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Article

Lija Skalska-Miecik

(b Bohdanów, nr Vilna [now Vilnius, Lithuania], Dec 10, 1870; d Bohdanów, Oct 30, 1936).

Polish painter, printmaker and stage designer. In 1890–92 he studied law at the University of St Petersburg, but from the autumn of 1892 dedicated all his time to painting classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was a student of the Russian landscape painters Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuindzhi. During his studies Ruszczyc went twice to the Crimea (1894 and 1895) to paint seascapes. In 1896 and 1897 he went to the Baltic islands of Rügen and Bornholm and to the southern coast of Sweden to paint studies of northern landscape. He also went several times to Berlin, where he first saw works by German Symbolist painters. The influence of Arnold Böcklin may be detected in works on fantastical themes, while Spring (1897; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) recalls Kuindzhi’s luminism and the lyrical Russian landscape tradition. After graduation Ruszczyc made an extensive tour of western Europe, thus substantially enlarging his knowledge of contemporary European art. At the end of his journey (...

Article

Cheryl Leibold

American family of Philadelphia printmakers, printers, painters, and educators. John Sartain and his children, Emily and William, played an important role in the art world of Philadelphia for over a century. Their influence on American art lies primarily in the impact of their work example and leadership on others, and somewhat less from the value placed on their own artistic output. The patriarch, John Sartain (b London, 24 Oct 1808; d Philadelphia, PA, 25 Oct 1897), arrived in Philadelphia at the age of 22. By 1850 he was the city’s premier engraver of illustrations for a wide range of publications. His brilliant mezzotint engravings, often reproducing the work of others, brought graphic art into the homes of all classes. Reproductive engravings, either framed or in books, were widely popular before the advent of photography. Many writers promulgated the display of such prints as a means to refine and enlighten society. Sartain’s most successful endeavours in this field were his large and elaborate framing prints, commissioned by painters, collectors, and publishers to disseminate important works. The finest of these is ...