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Article

Leslie Williams

[Dodgson, Charles L(utwidge)

(b Daresbury, Ches, Jan 27, 1832; d Oxford, Jan 14, 1898).

English mathematician, writer and photographer. Well-known as the author of children’s books with a logical philosophical undercurrent, he was active as an amateur photographer, using wet collodion plates, from May 1856 to July 1880, according to his diary. His portraits of Victorian luminaries include Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1863; see Gernsheim, pl. 21), Arthur Hughes (1863; see Gernsheim, pl. 32), John Everett Millais (1865; see Gernsheim, pl. 48), Alfred Tennyson (1857; see Gernsheim, pl. 8) and many churchmen. His portraits of children are often elegantly composed: The Ellis Children (1865; see Ovenden and Melville, pl. 2), for example, lie, sit and stand to form a white triangle of dresses on the dark landscape. Effie Millais (1863; see Gernsheim, pl. 50) in her white flannel night-gown swirls within an oval frame. His letters suggest that he made numerous nude studies of children. Four hand-tinted examples of these may be found in the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia....

Article

Ismeth Raheem

(b 1854; d England, 1913).

English photographer, publisher and writer. He first travelled to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) as private secretary to the Bishop of Colombo. In 1870 he set up a small bookshop in Colombo, which by 1884 had diversified into a flourishing publishing house, H. W. Cave & Company, and a printing firm equipped to produce books with excellent quality photographic reproductions. He took a serious interest in photography, and this enabled him to illustrate the pictorial travelogues written by him and published by his own firm. His close supervision of the details of book production and photographic reproduction gave him a competitive edge over other commercial photographers. He returned to England in 1886 after the death of his wife and settled down in Oxford. He made occasional visits to Ceylon, but continued to manage his firm’s business from England.

In his photography Cave specialized in rural and landscape scenes and was especially interested in creating views with luxuriant tropical vegetation, using dramatic atmospheric lighting effects. Some of the best examples of this type of work are reproduced in his lavishly printed travelogues ...

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

[Marius Pictor]

(b Bologna, Sept 8, 1852; d Venice, March 18, 1924).

Italian painter, photographer, architect and illustrator. He trained initially as a musician and only later became a painter, studying (1872–8) at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna under the history and portrait painter Antonio Puccinelli (1822–97). He made several short trips to Paris and London before moving to Rome where he became friends with Vincenzo Cabianca (1827–1902), a plein-air painter, and joined the group founded by Nino Costa, In Arte Libertas (see Rome, §III, 7). He made his name in 1885 when he exhibited 18 paintings at the group’s first exhibition. In the 1880s he experimented with photography, and in certain cases photographs acted as preliminary stages for his paintings. In 1892 he settled definitively in Venice and two years later adopted the pseudonym ‘Marius Pictor’. His work expressed the romantic and literary climate of the fin-de-siècle, and his painting is linked with the work of such writers as Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe. De Maria’s work derives from flower painting and from the painting of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps; brushstrokes are carefully built up, and rough, chalky colour is thickly applied. He was extremely skilful in his manipulation of colour and light to express the richness of his imagination. He liked to create evocative images and to represent the most fantastic and unusual aspects of nature, as in the famous painting the ...

Article

Mary Christian

(b London, June 26, 1853; d London, June 24, 1943).

English photographer and writer. He took up photography in the early 1880s out of his interest in the ‘study of the beautiful’ while a bookseller in London. In 1887 he received a medal from the Royal Photographic Society for his microscopic photographs of shells, which to his dismay were categorized as scientific photographs. In 1889 he met Aubrey Beardsley and was instrumental in getting Beardsley his first assignment illustrating Tennyson’s Morte d’Arthur. Evans’s portrait of Aubrey Beardsley (1894; Rochester, NY, Int. Mus. Phot.), showing the artist holding his head in his hands, is one of his finest.

Around 1890 Evans began to photograph English and French cathedrals; it was on his architectural photography that his reputation was established. One hundred and twenty of his platinum prints were exhibited at the Architectural Club, Boston, in 1897. The next year, aged 45, Evans retired from his bookshop to devote his time to photography. In ...

Article

Julius Kaplan

(b nr Termonde, Sept 12, 1858; d Brussels, Nov 12, 1921).

Belgian painter, illustrator, sculptor, designer, photographer and writer. He was one of the foremost Symbolist artists and active supporters of avant-garde art in late 19th-century Belgium. His wealthy family lived in Bruges from 1859 to 1864, moved to Brussels in 1865, where Khnopff remained until his death, and spent their summers at a country home in Fosset, in the Ardennes. Fosset inspired numerous landscapes that owe a strong debt to Barbizon-style realism (see 1979 cat. rais., p. 210), which dominated advanced Belgian painting in the late 1870s. Khnopff abandoned law school in 1875, and, turning to literature and art, he studied with Xavier Mellery at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During visits to Paris (1877–80) he admired the work of Ingres and was especially attracted to the painterly art of Rubens, Rembrandt, the Venetian Renaissance and particularly Delacroix. At the Exposition Universelle of 1878 in Paris he discovered Gustave Moreau and Edward Burne-Jones, both of whom indelibly influenced his art. He studied with ...

Article

Christoph Brockhaus

(Leopold Isidor)

(b Leitmeritz, northern Bohemia [now Litoměřice, Czech Republic], April 10, 1877; d Schloss Zwickledt, nr Wernstein, Aug 20, 1959).

Austrian draughtsman, illustrator, painter and writer. In 1892 he was apprenticed in Klagenfurt to the landscape photographer Alois Beer. Though learning very little, he remained there until 1896, when he attempted to commit suicide as a result of his unstable disposition. A brief period in the Austrian army in 1897 led to a nervous collapse, after which he was allowed to study art. In 1898 he moved to Munich, where he studied first at the private school run by the German painter Ludwig Schmidt-Reutte (1863–1909) and then briefly at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in the drawing class of Nikolaus Gysis in 1899. In Munich he first saw the graphic work of James Ensor, Goya, Max Klinger, Edvard Munch, Odilon Redon and Félicien Rops, finding Klinger’s work closest to his own aesthetic. He also read Arthur Schopenhauer’s pessimistic philosophy, which he found attractive, and befriended many artists, including the Elf Scharfrichter circle around Frank Wedekind. His work of the period largely consisted of ink and wash drawings modelled on Goya’s and Klinger’s aquatint technique. By their inclusion of fantastic monsters and deformed or maimed humans, these drawings revealed Kubin’s abiding interest in the macabre. Thematically they were related to Symbolism, as shown by the ink drawing ...

Article

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

Marie de Thézy

(b Paris, July 18, 1816; d between Jan 1878 and Sept 20, 1879).

French photographer and illustrator. He first worked as an illustrator in the medium of wood-engraving and was associated with Tony Johannot. With the writer Charles Nodier (1780–1844) and publishers such as Curmer and Bourdin he took part in the creation of great Romantic illustrated editions of such works as Paul et Virginie by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. He was, however, primarily a landscape artist known as an illustrator of travel books. By 1851 he had become a photographer, concentrating on religious sites and religious architecture, particularly for Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, who published c. 100 of his calotypes. He worked for the Louvre and reproduced drawings by major French and Italian artists. Collaborating with architects such as Paul Abadie, he photographed the different stages of construction or of restoration of civil and religious monuments. He also photographed the new Bois de Boulogne.

Marville’s most accomplished work was the album of c...

Article

Mary Christian

(b Ludlow, Salop, July 9, 1830; d Tunbridge Wells, Feb 21, 1901).

English photographer. As a young man he worked in a bookshop while studying art. He became interested in photography at the Great Exhibition, London (1851), and photographed landscapes and architecture in Shropshire and Warwickshire. In 1857 he opened a portrait studio in Leamington Spa and became interested in the composite photographs of O. G. Rejlander. Robinson, too, began to compose his photographs from a number of separate negatives in an attempt to elevate photography to the status of painting in the academies. The process was known as combination printing (see Photography, §I). In 1858, under Rejlander’s tutelage, Robinson produced Fading Away (composite albumen print; Bath, Royal Phot. Soc.), a combination print from five separate negatives representing a young girl on her deathbed accompanied by her family.

Robinson’s narrative photographs of allegorical or sentimental genre themes were often combination prints assembled from many negatives. He created tableaux with actors and props, sometimes incorporating a verse caption to help establish the narrative purpose of the composition, for example ...

Article

Daniela Mrázková

(b Kolín, March 17, 1896; d Prague, Sept 15, 1976).

Czech photographer. He was educated in Kolín until 1911, then trained as a bookbinder in Prague (1911–13) and began to take photographs as an amateur. He left for the Italian front line as a conscript in 1916. His right hand was amputated in 1917, after he was wounded, and during his convalescence he took up photography again. In 1920 he became a member of the Amateur Photographers’ Club in Prague; as the club scholar he studied under Professor Karel Novák at the State School of Graphic Art (1922–4), and he acquired a masterly photographic technique. He and Jaromír Funke, who represented the Czech avant-garde in photography, became leaders of a group who opposed the old order in the amateur movement. Sudek promoted the purist views on photography of the Czech-American Drahomír Josef Růžička (1870–1960), friend of Clarence H. White, a co-founder of the Pictorial Photographers of America association. Sudek also participated with Funke in the foundation in ...

Article

Wols  

Philip Cooper

[ Schulze, Alfred Otto Wolfgang ]

(b Berlin, May 27, 1913; d Champigny-sur-Marne, nr Paris, Sept 1, 1951).

German painter, draughtsman, photographer and illustrator . In 1919, when his father was appointed head of the Saxon State Chancellery, the family moved from Berlin to Dresden. The following year Wols started taking violin lessons, showing a precocious musical talent. Having finished his studies at a grammar school in Dresden in 1931 he was too young to take the Abitur examination and so decided to abandon it. Fritz Busch, the conductor of the Dresden Opera, then offered to get him a post as a first violinist with an orchestra. Instead he worked for a few months in the studio of the photographer Gena Jonas in Dresden while also spending time as a garage mechanic.

In 1932 Wols travelled to Frankfurt am Main to study anthropology under the German ethnologist Leo Frobenius, a friend of the family, at the Afrika-Institut, though without his Abitur the plan was short-lived. He then moved to Berlin and entered the ...