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Els Maréchal

Term first used in 1941 by the Belgian critic Paul Fierens to describe the style of painting of an informal group of artists active in and around Brussels (Brabant province), c. 1910–23. Its founder-members included Fernand Schirren, Louis Thévenet, Willem Paerels (1878–1962), Charles Dehoy and Auguste Oleffe, who had already been grouped together in Le Labeur art society, founded in 1898. When, in 1906, Oleffe moved to Auderghem, his house became an established meeting-place, and Edgard Tytgat, Jean Brusselmans, Anne-Pierre de Kat (1881–1968) and the most prominent member of the group Rik Wouters became associated. The first exhibition of the work of those who were later called the Brabant Fauvists was held at the Galerie Giroux in Brussels in 1912. Inspired by a variety of directions within Impressionism, the group rejected Symbolism and was heavily influenced by James Ensor. They sought to express themselves through a clear visual language, with pure glowing colours and precise composition. They chose simple subjects, such as still-lifes, harmonious landscapes and scenes from everyday life executed in a painterly manner with spontaneous, expressive brushstrokes, for example ...

Article

Vanina Costa

(b Marseille, Sept 23, 1879; d Paris, May 20, 1965).

French painter. After the death of his father, he was brought up by his mother alone, whose endless travels seem to have affected his studies. At 16 he simultaneously enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Marseille, which he attended in the morning, and at the Ecole de Commerce. After winning a prize for drawing, he was encouraged by his mother to enter Gustave Moreau’s studio at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, which he did in May 1898, shortly before Moreau’s death. Although he barely had time to derive any benefit from Moreau’s teaching, he formed several lasting friendships among fellow students later associated with Fauvism: Manguin, Puy, Rouault, Matisse and especially Marquet, with whose work his own shows marked affinities.

After Moreau’s death, when Camoin’s fellow students enrolled in other studios or private art schools, he worked alone or else with Marquet in the streets of Paris during the few hours that Marquet was not at the Académie Carrière. Camoin’s portrait of ...

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Bulle, Switzerland, April 24, 1878; d Paris, Jan 30, 1958).

French painter of Swiss birth. From 1901 he spent almost all his life in Paris, studying there at the Académie Julian. His early work was influenced first by Impressionism, then by Fauvism and Art Nouveau, and included a number of rhythmically stylized female heads in pastel colours, followed from c. 1910 by a more strongly constructed Cubist phase. He spent two years in New York (1914–16), where he met (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp—whose sister Suzanne Duchamp he married in 1919—and Francis Picabia, and became involved in the Dada movement until 1921; his Dada paintings and reliefs are delicate and poetic and often combine the forms of objects, such as mechanical instruments, with words and typography, as in his portrait of Thomas Edison (1920; London, Tate).

In the 1920s, seeking to create a visionary art that would transport the artist and viewer into unknown worlds expressive of the aspirations of the soul, Crotti began to produce pictures in a variety of styles, sometimes completely abstract, like ...

Article

(b Delfshaven, nr Rotterdam, Jan 26, 1877; d Monte Carlo, May 28, 1968).

French painter and printmaker of Dutch birth. He took evening classes in geometric drawing from 1892 to 1897 at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam. In 1895 he began working intermittently for the newspaper Rotterdamsche Nieuwsblad, for which he made, among other things, a series of bright watercolour drawings of Rotterdam’s red-light district and illustrations of Queen Wilhelmina’s coronation. Van Dongen’s first paintings used dark tones in imitation of Rembrandt, who remained the most important model for his work; his later book on Rembrandt was, in fact, a projection of his own life. By the mid-1890s he was using more vivid contrasts of black and white, for example in Spotted Chimera (1895; priv. col., see Chaumeil, pl. 1), his palette soon becoming brighter and his line more animated. In Le Muet Windmill (1896; priv. col., see Chaumeil, pl. 7), a red ochre monochrome painting, he successfully enlivened the colour by means of broad, energetic brushstrokes....

Article

Dora Pérez-Tibi

(b Le Havre, June 3, 1877; d Forcalquier, Basses-Alpes, March 23, 1953).

French painter, printmaker and decorative artist. From the age of 14 he was employed as a book-keeper, but at the same time he developed his innate gift for drawing at evening classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre,given by the Neo-classical painter Charles Lhuillier (?1824–98). He discovered the work of Eugène Boudin, Poussin and Delacroix, whose Justice of Trajan (1840; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.) was ‘a revelation and certainly one of the most violent impressions’ of his life (Lassaigne, Eng. trans., p. 16). In 1900, with a grant from Le Havre, he joined his friend Othon Friesz in Paris and enrolled at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Léon Bonnat. At the Musée du Louvre he studied the art of Claude Lorrain, to whom he painted several Homages between 1927 and 1947 (e.g. 1927; Nice, Mus. Masséna). His encounter with works by van Gogh at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune and with Impressionism at Durand-Ruel is reflected in such early works as ...

Article

Fauvism  

Dora Pérez-Tibi

Movement in French painting from c. 1898 to 1906 characterized by a violence of colours, often applied unmixed from commercially produced tubes of paint in broad flat areas, by a spontaneity and even roughness of execution and by a bold sense of surface design. It was the first of a succession of avant-garde movements in 20th-century art and was influential on near-contemporary and later trends such as Expressionism, Orphism and the development of abstract art.

The term derives from the word ‘fauves’, used in a review by the critic Louis Vauxcelles (Gil Blas, 17 Oct 1905) of the room at the 1905 Salon d’Automne where the incongruity of an Italianate bust by Albert Marque, portrait of Jean Baignères (1905; France, priv. col.; see 1976 exh. cat., p. 44), surrounded by exuberantly coloured paintings by Henri Matisse, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck and others seemed to him like placing ‘Donatello parmi les fauves’. As with other names of 20th-century movements, the label was thus pejorative in origin, in this case reflecting not only violently hostile critical reaction but also the incomprehension of the general public. Nevertheless, the painters to whom it was applied, not a consciously defined group but a loose association linked in certain cases by friendship, defiantly accepted the term as one appropriate to the violence with which they overturned academic conventions....

Article

Tom Parsons

(b Le Havre, Feb 6, 1879; d Paris, Jan 10, 1949).

French painter. He began his training in Le Havre in 1896 under the enlightened teaching of the French painter Charles Lhuillier (1824–99) and continued in Paris under Léon Bonnat until 1904 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1903, however, he decided against an academic career and started showing his work at the Salon des Indépendants and, from 1904, at the Salon d’Automne. At this stage he was working in an Impressionist style (for illustration see Le Havre). Following the emergence of Fauvism at the infamous Salon d’Automne of 1905 and a painting trip with Georges Braque to Antwerp in 1906, he adopted the bright, anti-naturalistic palette of the Fauves, for example in his Fernand Fleuret (1907; Paris, Pompidou). He became closely associated with Matisse, renting a studio in the same building as him in Paris from 1905 to 1908. In the summer of 1907, however, painting with Braque in La Ciotat, in the Midi, Friesz began to turn to the example of Cézanne, seeking to emphasize a strong sense of pictorial construction that he felt had been sacrificed to Fauvism’s colouristic excesses. The Arcadian subject-matter of much of his subsequent work up to ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Belostok, Russia [now Białystok, Poland], Dec 25, 1884; d Detroit, MI, April 5, 1930).

American painter of Russian birth. Halpert arrived in New York City as a child in 1889 and grew up on the Lower East Side with other Eastern European Jewish immigrants. He spent most of his life studying independently and working in New York City and Paris. He was married to Edith Gregor Halpert, owner and director of Downtown Gallery, which played a major role in the rise of modern art in the United States.

Halpert’s artistic training began in 1899 with studying and working for his tuition at the Educational Alliance and National Academy of Design, where he met his first artistic mentors Jacob Epstein, Henry McBride (1867–1962) and J. Carroll Beckwith (1852–1917). In 1902 he made his first visit to Paris, sponsored with funds raised by Beckwith, staying until 1905 and studying first at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts then at the less restrictive Académie Julian. He ultimately left the structured learning environment all together to learn independently from contemporary artists working in Paris, such as the Impressionists ...

Article

Vanina Costa

(b Paris, March 23, 1874; d St Tropez, Sept 25, 1949).

French painter. He studied under Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from late 1894, befriending his fellow students Albert Marquet, Henri Matisse, Jean Puy and Georges Rouault, who were among those later to be labelled the Fauves (see Fauvism) when they exhibited together at the Salon d’Automne in 1905. Manguin’s Nude in the Studio (1903; Canada, priv. col., see L. Manguin and C. Manguin, p. 67), in its rejection of local colour, conspicuously broken brushstroke and subversion of traditional perspective, is an early example of his Fauvist style, which was considerably less revolutionary than that of Matisse or Maurice de Vlaminck. The picture is, however, given a personal twist by Manguin’s unusual framing devices and ambiguous space, for example in his use of a theoretically impossible reflection in a mirror to produce a picture within a picture. The disjunction that was noted at the time by Guillaume Apollinaire between Manguin’s use of heightened, unnaturalistic colour and straightforward, almost academic drawing style is evident in a ...

Article

Jean Selz

(b Bordeaux, March 26, 1875; d Paris, June 14, 1947).

French painter and draughtsman. In 1890 he was taken by his family to live in Paris so that he could study drawing at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. There he met Henri Matisse, with whom he formed a lasting friendship and with whom he studied from 1894 to 1898 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Gustave Moreau. In the Louvre, Marquet made copies after Poussin, Velázquez, Claude Lorrain and particularly Chardin, of whose House of Cards he produced copies in 1894 and 1904 (Montmédy, Mus. Bastien-Lepage, holds what is considered the later of the two).

Tentative early works by Marquet such as Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1894; San Francisco, priv. col., see 1988 exh. cat., no. 1), suggesting the influence of Fantin-Latour, were soon succeeded by landscape paintings such as Parisian Suburb (1897; Besançon, Mus. B.-A. & Archéol.), in which he began to simplify the subject into broad areas of colour. ...

Article

Nicholas Watkins

(Emile Benoît )

(b Le Cateau-Cambrésis [now Le Cateau], nr Cambrai, Picardy, Dec 31, 1869; d Nice, Nov 3, 1954).

French painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, designer and writer. He came to art comparatively late in life and made his reputation as the principal protagonist of Fauvism, the first avant-garde movement at the turn of the century. He went on to develop a monumental decorative art, which was innovative both in its treatment of the human figure and in the constructive and expressive role accorded to colour. His long career culminated in a highly original series of works made of paper cut-outs, which confirmed his reputation, with Picasso, as one of the major artists of the 20th century.

Matisse was born in his grandparents’ home and grew up in the neighbouring village of Bohain-en-Vermandois, where his father’s general store had developed into a grain business. He worked first as a solicitor’s clerk in the local town of Saint-Quentin before taking a degree in law in Paris from October 1887 to August 1889, without apparently showing the slightest interest in art; on returning home he resumed work as a solicitor’s clerk. Bored by the routine of office life, he attended drawing classes at the Ecole Quentin Latour before going to work....

Article

Caroline Boyle-Turner

Term applied to the reaction against Impressionism led by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat. It can be roughly dated from 1886, the year of the last Impressionist exhibition, to c. 1905, when Fauvism appeared and the first moves towards Cubism were made. While it was predominantly a French movement, there were related developments in other countries, which often occurred somewhat later. Post-Impressionism can be loosely defined as a rejection of the Impressionists’ concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour in favour of an emphasis on abstract qualities or symbolic content. It therefore includes Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism, and the later work of some Impressionists. The term was coined in 1910 by the English critic and painter Roger Fry for an exhibition of late 19th-century French painting, drawing, and sculpture that he organized at the Grafton Galleries in London.

After considering more substantive terms such as ‘expressionism’, Fry settled on ‘Post-Impressionism’ for the title of the exhibition at the Grafton Galleries in ...

Article

Lynn Boyer Ferrillo

(b Roanne, nr Lyon, Nov 8, 1876; d Roanne, March 7, 1960).

French painter and printmaker. At 19 he undertook training in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, but he soon decided to become a painter. He studied for two years (c. 1895–6) with Tony Tollet (1857–after 1935), a student of Alexandre Cabanel, whose essentially academic realist style gave him a sound foundation in draughtsmanship. The museum and art life of Lyon likewise enriched his early years. He moved to Paris in late 1897 or early 1898 to study at the Académie Julian under the history painter Jean-Paul Laurens. Puy was dissatisfied, however, with the studio conditions, with the lack of freedom offered to students and with Laurens’s reliance on bitumen and a dark palette. After a summer in Brittany he decided instead to study with Eugène Carrière, in whose studio he found more openness and discussion among the students. There he met Henri Matisse, André Derain and Pierre Laprade....

Article

Danielle Molinari

(Henri)

(b Paris, May 27, 1871; d Paris, Feb 13, 1958).

French painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Although he first came to prominence with works displayed in 1905 at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, in the company of paintings by Henri Matisse and other initiators of Fauvism, he established a highly personal and emotive style. His technique and palette were also highly personal, and they ranged from watercolour blues to a rich, thick application of materials. These demonstrate, in their very complexity, not only originality but also the craft of the artist always in search of a greater form of expression. Even though he never stopped observing mankind, his deep religious feeling allowed him to imbue his work with great spirituality.

Rouault was born to a humble family during the brief period of the Paris Commune. Through his maternal grandfather, Alexandre Champdavoine, an unassuming post office employee, he discovered artists such as Courbet, Manet and Honoré Daumier at an early age. Having shown a lively interest in drawing at school, at the age of 14 Rouault became a glazier’s apprentice with ...

Article

(b Antwerp, Nov 8, 1872; d Brussels, Feb 1944).

Belgian painter and sculptor. Born of Russian parents, he trained as a sculptor at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. In 1898 he was a co-founder of the group Labeur together with Auguste Oleffe, the Belgian painter Willem Paerels (1878–1962) and Louis Thévenet. One of his earliest sculptures is a mask of the Theosophist Madame Blavatsky (1898; see exh. cat., pl. 37). Around 1900 he suffered a nervous breakdown, after which he devoted himself largely to painting. His few sculptures are monumental and static, as in Eve with Apple (1910; see exh. cat., pl. 55).

In his painting Schirren was initially influenced by the Impressionism of Emile Claus and Théo Van Rysselberghe but he soon turned to Fauvism, producing such works as The Chestnut Trees (1915–16; see exh. cat., pl. 16). After about 1925 his style became more austere, as in The Study (1933...

Article

Lynn Boyer Ferrillo

(b Dieppe, Aug 8, 1869; d ?Paris, Jan 2, 1952).

French painter, printmaker and stage designer. He spent much of his youth in Versailles, moving in 1887 to Paris, where he studied under Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and under Jules Dupré at the Académie Julian. There he met Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Albert André. With a keen interest in both artistic precedents and contemporary trends, he absorbed in the mid-1890s the chief tenets of Impressionism, van Gogh’s work and Pointillism before slowly developing his own style. In 1895 he collaborated with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and André on the set of Aurélien-François Lugné-Poë’s play Chariot de terre cuite, performed at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, Paris. Under Toulouse-Lautrec’s influence, his own works darkened both in colour and sentiment, for example Chez Maxim’s (1895; Geneva, Petit Pal.), in which he depicted two gaunt, severe-looking women seated in a murky café. By 1896 he painted contemporary French life with an overall sunnier, more optimistic air, as in ...

Article

Jean Selz

(b Paris, April 5, 1876; d Rueil-la-Gadelière, Eure-et-Loir, Oct 7, 1958).

French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and writer. His nature, character, tastes and way of life were in perfect harmony with the freedom, daring and violence of his painting. He was brought up in a musical environment: his father, of Flemish origin, was a violin teacher and his mother, from Lorraine, was a piano teacher. He studied music himself to quite a high standard and later played the double-bass (and sometimes the bass drum, a source of considerable pleasure) in his regimental band. His family had come to live at Le Vésinet near Paris, and he spent his childhood both there and later at Chatou on the Seine. From 1892 he began to take an interest in painting, though he worked as a mechanic and became a racing cyclist.

After his first marriage (to Suzanne Berly) Vlaminck gave up cycling and returned to music. He gave violin lessons and played the violin in popular orchestras and café-concerts in Paris. He also made his début as a journalist in the late 19th century and wrote articles for anarchist papers such as ...