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Article

Term used to describe a movement of the 1870s and 1880s that manifested itself in the fine and decorative arts and architecture in Britain and subsequently in the USA. Reacting to what was seen as evidence of philistinism in art and design, it was characterized by the cult of the beautiful and an emphasis on the sheer pleasure to be derived from it. In painting there was a belief in the autonomy of art, the concept of Art for Art’s Sake, which originated in France as a literary movement and was introduced into Britain around 1860.

The Aesthetic Movement was championed by the writers and critics Walter Pater, Algernon Charles Swinburne and Oscar Wilde. In keeping with Pater’s theories, the artists associated with it painted pictures without narrative or significant subject-matter. Dante Gabriel Rossetti took his inspiration from Venetian art because of its emphasis on colour and the decorative. This resulted in a number of half-length paintings of female figures, such as the ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Peyton Skipwith

(b London, April 14, 1863; d London, Nov 27, 1933).

English decorative artist and painter. He was articled to an architect and studied at Westminster School of Art under Frederick Brown and at the Royal Academy Schools. Later he worked in the studio of Aimé Morot in Paris and travelled to Italy. Bell belonged to the group of artist–craftsmen who brought about the last flowering of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He painted in oil and watercolour and was among the pioneers of the revival of the use of tempera. He was an illustrator and also worked in stained glass and mosaic. He is best known for a series of bas-reliefs in coloured plaster, a group of which was used in the interior decoration at Le Bois de Moutiers, a house in Varengeville, Normandy, designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1898. Bell’s understanding of early Italian art underpinned his work in mosaic, a medium he used to great effect in three public commissions in London: the ...

Article

N. A. Yevsina

(b Florence, 1745; d Dresden, May 17, 1820).

Italian architect, interior designer and decorative painter. He studied in Rome under Stefano Pozzi from 1766 to 1768 and then in Paris. On his return to Italy he studied antiquities, copying frescoes (with Franciszek Smuglewicz) and measuring and sketching the Baths of Titus (1774) and the villa of Pliny the younger at Laurentinum. He occasionally worked in Poland, where he showed his skill as an interior decorator. A designer of painted arabesque decoration, he combined classical architectural and landscape compositions with Baroque decorative effects. Notable examples include works at the palace of Izabella Poniatowska-Branicka and the royal palace in Warsaw, the Czartoryski Palace (the Pheasantry) at Natolin, and other great houses in Poland.

In late 1783 or early 1784 he was invited to St Petersburg by the heir to the Russian throne, Paul Petrovich (later Tsar Paul I, reg 1796–1801) for the building of his country residence at ...

Article

Marie Demanet

(b Ath, Jan 7, 1875; d Brussels, Sept 1, 1952).

Belgian decorative artist, architect and painter. He began architectural studies at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp but broke off to pursue courses on the decorative arts at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, graduating in 1898. The tuition he received there from the painter Constant Montald gave him a taste for mural art and he soon developed a business that specialized in sgraffito painting, a technique that had recently come back into fashion. He completed some 440 design projects, most of which were for building façades and stairways. As an interior designer, painter and draughtsman, Cauchie was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow style and he produced a variety of work in the applied arts. Towards 1905 his style became more geometrical. It was at this time that he built his own studio and house at Etterbeek, Brussels, in collaboration with the architect ...

Article

Christina Lodder

revised by Benjamin Benus

Avant-garde tendency in 20th-century painting, sculpture, photography, design and architecture, with associated developments in literature, theatre and film. The term was first coined by artists in Russia in early 1921 and achieved wide international currency in the 1920s. Russian Constructivism refers specifically to a group of artists who sought to move beyond the autonomous art object, extending the formal language of abstract art into practical design work. This development was prompted by the utopian climate following the October Revolution of 1917, which led artists to seek to create a new visual environment, embodying the social needs and values of the new Communist order. The concept of International Constructivism defines a broader current in European art, most vital from around 1922 until the end of the 1920s, that was centred primarily in Central and Eastern Europe. International Constructivists were inspired by the Russian example, both artistically and politically. They continued, however, to work in the traditional artistic media of painting and sculpture, while also experimenting with film and photography and recognizing the potential of the new formal language for utilitarian design. The term Constructivism has frequently been used since the 1920s, in a looser fashion, to evoke a continuing tradition of geometric abstract art that is ‘constructed’ from autonomous visual elements such as lines and planes, and characterized by such qualities as precision, impersonality, a clear formal order, simplicity and economy of organization and the use of contemporary materials such as plastic and metal....

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Warsaw, Jan 27, 1872; d Warsaw, July 27, 1947).

Polish architect, interior designer, teacher and painter. In 1891 he left Poland to study painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, and later in Paris, under Jean-Paul Laurens, Benjamin Constant and James McNeill Whistler. He then studied (1894–5) at the School of Fine Arts, Kraków, and at the School of Industrial Art, also in Kraków. He was co-founder of the Polish Applied Arts Society (1901–14), a pioneering institution set up to develop the crafts in Poland. With other members of the society, including Tadeusz Stryjeński, he designed the interiors (1903–6) of the Old Theatre, Kraków, in a style influenced by Art Nouveau. He was also a co-founder of the Kraków Workshops (1913–26), which were housed in the town’s Museum of Technology and Industry, and he designed stucco reliefs for the façade of this building. Czajkowski was a leading supporter of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Poland, but he increasingly inclined towards the Polish ‘mansion house’ style, for example his design (...

Article

[Nanni, Giovanni; Ricamatori, Giovanni dei]

(b Udine, Oct 27, 1487; d Rome, 1564).

Italian stuccoist, painter, draughtsman and architect. In 1502 he was apprenticed to Giovanni Martini (also called Giovanni da Udine; d 1535), a painter in Udine, and subsequently he may have studied with Giorgione in Venice. According to Vasari, armed with a letter of introduction to Baldassare Castiglione, he decided to go to Rome to seek work with Raphael. He joined Raphael’s workshop, where he may have learnt techniques of still-life painting from a Netherlandish colleague. The musical instruments in Raphael’s St Cecilia altarpiece (1516; Bologna, Pin. N.) are often attributed to Giovanni.

In Rome, Giovanni da Udine was particularly inspired by the decoration of ancient buildings. Excavations revealed rooms then underground (thus called grotte) with a style of painted and plastered decoration incorporating foliated scrolls, naturalistic animals and plants and fantastic figures and architecture (hence called grotteschi; see Grotesque). Such motifs had been copied before in Rome (notably by Bernardino Pinturicchio), but it was ...

Article

Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the Periculoso, a directive issued by Pope Boniface VIII (reg 1294–1303) in 1298. Various architectural solutions developed throughout the Middle Ages to reconcile the necessities of enclosure with the access required by male clerics to celebrate Mass and provide pastoral care. Nuns’ choirs, where the women would gather for their daily prayers, were often constructed as discreet spaces in the church, which allowed women to hear or see the Mass without interacting with the cleric, as in the 10th-century choir in the eastern transept gallery at St Cyriakus in Gernrode, Germany. In some Cistercian examples, the nuns’ choir appeared at the west end of the nave. Dominican and Franciscan architecture was largely varied. Double monasteries, which housed men and women, also required careful construction. A 7th-century text describing the church of St Brigida in ...

Article

Charlotte Moser

[Sluijters, Georges Joseph van; Feuren, Georges van]

(b Paris, Sept 6, 1868; d Paris, Nov 26, 1928).

French designer and painter. Son of a Dutch architect and a Belgian mother, he started out as an actor, costumier and then interior decorator in Paris. In 1894 at the Galerie des Artistes Modernes he exhibited watercolours and paintings of a moderate Symbolist style, typically depicting women in a manner reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley’s work. Capturing the essence of the feminine spirit became his trademark. With Eugène Gaillard and Edouard Colonna he was selected by Siegfried Bing, founder of the Galeries de l’Art Nouveau, to design rooms for his Pavilion Bing at the Exposition Universelle, Paris (1900). De Feure’s carpets, glassware and furniture designs for the boudoir and toilette were based on the theme of woman, emphasizing delicate lines and elegant sensuality. He later left Bing’s gallery and, as an independent designer, created vide-poche furniture, which contained hidden marquetry compartments. This furniture suggested notions of secrecy and coquetry, themes that de Feure pursued throughout his career....

Article

(b Nordhausen, June 16, 1894; d Berlin, March 19, 1975).

German textile designer, interior designer, and muralist. Geyer-Raack specialized in painting at the Kunst- und Gewerbemuseums, Berlin, and was heavily influenced by her professor, the architect and interior designer Bruno Pauls. In 1920 and 1921, during her studies, she participated in summer courses at the Bauhaus in Weimar, at the height of the formalization of the Bauhaus philosophies, probably studying under Johannes Itten and Oskar Schlemmer. Upon completion of her coursework she continued to develop her skills, studying in Paris throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In 1924 she opened her own art and design studio where some of her first projects were designing textiles and carpets for DeWeTex and Rasch. She also began painting murals, using many techniques, including fresco, which eventually led to a long career working for private clients and on public projects. Her work in murals and textiles led her to design wallpaper and complete interiors for clients. Collaborating with the architectural firm B. Paul Umbau in ...

Article

Janice Helland

Term denoting the style of works of art produced in Glasgow from c. 1890 to c. 1920 and particularly associated with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Herbert MacNair and the Macdonald family sisters, Frances and Margaret. The style originated at the Glasgow School of Art, where Francis H. Newbery (1853–1946) became director in 1885. Influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, Newbery had a commitment to excellence in art that combined functionalism with beauty while encouraging individuality and experimentation among his students. Within three years he had brought in the Century Guild of Artists’ chief metalworker, William Kellock Brown (1856–1934), to teach modelling and metalwork at the School. Kellock Brown had an intimate understanding of A. H. Mackmurdo’s approach to art, as articulated in the journal The Hobby Horse (launched in spring 1884), which voiced a desire for the unification of the old with the new and for an artistic relationship between abstract lines and masses that would reflect the harmonious whole found in nature. The development of the style was given further impetus by the fact that ...

Article

Gjergj Frashëri

[Nikollë]

(b Shkodër, Aug 15, 1860; d Shkodër, Dec 12, 1939).

Albanian painter, architect, sculptor and photographer. His grandfather Andrea Idromeno was a painter and a doctor of theology; his father, Arsen Idromeno, was a furniture designer and painter. Kol Idromeno took private lessons in painting (1871–5) at the studio of the photographer and painter Pietro Marubi (1834–1903). In 1875 he won a competition and began studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice. However, due to arguments with his teacher, he abandoned the school and continued his studies in one of the large studios in Venice (1876–8).

At first Idromeno produced works with both religious and secular themes that were noted for their highly realistic rendering of the human form (e.g. St Mary Magdalene, oil on canvas, 1877; Shkodër Mus.). Many of his biblical works were executed in churches within the Shkodër district, with perhaps his best work being the frescoes of the Orthodox Church in Shkodër, especially the fragment depicting ...

Article

(b Kuckädel, nr Crossen/Oder, Feb 17, 1699; d Berlin, Sept 16, 1753).

German architect, interior decorator, painter and draughtsman. After growing up under the guardianship of his uncle, he joined the army at 15 but left the service in 1729 as a result of poor health to devote himself entirely to painting. His friend Antoine Pesne, the leading painter in Prussia at the time, was his most important teacher. A member of the entourage of the Crown Prince (the future Frederick II; see Hohenzollern, House of family §(7)) from 1732, Knobelsdorff travelled the same year to Dresden. The only authentic portrait of him, painted by the Saxon court painter Adám Mányoki, dates from this time. In 1734 he produced his first modest architectural work, the Temple of Apollo in the Amalthea Garden at Neuruppin, then the residence of the Crown Prince.

From 1736, as ‘Chevalier Bernin’, he was a respected member of the Crown Prince’s court at Schloss Rheinsberg. He seems at first to have been valued primarily as a painter. On a journey to Italy, begun in ...

Article

Torbjörn Fulton

[Anders målare]

(b ?Nyköping, Södermanland, c. 1510; d Kronoberg Castle, Småland, 1585–6).

Swedish painter and architect. He has been regarded as the most important adviser to the Vasa kings up to the 1570s, and a number of funerary monuments and pieces of furniture as well as buildings have been attributed to him, though none with certainty. In the 1540s he carried out decorative work in the royal castle (replaced c. 1697–1750 by the present Royal Palace) in Stockholm and at Gripsholm Castle. In the State Hall at Gripsholm he may have been responsible for a series of monumental paintings depicting scenes from Roman history, probably making symbolic reference to the Swedish king Gustav I (reg 1523–60), for whom the castle was built. The paintings no longer exist, but they are known from small-scale watercolour copies (Stockholm, Kun. Bib.) made between 1722 and c. 1770. These suggest that the original paintings were influenced by the work of Lucas Cranach the elder. Larsson may also have executed a ceiling painting at Gripsholm that is dated ...

Article

Tim Benton

[Jeanneret, Charles-Edouard]

(b La Chaux de Fonds, Oct 6, 1887; d Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alps-Maritimes, France, Aug 27, 1965).

Swiss architect, urban planner, painter, writer, designer and theorist, active mostly in France. In the range of his work and in his ability to enrage the establishment and surprise his followers, he was matched in the field of modern architecture perhaps only by Frank Lloyd Wright. He adopted the pseudonym Le Corbusier for his architectural work c. 1920 and for his paintings c. 1930. His visionary books, startling white houses and terrifying urban plans set him at the head of the Modern Movement in the 1920s, while in the 1930s he became more of a complex and sceptical explorer of cultural and architectural possibilities. After World War II he frequently shifted position, serving as ‘Old Master’ of the establishment of modern architecture and as unpredictable and charismatic leader for the young. Most of his great ambitions (urban and housing projects) were never fulfilled. However, the power of his designs to stimulate thought is the hallmark of his career. Before he died, he established the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris to look after and make available to scholars his library, architectural drawings, sketches and paintings....

Article

Alan Powers

(b Paris, March 19, 1715; d St Petersburg, March 24, 1759).

French painter, furniture designer, architect and engraver. He studied with Jacques Dumont and won the Grand Prix de Peinture in 1739. He remained for eight years in Rome, where his architectural designs for the temporary centrepiece of the annual Chinea festival (1745, 1746 and 1747) are early examples of Neo-classicism, displaying a simple architectonic use of the orders that indicates his association with Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the circle of students of the Académie de France in Rome, who were highly influential in French architecture from the 1760s onwards. On his return to Paris in 1747, Le Lorrain enjoyed the patronage of the Comte de Caylus, for whom he executed engravings of ancient paintings and revived the technique of encaustic. Through de Caylus he obtained a commission from Count Carl Gustav Tessin to design quadratura representations of columns and niches for the dining-room walls of his country house at Åkerö, Sweden, in ...

Article

James Macaulay

(b Glasgow, June 7, 1868; d London, Dec 10, 1928).

Scottish architect, designer and painter. In the pantheon of heroes of the Modern Movement, he has been elevated to a cult figure, such that the importance of his late 19th-century background and training in Glasgow are often overlooked. He studied during a period of great artistic activity in the city that produced the distinctive Glasgow style. As a follower of A. W. N. Pugin and John Ruskin, he believed in the superiority of Gothic over Classical architecture and by implication that moral integrity in architecture could be achieved only through revealed construction. Although Mackintosh’s buildings refrain from overt classicism, they reflect its inherent discipline. His profound originality was evident by 1895, when he began the designs for the Glasgow School of Art. His decorative schemes, particularly the furniture, also formed an essential element in his buildings. During Mackintosh’s lifetime his influence was chiefly felt in Austria, in the work of such painters as Gustav Klimt and such architects as Josef Hoffmann and Joseph Maria Olbrich. The revival of interest in his work was initiated by the publication of monographs by Pevsner (...

Article

John Sweetman and A. R. Gardner

[Hindoo, Indo-Saracenic]

Term used specifically in the 19th century to describe a Western style based on the architecture and decorative arts of the Muslim inhabitants (the Moors) of north-west Africa and (between 8th and 15th centuries) of southern Spain; it is often used imprecisely to include Arab and Indian influences. A similar revivalist style prevalent specifically in Spain around the same time is known as the Mudéjar revival. Although their rule in Spain finally ended in 1492, the Moors remained indispensably part of the European vision of the East. (See also Orientalism.)

In the Renaissance moreschi were bandlike patterns allied to grotesques. The Swiss Johann Heinrich Müntz, who visited Spain in 1748 and drew unspecified Moorish buildings, designed a Moorish garden building (1750; London, RIBA) that may have formed the basis for the Alhambra (destr.), one of a series of exotic buildings designed by William Chambers after 1758 for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, near London. Further early interest was shown by the painter ...