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Article

Andrew Weiner

(b Beirut, 1925).

Lebanese painter and writer active in the USA. Daughter of a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father, Adnan was educated in Lebanon before going on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley. For many years she taught aesthetics at Dominican College, San Rafael, CA; she also lectured and taught at many other colleges and universities. During the 1970s Adnan regularly contributed editorials, essays, and cultural criticism to the Beirut-based publications Al-Safa and L’Orient-Le Jour. In 1978 she published the novel Sitt Marie Rose, which won considerable acclaim for its critical portrayal of cultural and social politics during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War. Adnan published numerous books of poetry, originating in her opposition to the American war in Vietnam and proceeding to encompass topics as diverse as the landscape of Northern California and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Her poetry served as the basis for numerous works of theater and contemporary classical music....

Article

Sergey Kuznetsov

(b Telavi, April 18, 1898; d Tbilisi, Dec 28, 1975).

Georgian painter. From 1922 she studied at the Tiflis (now Tbilisi) Academy of Arts, where her talent was noted by the patriarch of Georgian realist painting, Georgy Gabashvili. She visited Italy and France, attending Colarossi’s academy in Paris. She painted both Tiflis and Paris in similar style using brown, red and grey half-tones, somewhat reminiscent of the work of Albert Marquet, as in Paris: Working Class Area (1926; Tbilisi, Yelena Akhvlediani Mem. Mus.). After several successful exhibitions in Paris, where she mixed with the small Georgian community and was close to Lado Gudiashvili, in 1927 she returned to Georgia, holding several exhibitions there to mark her progress. For some time she was unable to find an application for her art, and from 1930 she worked as chief artist for the Detskaya Literatura (children’s literature) publishing house, producing pen and ink and watercolour illustrations to the works of Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, Il’ya Chavchavadze and other writers. In ...

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Barbara Steindl

In 

Article

[Bronstein, Max]

(b Tuchów, Poland, July 13, 1896; d Jerusalem, June 18, 1992).

Israeli painter of Polish birth. As a young boy he greatly admired El Greco, Goya and Rembrandt. From 1920 to 1925 he studied at the Bauhaus, Weimar, under Klee, Kandinsky, Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger and the following year studied painting techniques at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich under Max Doerner. During the 1920s he changed his name from Max Bronstein to Mordecai Ardon. He taught at the Kunstschule Itten in Berlin from 1929 to 1933, when Nazi persecution forced him to flee to Jerusalem. Though he had been an active Communist in Germany, in Jerusalem he soon found a great affinity with Jewish religion and culture. In 1935 he was made a professor at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, and was its Director from 1940 to 1952.

Ardon’s early paintings show the influence of Expressionism, as in Seated Woman in a Straw Chair...

Article

(b Rādāuţi, Bukovina, April 28, 1929; d Paris, April 29, 2010).

Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer, of Romanian birth, active in France. The drawings he made in deportation from Nazi labour camps at the age of 13 and 14 saved his life by attracting attention to his precocious talent. In 1944 he emigrated to Israel, living in a kibbutz near Jerusalem and studying art at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem; after being severely wounded in 1948 in the Israeli War of Independence, he continued his studies in Paris (which he made his home in 1954) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1949–51). He first made his name as an illustrator, for example of an edition of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Way of Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke (Jerusalem, 1953), for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1954. From 1957 to 1965 he produced abstract paintings, such as Noir basse...

Article

(b Kharkiv, Ukraine, 1908; d Jerusalem, Oct 15, 1974).

Israeli painter of Ukrainian birth. His family settled in Palestine in 1924 and he then studied at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem for a year and a half. In 1934 he travelled to Paris where he studied at the Académie Colarossi under Léger, returning to Tel Aviv in 1935. In 1937 he produced stage designs for the Habimah and Ohel theatres in Tel Aviv and the following year had his first one-man show at the Santee Landwer Gallery in Amsterdam. He worked with Zvi Mairovich at Zichron Yaacov in 1942 and also exhibited landscape works with the Group of Seven. Typical of his paintings of this period is Street in a Rural Settlement (1942; Tel Aviv Mus. A.)

From 1942 to 1946 Aroch fought with the British army and on his discharge settled in Tel Aviv. In 1948 he was one of the founder-members of the ...

Article

[Association of Turkish Painters ; Turkish Fine Arts Society ; Turk. Osmanli ressamlar cemiyeti ; Türk ressamlar cemiyeti; Türk sanayi-i nefise birliǧi; Güzel sanatlar birliǧi]

Turkish group of painters founded in 1908 by students from the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. They had their first exhibition in Istanbul in 1910 and also published the monthly journal Naşir-i efkâr (‘Promoter of ideas’), which was supported financially by Crown Prince Abdülmecid (1868–1944), himself a painter and calligrapher and honorary president of the Association. The members included Ibrahim Çallı, who was recognized as the most prominent in the group, Ruhi Arel (1880–1931), Feyhaman Duran (1886–1970), Nazmi Ziya Güran, Namık Ismail (1890–1935), Avni Lifij (1889–1927), Hikmet Onat (1886–1977) and Sami Yetik (1876–1945). It was not very active from 1910, when some of its painters left Istanbul to study art in Europe, but their return at the outbreak of World War I brought renewed activity. Some members were responsible for bringing Impressionism and other European movements to Turkey, and they acquainted the Turkish public with figurative and narrative compositions, as well as portraiture. The Association organized annual exhibitions at the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, and some of the artists were given workshops and taken to the Front during World War I. Many of the painters also became influential teachers at the Fine Arts Academy: ...

Article

Frederick N. Bohrer

Style of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th, inspired by Assyrian artefacts of the 9th to 7th centuries bc. These were first brought to public attention through the excavations by Paul-Emile Botta (1802–70) at Khorsabad and Austen Henry Layard at Nimrud in the 1840s. By 1847 both the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London had begun to display these objects, the size and popularity of which were such that the Louvre created a separate Musée des Antiquités Orientales, while the British Museum opened its separate Nineveh Gallery in 1853. The same popularity, fuelled by Layard’s best-selling Nineveh and its Remains (London, 1849) and Botta’s elaborate Monument de Ninive (Paris, 1849–50), led to further explorations elsewhere in Mesopotamia.

Assyrian revivalism first appeared in England rather than France, which was then in political turmoil. The earliest forms of emulation can be found in the decorative arts, such as the ‘Assyrian style’ jewellery that was produced in England from as early as ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Willemijn Stokvis

(b Constantine, Algeria, Jan 23, 1913; d Paris, Feb 12, 1960).

French painter, lithographer and writer. The Jewish intellectual milieu in which he grew up led to his interest in philosophy and religion, and from 1930 to 1934 he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. While in Paris, however, he was confronted with modern painting for the first time, and his interest in poetry was awakened. Recognizing a means of expressing his interest in magical phenomena, in 1941 he began to paint and write poetry. His activity in the Résistance and his Jewish ancestry led to his arrest in 1942; by pleading insanity he was able to save himself but was confined to the Sainte Anne asylum, where he wrote poetry and painted. In the autumn of 1944, shortly after leaving the asylum, his first and only collection of poems, Le Sang profond, was published, and he exhibited drawings at the Galerie Arc en Ciel.

During the immediate post-war years Atlan’s work was well received in Paris. He had a one-man show in ...

Article

Michelle Lespes

[Camelot]

(b Douai, Jan 12, 1702; d Paris, March 4, 1766).

French painter and collector . His father, Jean-Baptiste Havet, a doctor of Armenian origin, died when Aved was a child. He was brought up in Amsterdam by his step-father, a captain in the Dutch Guards. At 16 he is said to have become a pedlar or ‘camelot’ (hence the nickname given to him by his French acquaintances) travelling through the Netherlands, drawing portraits at fairs. In 1721, after spending short periods in the Amsterdam studios of the French engraver Bernard Picart and of the draughtsman François Boitard (1652–1722), he left the Netherlands to work in the Paris studio of the fashionable portrait painter Alexis-Simon Belle. At this time he met other notable painters including Carle Vanloo and the portrait painters Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, Jean-Baptiste Perroneau and Jean-Etienne Liotard. He also formed a deep and lasting friendship with Jean-Siméon Chardin, with whom he may have collaborated on occasion; they used similar techniques, and he may have encouraged Chardin to turn from still-life painting to figure painting in the 1730s....

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Konstantinovich)

(b Feodosiya [now Kaffa], July 29, 1817; d Feodosiya, June 2, 1900).

Russian painter of Armenian descent. The son of an Armenian merchant, throughout his life he kept his links with the ancient traditions of Armenian Christian culture. He studied at the Academy of Arts, St Petersburg, in 1833–7 under Maksim Vorob’yov (1787–1855), a prominent Russian landscape painter of the Romantic period. From 1845 Ayvazovsky worked predominantly in Feodosiya, an ancient city in the Eastern Crimea. He travelled widely in Russia and Europe, the Near East, Africa and America. Ayvazovsky’s first significant paintings testify to his attentive assimilation of the canons of Romantic seascape painting, going back to Claude Lorrain, as well as the influence of Vorob’yov and the late works of Sil’vestr Shchedrin. In Ayvazovsky’s early works the accurate rendering of views is combined with a classicist rationality of composition, as in View of the Seashore in the Environs of St Petersburg (1835; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.)

A purely Romantic view of the world and exaltation in the face of the boundless, eternally changing sea find mature expression in the works of the 1840s, when Ayvazovsky gained renown throughout Europe. A number of foreign academies made him an honorary member, and J. M. W. Turner wrote an enthusiastic ode in honour of one of his pictures. The best-known work of this period is the ...

Article

(b Tiflis [now Tbilisi], Sept 11, 1891; d Tbilisi, July 20, 1966).

Armenian painter, active in Georgia. He studied at the Tiflis Art School from 1906 to 1910 and at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1911 to 1913. Like Lado Gudiashvili, with whom he held his first exhibition in Tiflis in 1919, he was initially drawn to the aesthetics of Symbolism and he particularly admired the work of Watteau as well as Venetian and Netherlandish painters of the 16th to 18th centuries. The sharpness of the Futurist forms characteristic of his early works, for example the Shooting Gallery (1919; Tbilisi, T. Paniashvili priv. col.; see Drampyan, p. 34), was gradually softened by the use of muted and sombre colours. An atmosphere of quasi-Surrealist magical ritual began to infuse his images, as in Optical Illusion (1928; Tbilisi, Z. Bazhbeuk-Melik‘yan priv. col.; see Drampyan, p. 39). The heroines of his small intimate pictures, circus scenes, whimsically theatrical genre pieces, nude life studies and portraits, for example ...

Article

Jan Minchin

(Vladimir Jossif)

(b Vienna, Oct 13, 1920).

Israeli painter of Austrian birth, active in Australia. He grew up in Warsaw. His father, the pseudonymous Jewish writer Melech Ravitch, owned books on German Expressionism, which were an early influence. Conscious of rising anti-Semitism in Poland, Ravitch visited Australia in 1934 and later arranged for his family to settle there. Bergner arrived in Melbourne in 1937. Poor, and with little English, his struggle to paint went hand-in-hand with a struggle to survive. In 1939 he attended the National Gallery of Victoria’s art school and came into contact with a group of young artists including Victor O’Connor (b 1918) and Noel Counihan, who were greatly influenced by Bergner’s haunting images of refugees, hard-pressed workers and the unemployed, for example The Pumpkin-eaters (c. 1940; Canberra, N.G.). Executed in an expressionist mode using a low-toned palette, they were among the first social realist pictures done in Australia.

In 1941...

Article

(b Scobje, Macedonia [now Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia], March 23, 1909; d 1993).

Turkish painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Belgrade School of Fine Arts (1927–8) and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1929–35), where he also worked on engravings. In 1935 he exhibited his work at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul and in 1937 took up a position in a new printmaking workshop there, where he taught for many years. In 1948 Berkel studied book illustration and production with the French painter Jean-Gabriel Daragnès (1886–1950) in Paris. During the 1950s the style of his work progressed from linear geometric compositions, such as Bagel Seller (1952; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.), to include the first abstract calligraphic composition in Turkish art, Monogram (1957; priv. col., see Renda and others), exhibited in the Turkish Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels in 1958. In both his earlier figurative paintings and his later abstract works form takes precedence over colour, with a concern for composition and balance. He exhibited his work at the São Paulo Biennales in ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Valī Jān]

(b Tabriz; fl c. Istanbul, 1580–c. 1600).

Ottoman painter. According to the Ottoman chronicler Mustafa ‛Ali, he was a student of the Safavid court artist Siyavush and came to the Ottoman court at Istanbul c. 1580. Mustafa ‛Ali claimed that, despite Veli Can’s gifts as a draughtsman, his style did not progress and his work remained the same throughout his career. His name appears in the registers of the corporation of Ottoman artists for 1595–6 and 1596–7 with a daily salary of seven akče, a mediocre sum, which bears out Mustafa ‛Ali’s assessment. The large number of dubious attributions to the artist had made the definition of his style impossible until Denny discovered a tiny hidden signature on a drawing (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2836). From this drawing, depicting a bird and a grotesque head in foliage, he has convincingly assigned three other drawings (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2147, fol. 23v and H. ...

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

(b Tunis, Aug 15, 1909; d Rome, Sept 6, 2004).

Italian painter. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tunis. From 1930 to 1937 he settled in Paris, travelling frequently to Tunisia and Italy. His first experiments in non-figurative art date from c. 1934. During this period he became part of a circle of Milanese abstract artists, including Lucio Fontana and Osvaldo Licini, who were linked to the Galleria Il Milione, where Corpora exhibited in 1939. In 1945 he settled in Rome. Of all the Italian artists active during the first years after World War II, Corpora was among the most determined in rejecting the isolationism of Italian painting during the Fascist years and in putting forward a renewal of pictorial language that followed in the modern tradition of Fauvism and Cubism. In 1946, at the Galleria del Secolo in Rome, he took part in the exhibition Corpora, Fazzini, Guttuso, Monachi, Turcato in which for the first time the term ‘...