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Hélène Guéné-Loyer

(b Mer, nr Blois, Nov 5, 1862; d Paris, 1927).

French ceramics manufacturer. He was initially a physics and chemistry teacher and in 1889 visited the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where he saw Chinese porcelain with opaque glazes that enhanced the ground colours and emphasized the forms of the body. He transferred this technique to stoneware, a less expensive material that has the advantage of being able to withstand great variations of temperature when fired. In this way, with one type of ceramic body, it is possible to vary the degree to which enamels are fused in order to obtain dull, oily or crystalline finishes in the greatest possible variation of colours.

Bigot exhibited his work in the Salons from 1894 and through Siegfried Bing in 1897. In 1900 he won a major prize at the Exposition Universelle, for which he made a frieze of animals in low relief, after the design by the sculptor Paul Jouve (b 1880...

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Gabriel P. Weisberg

(b Hamburg, Feb 26, 1838; d Vaucresson, nr Paris, Sept 6, 1905).

French art dealer, critic and patron, of German birth. Often misnamed Samuel, he was a major promoter of Japanese art and Art Nouveau. From a wealthy, entrepreneurial Hamburg family, he trained as an industrial decorator for ceramics under the guidance of his father and independently in Paris during the Second Empire (1852–70). After the Franco-Prussian War (which he spent in Belgium) Bing established a thriving Oriental trading business, primarily of Japanese arts, the success of which permitted the opening of his Oriental crafts shop in Paris in the late 1870s. Following a trip to Japan, he expanded the business in the 1880s, selling both contemporary and ancient Japanese objects, to meet the demand for Oriental merchandise. At the end of the 1880s, as Japonisme developed, Bing founded a monthly periodical, Le Japon artistique (pubd simultaneously in Eng., Fr. and Ger., 1888–91), and organized a series of exhibitions of rare Japanese art, featuring ceramics and ...

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

(b Metz, 1854; d 1942)

French jeweller and collector. Vever directed the family jewellery business, begun in Metz by his grandfather Pierre-Paul Vever (d 1853). After the capture of Metz in the Franco-Prussian War (1871), the family moved to Luxembourg and then Paris, where the Maison Vever became well established on the Rue de la Paix, winning the Grand Prix of the universal expositions in 1889 and 1900 and becoming a leader in the Art Nouveau movement. Vever gave an important group of Art Nouveau works to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. His early interest in contemporary French painting led him to assemble a large and important group of works by Corot, Sisley, Renoir and Monet, of which he sold the majority (Paris, Gal. Georges Petit, 1897) to concentrate on Japanese and Islamic art. Vever had begun to collect Japanese prints in the 1880s and in 1892 joined the distinguished private group ...