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Article

Balthus  

Jean Clair

[Count Balthazar Klossowski de Rola]

(b Paris, Feb 29, 1908; d Rossimiere, Feb 18, 2001).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Appreciated for many years by only a handful of collectors, and ostensibly out of step with the modern movement, Balthus’s classically inspired work won the recognition and admiration of a wider public only late in his career. Although he received no formal training, he came from a highly artistic family background. His father, Erich Klossowski (1875–1949), was a painter and art historian, born to an aristocratic family in East Prussia and the author of a book on Daumier; his brother, Pierre Klossowski, was to become a painter and writer; and his mother, Elizabeth Spiro, was also a painter. Beginning in 1919, she engaged, under the name of Baladine, in a long-lasting relationship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, providing etchings to accompany many of his poems. In this environment Balthus met the writers André Gide and Pierre-Jean Jouve, as well as Pierre Bonnard, who gave him his earliest guidance. Rilke also acted as Balthus’s mentor, writing the preface for an album of drawings by the 13-year-old artist entitled ...

Article

Michael Howard

(b Vercelli, Piedmont, March 11, 1806; d Dijon, March 5, 1867).

French painter, illustrator, set designer and poet. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Guillaume Lethière from 1821. The Punishment of Mazeppa (1827; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.), inspired by the scene from Byron’s poem, in which Mazeppa is tied to the back of a wildly stampeding horse, is his most important early painting and one of the key images of the Romantic movement.

Early in his career Boulanger became friendly with Eugène and Achille Devéria. Through them he met Victor Hugo, who became his ardent supporter and the source of many of his most typical works. Among Boulanger’s illustrations were those for Hugo’s Odes et ballades (1829), Les Orientales (1829), Les Fantômes (1829) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1844). Boulanger interpreted the macabre and romantic quality of Hugo’s texts with an imaginative power and freedom that anticipated Redon (e.g. ‘...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Fresnaye-sur-Sarthe, nr Alençon, July 11, 1899; d Paris, March 1, 1979).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. He studied briefly at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and from 1917 at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris under Eugène Morand (b 1885), whose innovative teaching influenced his later work.

Brianchon was an eclectic artist, and there are traces in his work of many of the styles that succeeded each other in Paris during the period in which he worked. Taking landscapes, cityscapes and images of women as his main subject-matter, he nevertheless managed to maintain a distinctive approach based on a harmonious colour sense and a concern with calm, silent or moonlit atmospheres. The Courtesans (1932; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris) and Rue La Fontaine (1946; Geneva, Petit Pal.) are typical of his work as a painter. He also produced murals (e.g. Symphony, 1936; Paris, Pal. Chaillot), book illustrations (e.g. lithographs for André Gide’s Le Théâtre complet...

Article

Andrew Causey

(b London, March 29, 1905; d Hastings, Oct 22, 1976).

English painter, illustrator and stage designer. As a student at the Chelsea Polytechnic (1921–3) and the Royal College of Art (1923–5) he became a talented figure draughtsman. In the second half of the decade he spent much time in France painting intricately detailed urban scenes, which depicted the low life of Toulon and Marseille. Works such as the watercolour Toulon (1927; priv. col., see Causey, cat. no. 33) were executed in a meticulously finished and vividly coloured decorative style. Burra usually used watercolour and tempera and occasionally collage oil paints.

Burra took ideas from Cubism, Dada (notably George Grosz) and, especially, Surrealism, but his work is also linked with the English satirical tradition of William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson and Isaac Cruikshank: Burra loved burlesque and poked fun at people’s pretensions and excesses of style and behaviour, as in John Deth (Homage to Conrad Aiken) (...

Article

Galina Demosfenova

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Tomsk, Oct 31, 1890; d Moscow, Aug 7, 1962).

Russian caricaturist, illustrator, poster and stage designer. He was born into a noble family. After his second year at the medical faculty in Tomsk, he moved to Moscow, where from 1911 to 1917 he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Konstantin Korovin (1861–1939), Sergey Malyutin (1859–1937) and Nikolay Kasatkin (1859–1930). His diploma work was the oil painting Beggars (1916–17). Later on Cheremnykh did little painting, working mainly on caricatures and posters.

Cheremnykh’s work was first published while he was still a student, in various Moscow newspapers. In 1917–18 he executed a series of satirical drawings on themes from Russian history and in 1918 he retuned the chimes of the Kremlin, which began to play the Internationale. Cheremnykh invented a type of stencilled poster in 1919 and began producing satirical window displays for Rosta (the Russian Telegraph Agency). He was soon joined by Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ivan Malyutin (...

Article

Ester Coen

(b Fondo, Val di Non, Trentino, March 30, 1892; d Rovereto, Nov 29, 1960).

Italian painter, stage designer, illustrator, decorative artist and writer. After difficult years of study, during which he made his first artistic experiments, he travelled to Turin in 1910 and worked as an apprentice decorator at the Esposizione Internazionale. In spite of spending a year as apprentice to a marble-worker, on his return to Rovereto, he decided to become a painter, choosing subjects associated with Symbolism and social realism. Shortly after publishing Spezzature–Impressioni: Segni e ritmi (Rovereto, 1913), a collection of poetry, prose and illustrations, he moved to Rome, where he met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti at the Galleria Permanente Futurista, run by Giuseppe Sprovieri; through Marinetti he met the Futurists, with whom he exhibited at the same gallery in the spring of 1914 (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder). This was followed by a one-man show at Trento in July 1914, which closed after a few days because of the outbreak of World War I. He succeeded in returning to Rome, where he was officially welcomed into the ...

Article

Jane Lee

(b Chatou, nr Paris, June 17, 1880; d Garches, Sept 8, 1954).

French painter, sculptor, illustrator, stage designer and collector. He was a leading exponent of Fauvism. In early 1908 he destroyed most of his work to concentrate on tightly constructed landscape paintings, which were a subtle investigation of the work of Cézanne. After World War I his work became more classical, influenced by the work of such artists as Camille Corot. In his sculpture he drew upon his knowledge and collection of non-Western art.

Derain abandoned his engineering studies in 1898 to become a painter and attended the Académie Carrière. He also sketched in the Musée du Louvre and painted on the banks of the Seine. On a visit to the Louvre in 1899 he met the painter Georges Florentin Linaret (1878–1905), who had been his companion at school, and who was copying Uccello in an extraordinary manner; he was studying under Gustave Moreau and later introduced Derain to a fellow pupil, Henri Matisse. Derain’s painting was already influenced by the work of Cézanne, and in ...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Montauban, Sept 30, 1894; d Perpignan, July 21, 1972).

French painter, printmaker, stage designer, illustrator and tapestry designer. He was encouraged to study art by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, to whom he showed his drawings at the age of 16, and was taught by him at the Ecole de Dessin à la Manufacture des Gobelins. From 1912 to 1914 he attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Montauban, and after serving in the infantry during World War I he moved to Paris, where he showed his work regularly at such exhibitions as the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne.

Desnoyer lived and worked among the Cubists, but like the Fauves he favoured bright primary colours, marrying colour and line in landscapes, still-lifes and portraits. His debt to both movements is visible in paintings such as La Foire du Trône (1927; Paris, Pompidou). He also produced an illustrated edition of La Fontaine’s Dies Irae (Editions Mortier, 1947) and stage designs for the Opéra Comique in Paris, for example for Henri Barrand’s ...

Article

Jean-Pierre de Bruyn

(b Lille, Feb 8, 1861; d Ghent, Jan 7, 1938).

Belgian painter, sculptor, illustrator, and stage designer. He studied music at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium and sculpture at the Gewerbeschule, Ghent (after 1877). He visited Paris in 1887 and Italy in 1890, with a grant from the city of Ghent. He was deeply impressed by the masters of the Quattrocento, and was encouraged to take up painting after meeting Constantin Meunier (1891). He painted Symbolist scenes and was influenced by Art Nouveau. After exhibiting his work with Les XX in Brussels (1893), he made decorative panels for Oostakker Castle.

As an illustrator Doudelet worked on Pol De Mont’s Van Jezus (Antwerp, 1897) and books by Maurice Maeterlinck, for example Douze chansons (Paris, 1896) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Brussels, 1892 or 1922). He illustrated the periodicals Réveil (1895–1896), De Vlaamsche school, Mercure de France, Pan, L’Eroica, Nuovo Convito, De Vlaamsche School, Woord en beeld...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Melun, Seine-et-Marne, Aug 14, 1870; d Paris, April 17, 1950).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Disdaining the traditional art schools, he studied part-time at the Académie Colarossi in Paris under Gustave-Claude-Etienne Courtois (1852–1923) and Jean-André Rixens (1846–1924) but was mostly self-taught. In 1891 he exhibited at the Salon des Refusés and the following year at the Salon des Indépendants. His early works, such as Suburban Railway (c. 1895; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay), showed a strong debt to Impressionism. He was a friend of Renoir as well as of Paul Signac, Henri Edmond Cross, Louis Valtat and later Maurice Denis, Bonnard and Vuillard. In 1898 he visited Morocco where he painted such works as Moroccan Horseman (1898; see Cailler, p. 7). After his return to France, he concentrated on studies from nature, paintings of women, children and flowers and decorative projects for private patrons. In 1904 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, becoming its Vice-President in ...

Article

Whitney Chadwick

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 30, 1908; d Paris, Jan 18, 1996).

French painter, stage designer and illustrator of Argentine birth. She grew up in Trieste, Italy. Her first contact with art was through visits to European museums and in her uncle’s large library, where she gleaned her earliest knowledge of artists such as the Pre-Raphaelites, Aubrey Beardsley and Gustav Klimt. She had no formal training as an artist. Her first one-woman exhibition took place in Paris in 1935 and resulted in friendships with Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, René Magritte and Victor Brauner, bringing her into close contact with the Surrealists; her sense of independence and her dislike of the Surrealists’ authoritarian attitudes kept her, however, from officially joining the movement. Nevertheless her works of the late 1930s and 1940s reflect her interest in Surrealist ideas. She also participated in the major international exhibitions organized by the group.

Fini’s almost mystical appreciation for the latent energy residing in rotting vegetation and her interest in nature’s cycles of generation and decay can be seen in works such as ...

Article

Valerio Rivosecchi

(b Faenza, Aug 4, 1909; d Rome, April 5, 1981).

Italian painter, illustrator and stage designer. He began his training in Faenza in the workshop of the Italian painter and ceramicist Mario Ortolani (1901–55). After living briefly in Bologna (1927) and Paris (1928) he settled in Rome in 1929, first exhibiting his work at the Venice Biennale in the following year. His paintings at this time, such as Nude (Susanna after her Bath) (1929; Faenza, Pin. Com.), were characterized by an emphasis on tonal relationships and on the influence of the Scuola Romana. In 1934 he began to work with growing success as an illustrator for the journals Quadrivio and Italia letteraria. The contacts he established with Paris were intensified with his move there in 1947, resulting in three one-man shows at the Galerie Rive Gauche (in 1950, 1953 and 1957), and in his paintings he evolved a cautious balance between the representation and the disassembling of the image. Some of his best-known series of paintings date from this time, including his ...

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

[Nicos]

(b Athens, Feb 26, 1906; d Athens, Sept 3, 1994).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, stage designer and theorist. While still a schoolboy he studied drawing under Konstantinos Parthenis. In 1922 he enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris for a course in French and Greek literature, but soon moved to the Académie Ranson where he studied painting under Roger Bissière and printmaking under Demetrios Galanis. He first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants at the age of 17. His first one-man exhibition, at the Galerie Percier, Paris (1927), was enthusiastically reviewed by Tériade in Cahiers d’art. His first one-man exhibition in Athens was at the Galerie Strategopoulos in 1928.

Ghika returned to Athens in 1934 and became closely involved with aesthetic and educational issues, specifically the popular art movement and the search for Greekness in art. In 1936–7 he edited the Third Eye, an avant-garde magazine in which he was able to introduce new aesthetic trends into Greek cultural life. In collaboration with the leading architects in Greece, he became actively concerned with the problem of urbanism and the restoration of traditional architecture. As a leading member of several cultural and artistic societies and a theoretician of art, he wrote and lectured extensively on art and education. From ...

Article

Jeremy Howard

(Nikolayevna)

(b St Petersburg, March 28, 1900; d Stary Petergof, 1985).

Russian painter, illustrator and stage designer. She studied at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts (1924–7) under Aleksandr Savinov (1881–1942), though her most influential teacher was Pavel Filonov, who had temporarily been given a studio in the Academy at that time. Filonov’s system of Analytic art attracted many followers, who formed the collective MAI (Mastera Analyticheskogo Iskusstva: Masters of Analytic Art) in 1925, of which Glebova became a leading member. She based her evocation of the inner world of the object on the forms of naive art and on colour given psychological intensity, as in Sketch for the Painting ‘Prison’ (1927; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). She participated in MAI’s exhibitions, theatrical productions and graphic work, notably the illustration of the Finnish epic Kalevala (Moscow, 1933), and during this period collaborated closely with Alisa Poret (1902–84). Glebova remained one of Filonov’s most loyal followers, even after the official closure of MAI in ...

Article

Anthony Parton

(Sergeyevna)

(b Negayevo, Tula Province, June 16, 1881: d Paris, Oct 17, 1962).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker and illustrator. She was a leading artist of the Russian avant-garde in the early 20th century but became a celebrity in the West through her work for Serge (de) Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s she played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until her death.

She was the daughter of Sergey Mikhaylovich Goncharov, an architect, and Yekaterina Il’icha Belyayeva but grew up in her grandmother’s home at Ladyzhino, near Kaluga, in Tula Province. She attended the Fourth Gymnasium for Girls in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture as a sculpture student where she was taught by Paolo Troubetskoy. At the school Goncharova became friendly with Mikhail Larionov. He became her lifelong companion and colleague, and he encouraged her to relinquish sculpture for painting. Goncharova’s early work comprised mainly pastels, which were exhibited in ...

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

(b Turin, Dec 16, 1808; d Giaveno, nr Susa, Piedmont, Sept 14, 1889).

Italian painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. He studied at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti in Turin under the painters Giovan Batista Biscarra (1790–1851) and Luigi Vacca (1778–1854), whose daughter he married. He was one of the first Italian artists to specialize in lithography and wood-engraving, and he became famous as the major illustrator of I promessi sposi and the Storia della colonna infame by Alessandro Manzoni (published together, Milan, 1840). He also illustrated a selection of the poetry of Carlo Porta and Tommaso Grossi written in Milanese dialect, Poesie scelte in dialetto milanese di C. Porta e T. Grossi (Milan, 1842), and in these illustrations he revealed a taste for the humble and the picturesque. He was a versatile artist and, after collaborating with Vacca in the 1830s, received royal commissions for frescoes: with Carlo Bellosio (1801–49) he decorated the ballroom of the Palazzo Reale in Turin and the Sala delle Verne in the Castello di Racconigi (both ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

[Vladimir] (Davidovich)

(b Tiflis [now Tbilisi], March 30, 1896; d Tbilisi, July 20, 1980).

Georgian painter, draughtsman, illustrator and stage designer. From 1910 to 1914 he trained at the Tiflis School of Painting and Sculpture and from 1919 to 1926 at the Académie Ronson in Paris. While in Paris he became closely acquainted with Modigliani, Ignacio Zuloaga, Natal’ya Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov. His early works, with their theatrically romantic depictions of Georgian national life, fantastic and Symbolist motifs and surreal effects of colour, combine elements of the grotesque with a charming poetic mystery (e.g. the ‘Tsotskhali’ Fish, 1920; Tbilisi, Mus. A. Georg.). His affinity with ancient Georgian and Persian art, of which he was a connoisseur, intensified on his return to Georgia in 1926; his colours became shimmering and tinged with gold, and, at the same time, the visual link with theatre became even stronger (many of his paintings have opera or ballet performances as their subjects or portray actresses in costume). He frequently depicted fantastic and mythological subjects (e.g. ...

Article

Lee M. Edwards

(b Waal, Bavaria, May 26, 1849; d Budleigh Salterton, Devon, March 31, 1914).

English painter, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, writer and teacher of German birth. He was the only child of Lorenz Herkomer (d 1887), a wood-carver, and Josephine (née Niggl), an accomplished pianist and music teacher. They left Bavaria for the USA in 1851 and lived briefly in Cleveland, OH, before settling in Southampton, England, in 1857.

Herkomer received his first art instruction from his father and from 1864 to 1865 he attended the Southampton School of Art. Later he often criticized the crippling academic methods to which he was exposed as a student. In 1865 he briefly attended the Munich Academy and spent the summer terms of 1866 and 1867 at the South Kensington Art School in London, where he found the teaching ‘aimless and undirected’. With the encouragement of his fellow student Luke Fildes, Herkomer took up black-and-white illustration; his first wood-engraving appeared in Good Words...

Article

S. Kontha

(b Budapest, April 17, 1904; d Budapest, Jan 26, 1986).

Hungarian painter, illustrator, mosaicist, tapestry designer, stage designer, poster designer, printmaker, sculptor, teacher and administrator. From 1922 to 1929 he studied at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Kepzőmüvészeti Főiskolá) in Budapest under Gyula Rudnay (1878–1957) and János Vaszary (1867–1939). In the mid-1920s he became acquainted with Béla Uitz’s General Ludd series (1923; Budapest, N.G.) and in Venice he saw the work of such Russian avant-garde artists as Rodchenko and El Lissitzky and such Italian Futurists as Severini. In 1926 in Paris he studied the works of Léger, Braque, Picasso and others in the collection of Léonce Rosenberg. He was also influenced by the art of Brancusi and Joseph Csáky, as well as André Breton’s Manifeste du surréalisme (Paris, 1924). From the outset, Hincz’s work revealed a number of different objectives. Although he experimented with abstraction, the reference to the figure is always present in one form or another. His profound interest in humanity and its social interaction was based on, and motivated by, this interest in the figure. His early paintings are expressionist in mood and are composed of flattened forms in a shallow space in a manner reminiscent of Cubo–Futurist art. Elements of Purism and Surrealism are also present. After World War II he became increasingly preoccupied with realism, political agitprop art and the problems inherent in creating new symbols; a study trip to Korea, China and Vietnam in ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Nikolayevich)

(b Pereslavl’-Zalessky, Yaroslavl’ province, Sept 6, 1866; d Pereslavl’-Zalessky, Feb 9, 1943).

Russian illustrator and stage designer. After studying law at Moscow University, he enrolled in 1892 at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, where his principal mentors were Pavel Chistyakov (1832–1919) and Il’ya Repin. In 1896 he moved to Munich and with Grabar’ attended the private studio of Anton Ažbé. In 1900 he returned to St Petersburg, receiving his Academy diploma (1902) and in 1907 becoming a professor there. Kardovsky was one of the foremost students of the great draughtsman Chistyakov, whose graphic principles he maintained in his precision, sobriety and sense of measure. Although Kardovsky explored various styles, including Impressionism and Jugendstil, and enthusiastically supported Mikhail Vrubel’, whose posthumous exhibition he organized in 1912, he was concerned more with faithful representation than with formal experiment, demonstrating his consistency and common sense from 1902 in his prolific output as a book illustrator. Occasionally Kardovsky explored the discipline of political caricature, as in his illustrations for the radical journals ...