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V. P. Tsel’tner

[Mikhail]

(b Romanivka, nr Ternopil, Oct 30, 1882; d 1939).

Ukrainian painter, teacher, theorist and restorer. From 1899 to 1905 he studied as the Matejka Academy of Art in Kraków and from 1905 at the Akademien der Bildenden Künste in Munich and Vienna. He lived and worked in Paris from 1908 to 1911 and visited Italy in 1910–11. He then moved to Lemberg (now L’viv), where he restored medieval paintings, and from 1917 settled in Kiev. After the Russian Revolution he emerged as one of the major artists who called for the revival of the Ukrainian national artistic tradition, regarding monumental painting as the most appropriate form. His paintings combine such timeless motifs as labour, motherhood, and man’s relationship to the soil with an acute sense of the great dramas of his time and are produced in a highly distinctive continuation of the Ukrainian Art Nouveau style. He drew on the traditions of Byzantine mural painting, Italian early Renaissance art and the medieval art of Ukraine, as well as on the stylistic features of folk art. He was an outstanding teacher and theorist who defended his ideas vigorously and skilfully in public appearances, uniting around him a set of like-minded young artists and creating a tendency that became known as ‘Boychukism’. From ...

Article

Alexandru Beldiman

(b Vienna, May 23, 1899; d Iaşı Nov 1, 1960).

Romanian architect, urban planner, painter, theorist and restorer. Descended from a Wallachian family of statesmen and scholars, he studied (1920–29) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, with Gustave Umbdenstock and G. Gromort. His work consistently showed Neo-classical and Renaissance influences, from the Palladian-style Chrissoveloni Bank (1928; with A. Schmiedigen), Bucharest, to the substantial number of buildings he completed in Romania during the 1930s. In many of these the classicist forms overlaid a sophisticated functionality in the planning, for example the IAR aeroplane factory (1933), Braşov. He also designed houses (e.g. in Amza Square, Bucharest, 1935), hotels (e.g. the Hotel Bellona on the Black Sea coast, 1934) and churches, such as those at Tetcani and Flǎmânda (1939), and he participated in the production of the master plan of 1935 for Bucharest. He was commissioned to design the Romanian Pavilion for the World’s Fair, New York (...

Article

Alessandro Conti

[Igino]

(b Siena, July 18, 1866; d Siena, Jan 23, 1946).

Italian forger, restorer and writer. He is best known for his autobiography, a broad panoramic portrait of life in provincial Italy at the end of the 19th century, which conveys something of the disquiet concerning the loss of Italy’s prestige. He also worked as a skilful forger and restorer at a time when the distinctions between the two activities were blurred. Much of his success as a forger was due to the fact that he imitated either the works of lesser painters (such as Sano di Pietro) or the undistinguished works of more famous artists, which could deceive even a connoisseur. A typical example is his copy of Cecco di Pietro’s Agnano polyptych (Pisa, Mus. N. S Matteo), created as a fraudulent substitution for the original (Rome, Pal. Venezia). Few of Joni’s fakes have stood the test of time, despite the fact that he was in contact with such critics and collectors as Francis Mason Perkins and Robert Langton Douglas. Research into collecting and the art market in late 19th-century America has identified Joni’s role as a restorer in such works as ...