firm, which then became Baker & Leigh. On Baker’s death in 1778, his nephew John Sotheby (1740–1807) inherited the business. The firm, renamed Leigh & Sotheby, continued to expand into other areas with the first of the seven sales of duplicate coins and books from the ...


Judith Zilczer

(b Hoboken, NJ, Jan 1, 1864; d New York, July 13, 1946).

American photographer, editor, publisher, patron and dealer. Internationally acclaimed as a pioneer of modern photography, he produced a rich and significant body of work between 1883 and 1937 (see fig.). He championed photography as a graphic medium equal in stature to high art and fostered the growth of the cultural vanguard in New York in the early 20th century.

The first of six children born to an upper-middle-class couple of German–Jewish heritage, Stieglitz discovered the pleasure of amateur photography after 1881, when his family left New York to settle temporarily in Germany. His father, Edward Stieglitz, had retired from a successful business in the wool trade with a fortune that enabled him to educate his children abroad. In 1882 Alfred enrolled in the mechanical engineering programme of the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he spent his spare time experimenting with photography in a darkroom improvised in his student quarters. His self-directed experiments led him to study photochemistry with the eminent scientist Hermann ...


(b Maastricht, Oct 20, 1843; d The Hague, March 21, 1916).

Dutch administrator, writer and collector. Born into a family with a strong interest in the arts, he studied drawing in his youth. In 1861 he enrolled as a law student at the University of Leiden, where he also studied art history and archaeology. Through Dr Leemans, the director of the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, de Stuers became a correspondent of the committee of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, established to preserve and identify significant historical works of Dutch art. His dissertation (1869) was a plea for the government to provide art education and to index and classify Dutch artworks. In 1873 de Stuers wrote an article entitled ‘Holland op zijn smalst’ [Holland at its meanest], in which he lamented the poor condition of Dutch monuments and the sale of Dutch artistic heritage overseas, arguing for the preservation and promotion of the arts and museums. From 1875 to 1901...