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(b Lyon, Feb 15, 1855; d Paris, July 1, 1894).

French sculptor and ceramicist. He was brought up in an orphanage and in 1868 entered the studio of a sculptor of religious images named Vermare. In 1874 he became a probationary pupil of Augustin-Alexandre Dumont at the Ecole des Beaux–Arts in Paris but, having failed the tests for full admission, left to set up on his own. He made his début at the Salon of 1875; his first success, however, came after that of 1881, and above all from a private exhibition organized by the Cercle des Arts Libéraux in 1882. Most of his sculptural work, principally bronze portrait busts cast by the lost-wax method, was carried out between 1881 and 1888. It includes portraits of contemporaries, for example Jules Breton and Léon Gambetta (plaster casts of both, Paris, Petit Pal.); historical representations, for example of Frans Hals and Diego Velázquez (plaster casts of both, Paris, Petit Pal.); and a number of ideal busts—Symbolist reinterpretations of the academic ...

Article

Fabio Benzi

(b Florence, Dec 2, 1873; d Florence, Aug 24, 1956).

Italian painter and potter. He began his artistic activity at a very early age, as a decorator and fresco painter. In 1894, as a pupil of the Italian painter Augusto Burchi (b 1853), he painted a ceiling and a frieze in the Palazzo Budini–Gattai in Florence; these frescoes are in a lively style combining naturalism with elements derived from Italian painting of the 16th century. In the following years Chini was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and by Art Nouveau, for example in illustrations for the magazine Fiammetta in 1896–7, in Portrait of my Sister Pia (1897; priv. col., see 1987 exh. cat., p. 20) and in paintings enriched by Divisionist effects, such as Seashore in Versilia (1899; priv. col., see 1987 exh. cat., p. 21).

By the early 1900s Chini was working in a wholly Symbolist idiom, as in Self-portrait (1901; Pistoia, Cassa di Risparmio, see ...

Article

Joellen Secondo

(b Brussels, Nov 28, 1854; d Helsinki, 1930).

Belgian painter and potter. He studied painting at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts et Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Brussels from 1878 to 1880. He was a founder-member of XX, Les, a group of 20 avant-garde artists who held annual exhibitions of paintings and decorative arts between 1884 and 1895. Initially Finch painted land- and seascapes in the Impressionist style. In 1887—after Seurat and Camille Pissarro exhibited with Les XX—Finch adopted their divisionist painting technique. An early work in the Neo-Impressionist style, the Race Course at Ostende (1888; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.), shows his unfamiliarity with this new technique. His subsequent proficiency is evident in the work English Coast at Dover (1891; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.), which also makes use of a border constructed of divisionist dots, a device he borrowed from Seurat. Finch came to excel at rendering the atmospheric effect of the damp climate of the Channel coast—his main subject—through the use of widely spaced dots in related colour values. Finch served as a liaison between ...

Article

Rodolphe Rapetti

(b Paris, June 7, 1848; d Atuona, Marquesas Islands, May 8, 1903).

French painter, printmaker, sculptor and ceramicist. His style developed from Impressionism through a brief cloisonnist phase (in partnership with Emile Bernard) towards a highly personal brand of Symbolism, which sought within the tradition of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes to combine and contrast an idealized vision of primitive Polynesian culture with the sceptical pessimism of an educated European (see fig.). A selfconsciously outspoken personality and an aggressively asserted position as the leader of the Pont-Aven group made him a dominant figure in Parisian intellectual circles in the late 1880s. His use of non-naturalistic colour and formal distortion for expressive ends was widely influential on early 20th-century avant-garde artists.

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Makowiec Duży, nr Mińsk Mazowiecki, Sept 3, 1865; d Kraków, March 23, 1956).

Polish sculptor and ceramicist. He began studying sculpture in 1885, initially at private schools in Warsaw and then between 1891 and 1896 in Paris at the studios of Antonin Mercié, Alexandre Falguière and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Laszczka exhibited in Poland and abroad from 1889. From 1899 to 1935 he was a professor of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków, where he created the ‘Kraków school’ of sculpture, as distinct from that in Warsaw.

Laszczka’s work has several stylistic phases. While at Falguière’s studio he produced realistic pieces, and in the early 20th century Rodin’s influence can be seen in his sculptures. However, most of his sculptures reflect his fascination with folklore and symbolism. Folk trends are evident in his genre sculptures (e.g. Country Urchin and Kasia’s First Attempts at the Loom) and in his ceramic work, which was prolific: he collaborated with the majolica factories in Dębniki and ...

Article

Thalie Goetz

(b Algiers, Sept 30, 1865; d Le Vésinet, Sept 24, 1953).

French painter and potter. From 1879 he studied at the Ecole Supérieure de Dessin et de Sculpture in Paris. In his first exhibition at the Salon in 1882 he showed a small porcelain plaque depicting the Birth of Venus in the style of Alexandre Cabanel and he continued to exhibit there regularly. From 1886 to 1895 he worked as a decorator of earthenware and then as artistic director of the studio of Clément Massier at Golfe Juan, near Cannes. Around 1892 he signed his first pieces of earthenware inspired by Islamic ceramics and made a name for himself primarily as a potter at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1895. An innovator in ceramic shapes, techniques and glazes, he participated in the revival of the decorative arts at the end of the 19th century. During this period he spent some time in Italy, notably in Venice where he familiarized himself with 15th-century Italian art. In ...

Article

Giulio V. Blanc

(b Yaguajuay, nr Placetas, Jan 5, 1896; d Havana, April 8, 1968).

Cuban painter, ceramicist and illustrator. She studied under Leopoldo Romañach (1862–1951) at the Academia de S Alejandro in Havana, where she was influenced by Impressionism. She graduated in 1924 and lived in Paris from 1927 to 1933, studying at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole du Louvre. She also studied composition and colour with the Russian Constructivist and stage designer Alexandra Exter. She held an individual exhibition at the Galerie Zak in Paris in 1933 and in 1934 returned to Cuba.

Peláez applied her Parisian experiences, particularly of Cubism and of her apprenticeship to Exter, to a personal style based on the forms and colours of the luxuriant tropical vegetation and the Baroque colonial architecture of Cuba. Like Víctor Manuel, she combined modernism with native elements in a style at once Cuban and cosmopolitan in paintings such as Still-life in Red...

Article

Judit Geskó

(b Kaposvár, May 23, 1861; d Kaposvár, Nov 27, 1927).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, pastellist, ceramicist and designer. In 1881 he graduated in pharmacy from the Budapest University of Sciences. He worked as a pharmacist for a short time and then became tutor to Count Ödön Zichy. In 1884 he registered at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, becoming a student in the life class and studying under Johann Caspar Herterich (1843–1905) and Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907). In 1887 he went to Paris to work in the studio of Mihály Munkácsy, for whom he copied and finished paintings for export to the USA. In 1889 Rippl-Rónai went to Pont-Aven, where he painted In a Pont-Aven Bar (1889; Budapest, priv. col.) and Woman in a White Spotted Dress (1889; Budapest, N.G.), which shows the influence of Whistler (which persisted throughout his career) and in which, as in many of his paintings of this period, the dominant colour is black. In ...

Article

Leila Krogh

(b Copenhagen, Sept 7, 1863; d Cannes, April 4, 1958).

Danish painter, printmaker, sculptor, ceramicist, architect and collector. He studied from 1881 at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen and in 1886 at Peder Severin Krøyer’s Frie Skole there. His style changed radically during his travels in France and Spain (1888–9) and during a stay in France, where he met and exhibited with French artists, including Paul Gauguin. In Brittany he painted several scenes of local people, similar to Gauguin’s work of this period, for example Two Women Walking, Brittany (1890; Frederikssund, Willumsens Mus.). In such works Willumsen emphasized the element of vigorous movement. From the start of his career Willumsen also made prints (etchings from 1885, lithographs from 1910 and woodcuts from 1920): early, more realistic works, such as the Copenhagen townscape of Woman Out for a Walk (1889) soon gave way to a bolder, more Symbolist approach, as in Fertility (1891), which showed his wife Juliette in an advanced stage of pregnancy and raised a storm of protest when exhibited at the Copenhagen Frie Udstilling (Free Exhibition), which Willumsen and others had founded. His major work from this period is ...