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Stephen Bann

(b Nassau, Bahamas, Oct 28, 1925; d Dunsyre, Scotland, March 27, 2006).

Scottish sculptor, graphic artist and poet. Brought up in Scotland, he briefly attended Glasgow School of Art and first made his reputation as a writer, publishing short stories and plays in the 1950s. In 1961 he founded the Wild Hawthorn Press with Jessie McGuffie and within a few years had established himself internationally as Britain’s foremost concrete poet (see Concrete poetry). His publications also played an important role in the initial dissemination of his work as a visual artist. As a sculptor, he has worked collaboratively in a wide range of materials, having his designs executed as stone-carvings, as constructed objects and even in the form of neon lighting.

In 1966 Finlay and his wife, Sue, moved to the hillside farm of Stonypath, south-west of Edinburgh, and began to transform the surrounding acres into a unique garden, which he named Little Sparta. He revived the traditional notion of the poet’s garden, arranging ponds, trees and vegetation to provide a responsive environment for sundials, inscriptions, columns and garden temples. As the proponent of a rigorous classicism and as the defender of Little Sparta against the intrusions of local bureaucracy, he insisted on the role of the artist as a moralist who comments sharply on cultural affairs. The esteem won by Finlay’s artistic stance and style is attested by many important large-scale projects undertaken throughout the world. The ‘Sacred Grove’, created between ...

Article

Jean de Cayeux

[Robert des Ruines]

(b Paris, May 22, 1733; d Paris, April 15, 1808).

French painter, draughtsman, etcher and landscape designer. He was one of the most prolific and engaging landscape painters in 18th-century France. He specialized in architectural scenes in which topographical elements derived from the buildings and monuments of ancient and modern Italy and of France are combined in often fantastic settings or fictitious juxtapositions. The fluid touch and rich impasto employed in his paintings, also shared by his friend Jean-Honoré Fragonard, are matched by the freedom of his numerous red chalk drawings and the few etchings that he is known to have produced.

Robert’s father was an official in the service of the Marquis de Stainville whose son, the Comte de Stainville (later Duc de Choiseul), became the young artist’s protector. According to Mariette, Robert learnt drawing as a pupil of the sculptor René-Michel (Michel-Ange) Slodtz, although other sources suggest, improbably, that he studied with the painter Pierre-Jacques Cazes. It is certain, however, that he received a classical education in Paris, at either the aristocratic Collège de Navarre or the Collège de Beauvais....

Article

Janet Marstine

(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).

American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.

Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...

Article

( Reijmert )

(b The Hague, Jan 12, 1860; d Santpoort, June 25, 1937).

Dutch painter, draughtsman and illustrator . He first trained as a landscape gardener in Amsterdam. In 1878–9, however, he received lessons in painting from the cattle painter Dirk van Lokhorst (1818–93) and he was working in Drenthe, Gelderland and North Brabant. During that time he also received tuition from the marine painter Jacob Eduard van Heemskerck van Beest (1828–94). Wenckebach lived and worked in Utrecht from 1880 to 1886, in Amsterdam until 1898 and thereafter in Santpoort.

Wenckebach’s preference was for traditional genres such as land-, river- and townscapes; in the latter, his drawings of views of old Amsterdam in particular are well known. In his style of painting and choice of subject-matter, he showed himself to be a late follower of the Hague school . Through a number of publishers he received many commissions as an illustrator and designer of books. In this field he collaborated on, among other things, the Verkade albums, a large series devoted to the history and nature of the Netherlands, and various children’s books. He is, however, particularly well known for his work for the ...