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Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b 1872; d Srinagar, 1955).

English art historian, museum curator, educationalist, painter and collector. In 1899, after a short period of training as an archaeologist in Egypt, Brown went to India, where he served as curator of Lahore Museum and principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore. While working in these posts, he was also assistant director of the Delhi Exhibition of 1902–3 (see Delhi, §II), under George Watt. In 1909 he took up employment in Calcutta as principal of the Government School of Art and curator of the art section of the Indian Museum. In 1927 he retired from the Indian Educational Service to take up an appointment as secretary and curator of the Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta, where he remained until 1947. After this he lived on a houseboat on the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.

Brown’s earliest publications included a contribution to the catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition and a descriptive guide to the Department of Industrial Art at Lahore Museum in ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[ Chang Ta-ch’ien ; Chang Dai–chien ; hao Dafengtang]

(b Neijiang, Sichuan Province, May 10, 1899; d Taipei, April 2, 1983).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, collector and forger . From an artistic family, he began to paint under the tutelage of his mother, Ceng Yi, and did his first paid painting for the local fortune-teller when he was 12 years old. Zhang’s elder sister gave him his first lessons in the classics. At 15 he embarked on three years of schooling at the Qiujing Academy in Chongqing. In 1917 he went to Kyoto in Japan to join his elder brother Zhang Shanzi (1882–1940). Here, Daqian learnt the art of textile painting, and the brothers collaborated in painting tigers: Shanzi painted the animals and Daqian the surroundings. Shanzi kept a pet tiger in the house, using it as his artistic model. In 1919 Zhang returned to China, where he continued his studies in Shanghai with the scholar Ceng Xi. He also studied with the artist Li Ruiqing (1867–1920) and was exposed to Li’s calligraphy in seal script (...

Article

Gail Stavitsky

(b Villanova, PA, July 23, 1881; d New York, June 15, 1952).

American collector, painter and critic. He was a great-grandson of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under President Jefferson and President Madison and one of the founders of New York University. Around 1900 he began establishing his reputation as a leading connoisseur of Aubrey Beardsley and James McNeill Whistler through his extensive writing and collecting of their work. Frequent visits to Paris and Europe from 1921 to 1938 resulted in Gallatin’s conversion to acquiring modernist art through his contacts with artists, dealers and collectors. In 1927 he opened his collection to the public as the Gallery of Living Art, in the South Study Hall of New York University’s Main Building. It was the first museum in the USA devoted exclusively to modern art. As its director Gallatin developed the collection into a significant survey focusing on Cubism, De Stijl, Neo-plasticism and Constructivism. Works by Picasso, Braque, Gris, Léger, Mondrian, Jean Hélion, ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Quetzaltenango, Jan 26, 1897; d Guatemala City, June 1, 1970).

Guatemalan painter, collector and writer. He began his artistic studies in Quetzaltenango, where he was fortunate to come into contact with the Spanish painter Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968) and Carlos Mérida, with whom he became friends. He continued his studies in Guatemala City and then in Mexico City at the Real Academia de San Carlos, where his fellow students included Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Montenegro and Miguel Covarrubias. He returned briefly to Guatemala only to leave for Europe. He studied in Madrid at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and from 1924 to 1925 lived in Paris. He returned to Guatemala City in 1927 and in 1928 became director of the Academia de Bellas Artes. By then he had developed a style derived from French Impressionism, although he gradually moved towards a more naturalistic style, perhaps in response to the taste of his clients.

Garavito generally painted in oils on a medium or small scale, concentrating on the beautiful Guatemalan landscape, of which he can in a sense be considered the ‘discoverer’. His preferred subjects were the mountains, volcanoes and lakes of the Guatemalan high plateau, and he was the first to incorporate in his works the Indians in their brightly coloured clothes. He was the central figure and teacher of a group of figurative painters and painters working in a naturalistic style, such as ...

Article

(b Milan, Oct 15, 1851; d Milan, Aug 4, 1920).

Italian painter, dealer, critic and collector of Hungarian origin. Around 1870 he frequented the circle of Scapigliati, Gli and in 1870–71 visited London. Grubicy’s acquaintance with the art galleries there inspired him to start his own gallery in Milan, specializing in the Scapigliati artists, particularly Tranquillo Cremona and later Daniele Ranzoni. After Cremona’s death in 1878, Grubicy extended his interest to younger Lombard artists, primarily Giovanni Segantini (whose Choir of S Antonio impressed him at the 1879 annual exhibition at the Brera, Milan), Emilio Longoni (1859–1932) and later Angelo Morbelli. Grubicy became Segantini’s dealer and they were in close collaboration from this time. Between 1882 and 1885 Grubicy was in the Low Countries and probably informed Segantini of Millet and The Hague school. During his visit Grubicy also began to draw (e.g. Housemaid Washing, 1884; Milan, Castello Sforzesco) and to paint (e.g. The Hague: My First Work, 1884...

Article

(b Paris, Dec 2, 1859; d Paris, April 25, 1927).

French historian, collector and painter. His grandfather Adolphe Moreau (1800–59), a stockbroker, was a collector of modern paintings and a friend and patron of Eugène Delacroix, Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps and other Romantic artists; his father Adolphe Moreau (1827–82), a Conseiller d’Etat and administrator of the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de l’Est, married in 1856 the ceramicist Camille Nélaton (1840–97). After studying at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (1878–81), Moreau-Nélaton decided in 1882 to become an artist and studied informally with Henri-Joseph Harpignies and Albert Maignan, who were friends of the family. He subsequently pursued a career as a painter, exhibiting at the Salon from 1885. He painted in a variety of styles, and was accomplished, if not strikingly original; his best works, influenced by Manet and Berthe Morisot, are intimate scenes of family life from the period 1901–7, such as Reading (...

Article

[Hildegard] (Anna Augusta Elisabeth)

(b Strasburg [now Strasbourg], May 31, 1890; d Franton Court, CT, Sept 27, 1967).

American museum director, collector, writer and painter of German birth. She came from an aristocratic German family and studied art in Cologne, Paris and Munich. In Berlin in 1917 she was attracted by the work of Vasily Kandinsky and met Rudolf Bauer (1889–1953), who had a profound influence upon her career. She went to the USA in early 1927, and in late 1927 she met Solomon R. Guggenheim and Irene Guggenheim. She soon began trying to interest Solomon in new art, especially the work of Bauer and Kandinsky. By late 1929 she had persuaded him to amass a collection of abstract art. Her role was to arrange contacts between Guggenheim and various European artists, and to help select works for his collection. In parallel she built up a smaller collection of her own.

In 1937 Rebay was made Director of the new Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and from ...

Article

John Steen

(Jacob Henri Berend)

(b Amersfoort, Oct 24, 1897; d Amsterdam, April 2, 1984).

Dutch museum official, writer, painter and typographer. He studied briefly in 1919 at the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam. Among his friends was Herman Gorter (1864–1927), Dutch poet and founder of the Dutch Communist Party. Between 1922 and 1926 he was involved with the Mazdaznan movement, meeting Johannes Itten in the Mazdaznan centre of Herrliberg, Switzerland. After visiting Piet Mondrian in Paris in 1923 he decided to become an independent artist. In 1927 he studied pictograms with museum director Otto Neurath in Vienna, where he also took classes in psychology from Alfred Adler (1870–1937) and Karl Bühler (1879–1963). In the same year he visited the Bauhaus.

In 1928 Sandberg was given his first typographic commissions by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Between 1930 and 1935 he read psychology at the University of Utrecht. From 1934 he organized exhibitions regularly for the Stedelijk Museum: Moholy-Nagy (1934), De Stoel...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Tehran, 1937).

Iranian sculptor, painter, art historian and collector. He studied sculpture at the College of Fine Arts at Tehran University, graduating in 1956, and then attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara (1956–7) and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan (1958–9), where he worked under Marino Marini. In 1960 he began to teach at the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran, and in 1961 he was invited to the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design as a visiting artist, where he taught sculpture until 1963. In 1964 he returned to Tehran to teach sculpture at the College of Fine Arts. Primarily a sculptor, he worked with a range of materials, including bronze, copper, brass, scrap metal and clay. In the 1960s he contributed to the art movement in Iran known as Saqqakhana, and he made sculptures that were reminiscent of religious shrines and objects. Pairs of figures and fantastic birds were also common subjects. Themes from classical Persian literature also influenced him. He frequently rendered the word ...