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Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Abū’l-Qāsim]

(fl c. 1816).

Persian painter. His only known work is a long composition depicting the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834) entertained by female musicians and dancers. The only surviving fragments of it are a painting of the shah (London, B. W. Robinson priv. col.) and three paintings of the entertainers (Tehran, Nigaristan Mus., ex-Amery priv. col.). The paintings of a woman playing a drum and of a woman playing a stringed instrument are signed raqam-i kamtarīn Abū’l-Qāsim (‘painted by the most humble Abu’l-Qasim’) and dated 1816, but the third painting showing a woman dancing is half-length and damaged. All the fragments share the same continuous architectural background and scale (a little less than life-size). Robinson has suggested that this mural might be the one described in the mid-19th century by the traveller Robert Binning, who reported that the house he occupied in Shiraz contained a painting of Fath ‛Ali Shah seated in state attended by ten women. The composition extended around three sides of the room and the figures were almost life-size. This identification suggests that Abu’l-Qasim might have been a native of Shiraz....

Article

José Fernandes Pereira

(b Braga, 1748; d Oporto, 1815).

Portuguese architect and military engineer. He was the most distinguished of the late 18th-century architects of northern Portugal, where he introduced the new spirit of Neo-classicism. He was the son of a musician at the episcopal court at Braga, whose protection and influence were valuable to him. Working in Braga during a period of transition, Amarante ended the architectural tradition inherited from André Ribeiro Soares da Silva, and, although he lacked Soares’s creativity, he made an important contribution to the city. Amarante’s later work in Oporto was in a more developed Neo-classical style and was an integral part of the new face of that city.

Though he trained as a military engineer, his first activity was designing rocaille ornament. His source for the new aesthetic forms may have been Jacques-François Blondel’s Cours d’architecture (Paris, 1773), lent to him by the royal archbishop, Dom Gaspar de Braganza (1716–89). His first contract, won in competition with João Bernardes de Silva, was for a design, submitted in ...

Article

Jeremy Howard

(Izrailevich)

(b Beltsy, Bessarabia [now in Moldova], Oct 14, 1879; d Waterford, CT, Dec 4, 1973).

Russian painter and stage designer. He was a Symbolist artist who, like many of his colleagues in the World of Art group, made his foremost contribution to the development of Russian art in the fields of graphic art and stage design. He first studied at the Drawing School of the Odessa Society of Fine Arts (1895–1900) and then at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts (1901–9), where his tutors included Dmitry Kardovsky and Il’ya Repin. His participation in exhibitions included the World of Art (St Petersburg and Moscow, 1906–18), the Union of Russian Artists (Moscow and St Petersburg, 1906–10), the Salon d’Automne (Paris, 1906), Wreath (St Petersburg, 1908) and the Izdebsky International Salon (Kiev and Odessa, 1909–10). His painting attracted considerable critical acclaim for its exotic themes and colouring. Simultaneously, he worked as a caricaturist, creating grotesque and fantastic images for satirical magazines as well as executing wall paintings for houses in St Petersburg. His prolific career as a stage designer began in ...

Article

Marit Lange and Thea Miller

(b Holmestrand, Jan 21, 1845; d Oslo, March 25, 1932).

Norwegian painter . In the 1860s and early 1870s she took lessons in drawing and painting in Christiania (now Oslo) and also travelled extensively in Europe with her sister Agathe, a composer and pianist. She copied works in major museums and took occasional art lessons; she later considered this experience to have been of fundamental importance to her artistic development. Little Red Riding Hood (1872; Oslo, N.G.) is impressive in technique, and the early portrait of her sister, Agathe Backer-Grøndahl (1874; Holmestrand, Komm.), shows a refined colour scheme. At the age of nearly 30 Backer decided to train professionally as a painter and in 1874 went to Munich. She was never attached to a particular institution, but the influence of her friend the artist Eilif Peterssen was crucial to her development. In Munich she made a thorough study of perspective, which formed a secure basis for her later work. The work she did while in Munich reflects a study of the Old Masters in museums and is characterized by a preference for the historical subjects typical of the Munich school, as well as by an interest in the psychological portrait (e.g. ...

Article

Danielle Derrey-Capon

(b Ghent, Jan 9, 1866; d Ghent, June 9, 1922).

Belgian painter and etcher . The son of a successful mill-owner and an excellent musician, he was a pupil and friend of Gustave Den Duyts (1850–97), and later, at the Ghent Académie, of Jean Delvin (1853–1922). He was involved in the exhibiting society L’Essor in Brussels as well as the triennial salons held in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent in rotation. Among his earliest important works are The Scheldt at Dendermonde (1887; Ghent, Mus. S. Kst.), which he painted beside Isidore Meyers (1836–1917) and Franz Courtens in a Realist style characteristic of the Dendermonde school. In 1889–90 he attended the studio of Alfred Roll in Paris, where he met Jacques-Emile Blanche and Charles Cottet, and became particularly closely associated with Frits Thaulow, Emile-René Ménard and Edmond Aman-Jean. He exhibited regularly at the Salon in Paris. Although Baertsoen is considered to be one of the first Belgian ...

Article

Kenneth Archer

[Rosenberg, Lev (Samoylovich)]

(b Grodno, Belarus, May 10, 1866; d Paris, Dec 27, 1924).

Russian painter and stage designer of Belorussian birth. Born into a middle-class Jewish family, Bakst was educated in St Petersburg, attending a gymnasium and then the Academy of Arts (1883–6). He began professional life as a copyist and illustrator of teaching materials but quickly moved on to illustration for popular magazines. His tastes were influenced and horizons enlarged when he met Alexandre Benois and his circle in 1890. Bakst travelled regularly to various countries in Europe and North Africa and studied in Paris with a number of notable artists including the French Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Académie Julian and, from 1893 to 1896, the Finnish landscape painter Albert Edelfelt. Returning to St Petersburg, he became active as a book designer and fashionable portrait painter. With Benois and Serge Diaghilev he was a founder and leading member of the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) group in 1898...

Article

Piero Pacini

(b Turin, Aug 18, 1871; d Rome, March 1, 1958).

Italian painter, sculptor, stage designer, decorative artist and actor. He was one of the originators of Futurism (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder) and was particularly concerned with the representation of light and movement. His personal interest in scientific methods of analysis contributed to both the practical and ideological bases of the movement. His oeuvre from the Futurist period overshadowed the work of later years.

Balla was self-taught and began painting in Turin. In 1895 he settled in Rome. At the age of about 25 he painted some lively sketches of urban life that are characterized by a thick impasto, for example the series Machietta romana (1898; Rome, priv. col., see Lista, 1982, nos 12–17) and landscapes showing familiarity with the divisionism practised by the northern Italian artists Giuseppe Pelizza da Volpedo, Giovanni Segantini and Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, for example Luci di marzo (...

Article

Vincenzo Fontana

(b Rome, March 5, 1873; d Rome, March 30, 1939).

Italian architect. His father, Luigi Bazzani, was a painter and stage designer. Bazzani graduated in civil engineering from the university in Rome in 1896. In 1899 he won the competition for the international art scholarship with a plan for a cathedral in an Italian Gothic Revival style. His first significant building was the Alterocca printing company building (1907) at Terni, in Stile Liberty. He was joint winner with Raimondo D’Aronco and Ernesto Pivovano of the architectural prize at the Esposizione de Sempione, Milan (1906). A number of important competition-winning schemes followed. In 1905 Bazzani won the competition for the façade of S Lorenzo (unexecuted) in Florence, which stood him in good stead for his entry for the Biblioteca Nazionale (won 1907; completed 1935) at Santa Croce. An eclectic Renaissance building, its structure picked out in grey against white, it already suggests a putative monumentalism and sits awkwardly in its Florentine context. In ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Guadalajara, 1852; d Rio de Janeiro, 1931).

Brazilian sculptor. The son of Italian musicians, he spent his childhood in Mexico and Chile before coming to Brazil with his family. In 1870 he was already enrolled in the course on statuary sculpture in the Academia Imperial das Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, from where he was awarded a trip to Europe in 1876. He remained abroad until 1885, living briefly in Paris from 1878 to 1879 but staying mainly in Rome, where he finished his studies with Achille Monteverdi. During that time he executed one of his best-known works, the marble Christ and the Adulteress (1884; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.), which bears witness to the persistence in Brazil of a Neo-classically based naturalism throughout the 19th century and beyond. He taught in the Academia Imperial, and when this was renamed the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes with the establishment of the Republic, he became its director from ...

Article

Kenneth Archer

(Yakovlevich)

(b Tarkhovka, St Petersburg, Aug 4, 1876; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Feb 7, 1942).

Russian graphic artist and stage designer. The son of a naval doctor, Bilibin was educated in St Petersburg, studying law at the University (1896–1900) and art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1895–8); then, under Il’ya Repin, he studied at both Princess Maria Tenisheva’s Art School (1898–1900) and the Academy of Arts (1900–04). From 1899 he exhibited with the group known as the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and was elected chairman of its reconstituted exhibition society in 1916. He also contributed to the Mir Iskusstva journal. Meanwhile he taught graphic art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1907–17).

Bilibin had a strong interest in Russian medieval and folk art and became famous for his book illustrations of Russian fairy tales, especially those by Pushkin. His most celebrated theatrical works were his set and costume designs for operas by ...

Article

Sascha Scott

(b Pittsburgh, PA, May 25, 1874; d Albuquerque, NM, June 6, 1960).

American painter and illustrator. Raised in Dayton, OH, Blumenschein showed an early aptitude for music, art, and sports. Upon graduating from high school, he began training as a musician on a violin scholarship at the Music Academy of Cincinnati. Blumenschein left the Academy after a year and enrolled in the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he received a prize for illustration in Fernand Harvey Lungren’s class. In 1893, he moved to New York City and enrolled at the Art Students League, where his instructors included John Twachtman and Kenyon Cox. Over the course of the next 15 years, he moved back and forth between New York and Paris, periodically visiting other locales, including Taos, NM, Italy, and Giverny. He twice enrolled at the Académie Julian (1894–6 and 1899), where he studied with Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. In 1905, he married artist Mary Shepard Greene (1869–1958), and, with the birth of their daughter in ...

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

Ana Maria Rybko

(b Turin, March 1, 1869; d Rome, June 8, 1959).

Italian sculptor, teacher, composer and musician. He studied sculpture from 1880 at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti in Turin, under Odoardo Tabacchi, and initially adhered to the traditions of Naturalism, with Romantic and Renaissance influences. He later turned to Realism, making no concessions to the more avant-garde artistic tendencies of the 20th century. He established his reputation with a series of portraits of society personalities, including Emily Doria-Pamphili (marble, h. 570 mm, 1904; Rome, Gal. Doria-Pamphili; copies, Rome, G.N.A. Mod. and Mus. Canonica) and Donna Franca Florio (marble, h. 1050 mm, c. 1903–4; Rome, Mus. Canonica), and also members of the British royal family, such as Edward VII (marble, h. 570 mm, 1903; London, Buckingham Pal., Royal Col.). His vast output includes many works with symbolic or sacred subject-matter, as well as numerous funereal and commemorative monuments. These include the model (plaster, h. 330 mm) and statue (marble, h. 3.28 m) of ...

Article

Hélène Bocard

(b Fareins, Ain, April 1, 1828; d Paris, 1906).

French photographer, caricaturist, and writer. He was trained as an industrial designer, then, like Nadar, he embarked on a career as a caricaturist. He was passionately fond of the theatre and published a series of lithographs, Le Théâtre à la ville, in Paris in 1854. He founded literary reviews, among which was Le Boulevard (1861), which established his reputation. After an apprenticeship in 1858 with Pierre Petit, he began to photograph artistic, literary, and political personalities with whom he was associated politically, including the composer Gioacchino Rossini (pubd 1877; e.g. in Rochester, NY, Int. Mus. Phot.) and Emile Zola (pubd 1877; e.g. in Rochester, NY, Int. Mus. Phot.). He also photographed actors, including Sarah Bernhardt and the mime artist Charles Deburau on stage. Some friends, including Gustave Courbet (e.g. pubd 1878; Rochester, NY, Int. Mus. Phot.), were the object of a series of photographs. He was also the accredited photographer of ...

Article

Aileen June Wang

(b San Leandro, CA, Feb 3, 1972).

American performance and video artist of Chinese ancestry. Chang earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1994. She showed her first solo exhibition at Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, in 1999. Her body of work focused on how people can be deceived, either through sight—what one sees is not necessarily true—or through mainstream assumptions about such topics as Asia, sexuality, and socially accepted behavior. Chang attributed her past stint in a cybersex company as the catalyst for exploring illusion as a theme. She realized that video flattened three-dimensional, live performances into a stream of two-dimensional images, enabling her to engage in visual deception.

Most of Chang’s early works investigated problems of gender and sexuality, using her own body and elements suggesting violence or transgression. The photograph Fountain (1999) depicted her inside a cubicle of a public lavatory, with a urinal visible on the far wall. Wearing a business suit, she knelt on hands and knees, seemingly kissing herself but actually slurping water off a mirror on the floor. The accompanying video focused on Chang’s face and her passionate interaction with her own reflection. While the photograph suggested female humiliation in a male world, the video complicated matters by implying that the act was motivated by narcissism....

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(b New York, NY, June 26, 1940).

American dancer and choreographer. Born in 1940, Childs grew up in New York City. In her teens she studied with such dancing legends as Hanya Holm and Helen Tamiris. Childs majored in dance at Sarah Lawrence College, where she received a Bachelor’s degree. There she studied with Judith Dunn, Bessie Schonberg, and Merce Cunningham, whose iconoclastic approach to dance was of particular importance. In 1963, at Cunningham’s studio, she met Yvonne Rainer, another dancer who became a renowned choreographer, who told her about the dance, performance and art activities at the Judson Church in New York City. Childs became one of the founding members of the Judson Dance Theater. There she had the opportunity to investigate and experiment. As an original member of the troupe, she performed with Robert Morris and Yvonne Ranier. She would incorporate elements from everyday life, evident in such works as Pasttime of 1963 where she performed a solo in three parts showcasing the movements of the body. By ...

Article

Raquel Henriques da Silva

[José]

(b Siena, 1808; d Lisbon, July 23, 1879).

Italian stage designer and architect, active in Portugal. He studied in Milan and was a stage designer in Lyon before being invited to Lisbon (1836) by Francisco Lodi, the impresario of the Teatro S Carlos there. For more than 40 years he worked in Lisbon as a stage designer, in partnership with another Italian designer, Achille Rambois (c. 1810–82), contributing to a brilliant period in Portuguese opera. Cinatti, who was essentially a Romantic, also practised as an architect, attempting to turn the landscapes and buildings of his imaginary stage designs into reality with strictly academic Neo-classical forms and an eclectic fusion of motifs and ornament. His Palacete Bessone (1856), Rua Vitor Cordon, Palacete Nunes Correia (1865), Avenida da Liberdade, and Palacete Anjos Praça do Príncipe Real are among the most distinguished eclectic buildings in Lisbon, with elegant proportions, discrete decoration and sensitivity to context. Outside Lisbon his Palácio Valenças at Sintra has an Italianate design with contrasting neo-Manueline details, and the Casa Bessone (...

Article

(b Vive-Saint-Eloi, Sept 27, 1849; d Astène, June 5, 1924).

Belgian painter. He had various menial jobs before the composer Peter Benoît persuaded his father to let him study at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp. He was taught there by Nicaise De Keyser and Jacob Jacobs (1812–79) but found the atmosphere uncongenial and soon left. In 1879 he travelled around Spain and North Africa and in 1881 went to live with his sister at Waereghem. His painting of this period was influenced by Charles Verlat and depicted rural subjects, such as Cock Fight in Flanders (1882; Waereghem, Devos priv. col., see Lemonnier, p. 6).

In 1883 Claus settled in Astène and began to develop a style similar to that of Jules Bastien-Lepage with works such as Flax Harvest (1883; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.). He spent the winters from 1889 to 1892 in Paris, where he became acquainted with Anders Zorn, Henri Le Sidaner and other artists. During this period he began to adopt the subject-matter and style of Impressionism, as shown in works such as ...

Article

Guilhem Scherf

(b Douai, Jan 26, 1758; d Paris, Dec 10, 1808).

French sculptor. He trained in Douai and then in Paris with Pierre-François Berruer. In 1781 he exhibited a group of animal sculptures at the Salon de la Correspondance, Paris, but by the following year he was settled in Lille, exhibiting regularly from 1782 to 1790 at the Salon organized by the Lille Académie. Little of his work from this period has been identified, but a terracotta group, signed and dated 1776, of Time Clipping Cupid’s Wings (Paris, Louvre) and two male portrait busts (Lille, Mus. B.-A.) give an idea of his style. The group is clumsy but powerful, treated with Flemish verve in the manner of a genre subject, while the busts of the architect Thomas-François-Joseph Gombert (1725–1801; terracotta, 1782) and of an unknown man (terracotta, 1786), though somewhat dry, are undeniably imbued with life and spirit. Other, untraced works by Corbet in this period include a sketch for a bas-relief in honour of Louis XVI (...

Article

Tessa Sidey

(b Stevenage, Jan 16, 1872; d Vence, France, July 29, 1966).

English theatre director, designer, theorist, printmaker and typographer. He was one of the great, if controversial, innovators of the modern theatre movement. The son of the actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Godwin, Craig was born into a strong theatrical tradition. He abandoned a promising career as an actor with Henry Irving’s Lyceum Company in 1897 to concentrate on directing and developing ideas about ‘the theatre of the future’. Inspired by Hubert von Herkomer’s scenic experiments with auditorium lighting and three-dimensional scenery in productions at the Bushey Art School, Herts, Craig exchanged the conventions of realistic scenery for a suggestive, abstract interplay of form, light, movement and music. This new total theatre drew on the imagination to create an architectonic vision of choreographic movement, colour harmony, visual simplicity and atmospheric effect united under the sole control of a single artist. Influenced by his relationship with the dancer Isadora Duncan, he also proposed a concept of the rhythms and movements in nature acting as the vehicle for an emotional and aesthetic experience....