(b Givry, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, Jan 4, 1747; d Paris, April 28, 1825).
French museum director, writer, graphic artist, collector, archaeologist and diplomat. He was the son of a provincial aristocrat. He went to Paris to further his law studies c. 1765 but entered the studio of Noël Hallé. He became Gentleman-in-Ordinary to Louis XV and was appointed keeper of the collection of engraved gems and medals that Mme de Pompadour had left to the King. In 1772 he entered the diplomatic service as attaché to the French embassy at St Petersburg, he was subsequently posted to Stockholm, Geneva (where his disrespectful engraving Repast at Ferney, of 4 July 1775, angered Voltaire) and, from spring 1776, Naples. There he became acquainted with Sir William Hamilton, the British ambassador, and made many drawings of his future wife Emma. Denon began to acquire a diverse collection of paintings and engravings as well as antiquities from excavations at Nola, Catania, Agrigento, Pompeii and Herculaneum. He purchased the painting of the ...
French family of typographers, printers, publishers and collectors. The first to settle in Paris was Denis Didot (2nd half of 17th century), whose son François Didot (1689–1759) founded in 1713 the family publishing business. His sons François-Ambroise Didot (1730–1804) and Pierre-François Didot (1731–93) developed the business, adding a type foundry and a paper-mill. The elegance of their publications brought them the patronage of the brothers of Louis XVI: Monsieur (later Louis XVIII) and the Comte d’Artois (later Charles X). The sons of François-Ambroise included (1) Pierre Didot, a publisher, among whose illustrators were some of the most distinguished artists of the day, and Firmin Didot (1764–1836), who designed the Didot typeface for his brother’s use. Firmin Didot’s son (2) Ambroise Firmin-Didot was a notable collector of prints. The cadet branch of the family, Didot Jeune, the descendants of Pierre-François Didot, included (3) ...
(b Tynemouth, Northumb., Feb 4, 1825; d Weybridge, Surrey, March 27, 1899).
English painter, illustrator and collector. After a short and unsatisfactory period working in the family brewing business, he was able to convince his Quaker parents to allow him to pursue a career in art. He was apprenticed to a wood-engraver, Ebenezer Landells (1808–60), who recognized Foster’s talent for drawing and set him to work designing blocks for engraving. Foster also provided designs for Punch and the Illustrated London News. In 1846 he set up on his own as an illustrator. The rustic vignettes of the seasons that he contributed to the Illustrated London News and its counterpart, the Illustrated London Almanack, established him as a charming interpreter of the English countryside and rural life and led to his employment illustrating similar themes in other publications. During the 1850s his designs were much in demand; he was called upon to illustrate volumes of the poetry of Longfellow, Sir Walter Scott and John Milton. His range was limited, however, and he was criticized for relying on the same rural imagery regardless of the nature of the text....
(b Besançon, Jan 6, 1806; d Paris, Dec 11, 1894).
French painter, lithographer, illustrator and collector. The son of a blacksmith, he attended the school of drawing in Besançon. He left for Paris and in 1828–9 frequented the Ecole des Beaux-Arts while executing various minor works. He made his début at the Salon in 1831 with a number of drawings. He established himself at the Salons of 1833 and 1834 with such sentimental compositions as Henry IV Writing Verses to Gabrielle, St Lambert at Versailles, Count de Comminges, Fortune-telling and such portraits as Laviron and The Blacksmith (1886; unless otherwise stated, all works are in Besançon, Mus. B.-A. & Archéol.; many drawings in Lille, Mus. B.-A. and Rouen, Mus. B.-A.). His portrait of the Phalansterist Fourier (1836) confirmed the success he had achieved as a history painter with the Last Moments of Leonardo da Vinci (1835).
In 1836 Gigoux travelled to Italy with his students ...
Myroslava M. Mudrak
(b Vorozhba, Kharkiv province, Jan 12, 1873; d Caracas, Venezuela, Nov 15, 1952).
Ukrainian architect, painter, illustrator and collector. He received no systematic artistic education and first became known because of his interest in Ukrainian folklore. His prizewinning design for the City Council building in Poltava (1900) formed the basis of a new style, founded on traditions of Ukrainian folk art, and initiated a movement in Ukrainian architecture. Among his other buildings are the People’s House in Lokhvitsa (1904) and the Shevchenko Memorial Museum in Kaniv (1931–4). As a painter, he was influenced by the French Impressionists. The pure, harmonious colours of his southern Ukrainian landscapes convey the lyrical atmosphere of his native land, and he took part in the annual exhibitions of the Union of Russian Watercolourists in St Petersburg (1899–1902) and in the exhibitions of Kiev painters (1910–13). Krychevsky was one of the founders of contemporary Ukrainian book design, reviving the technique of the woodcut and producing over 80 cover designs. He produced set and costume designs for 15 plays and operas in the Sadovs’ky Theatre in Kiev (...
Lilian M. C. Randall
(b Baltimore, MD, May 29, 1824; d Paris, Dec 16, 1909).
American agent and collector. The son of a publisher and book illustrator, Fielding Lucas jr (d 1854), he worked as an engineer for the New York–New Haven Railroad, the Central Railroad of New Jersey and the Croton Aqueduct Board. In 1856 he inherited a sum sufficient to free him to pursue his interest in the arts. The following year he moved to Paris, never to return to America. In Paris, Lucas gained widespread respect in art circles through his work as agent to several American collectors and art dealers. By the mid-1880s he had expended about half a million francs at the behest of William T. Walters, a prosperous businessman also from Baltimore. Lucas was actively involved in the formation of Walters’s collection of 19th-century art, noted for its outstanding works by French Realist, Academic and Barbizon school artists, with works commissioned from such artists as Honoré Daumier, ...
Alasdair A. Auld
(b Dunfermline, Fife, 1821; d Edinburgh, Dec 25, 1901).
Scottish painter, illustrator, sculptor and collector. From his earliest years he drew avidly, seeking inspiration from ancient history, the Bible and from tales of romance and legend. His father was a keen antiquarian, and his habit of collecting items of historical interest and artistic merit was inherited by his son who amassed a collection, which included arms and armour, now in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. He used items from the collection in a large number of his paintings such as ‘I wonder who lived in there?’ (1867; Mrs Eva Noël Findlay priv. col.), the Fairy Raid (1867; Glasgow A.G. & Mus.), In die Malo (1881) and Oskold and the Ellé Maids (1874). After three years as head designer in one of the biggest sewn-muslin factories in Paisley, Strathclyde, Paton went to London in 1842. Although he did not take a studentship at the Royal Academy Schools, it was there that he met John Everett Millais, and they became lifelong friends. He won prizes in the Westminster Hall competitions in ...
(b Geneva, Oct 2, 1866; d London, Oct 7, 1931).
English painter, designer, writer and collector. He trained as an illustrator at the City and Guilds Technical Art School, Lambeth, London, where he met and formed a lifelong relationship with Charles Shannon. He identified with the ideals of the Aesthetic Movement, finding inspiration in Renaissance art as well as in the French artists Gustave Moreau and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In 1888 he took over James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s house, The Vale, in Chelsea and drew together an artists’ colony. Inspired by the work of A. H. Mackmurdo and William Morris, he set up a small press over which he exercised complete control of design and production, producing art journals and books that included Oscar Wilde’s A House of Pomegranates (1891) and The Sphinx (1894). Ricketts later designed founts, initials, borders and illustrations for the Vale Press (1896–1904), blending medieval, Renaissance and contemporary imagery. His crisp woodcut illustrations often incorporated the swirling lines of Art Nouveau and androgynous figures....