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Martha Schwendener

[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]

(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).

American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

(b Alexandria, May 10, 1878; d Athens, July 1967).

Greek painter of Egyptian birth. He studied in Vienna under the German painter Karl Dieffenbach (b 1851) and first exhibited at the Boehms Künstlerhaus in 1899. His first exhibition in Athens was in 1900. From 1903–7 he lived on the island of Poros where he painted the frescoes for the church of St Nicholas. In 1908 he decorated the church of St George in Cairo. From 1909 to 1911 he lived in Paris, where he participated in the Salon d’Automne. In 1910 he received an award for his painting The Hillside, and in 1911 he won first prize at an exhibition of religious art for his painting of the Annunciation. He returned to Greece in 1912, living in Corfu for five years, before finally settling in Athens in 1917. In 1918 he was commissioned to decorate the church of St Alexander at Paleo Phaliro. In 1920, after a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Záppeion, Athens, he received the art and literature award of the Academy of Athens. In ...

Article

Colette E. Bidon

(b Algiers, March 23, 1861; d Marlotte, Seine-et-Marne, March 1932).

French painter and designer. He began his career painting the Algerian scenes of his youth, rendering Orientalist subjects—such as markets and musicians—with a distinctive, unaffected precision. In 1888 he went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Auguste Herst (b 1825) and Fernand Cormon. He exhibited at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1890.

The discovery of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, and a visit to Italy in 1894, led Point to model his work on the artists of the Florentine Renaissance. The inspiration of Botticelli and Leonardo can be seen in such works as the Eternal Chimera (c. 1895; London, Piccadilly Gal.). Under the dominating influence of Gustave Moreau, his work was also aligned with Symbolism. He became a disciple of Rosicrucianism and a friend of Sâr Peladan, fastidiously rejecting the modern industrial world and what he considered the excessive realism of Zola or Courbet. He painted magicians, endowed with a pure and ancient beauty, or figures of Greek mythology (e.g. ...