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(b Lyon, 1798; d Paris, June 16, 1838).

French painter, designer and interior decorator. Throughout his career he was an advocate of the importance of art and design for industry and manufacture. In 1830 he was appointed adviser to the Sèvres Porcelain Factory by the director Alexandre Brongniart (1770–1847). There Chenavard made cartoons for stained-glass windows, a stoneware ‘Vase de la Renaissance’ shown at the 1833 Sèvres exhibition and designs for the Duc d’Orléans (future King Louis-Philippe), such as a silver-gilt ewer made by M. Durant and shown at the 1834 Paris Exposition Universelle. Chenavard exhibited designs at the Paris Salons of 1827, 1831, 1833 and 1834, among them his Gothic-style designs, in collaboration with Achille Mascret, for the decoration of the chapel at the château of Eu, and his sketches for the restoration of the Théâtre Français and Opéra Comique in Paris. Material by Chenavard is preserved in the Musée National de Céramique at Sèvres and the ...


A. Ziffer

(b Görlitz, Feb 21, 1871; d Lüneburg, March 10, 1948).

German designer, painter, teacher and theorist. A self-taught artist, he made several study trips to Italy and the Tyrol. In painting he found inspiration in late German Romanticism, before turning to the English Arts and Crafts Movement. His designs were exhibited in 1899 at the exhibition of the Bayerische Kunstgewerbeverein (Munich, Glaspal.) and in 1901 at the first Ausstellung für Kunst im Handwerk in Munich. In 1902 he founded the Lehr- und Versuch-Atelier für Angewandte und Freie Kunst with the Swiss artist Hermann Obrist, developing a modern co-educational teaching system based on reformist pedagogy and popular psychology. In preliminary courses, classes and workshops, a broad practical training was offered primarily in arts and crafts. This precursor of the Bauhaus encouraged contact with dealers and collectors and was widely accoladed. When Obrist resigned from the school in 1904, Debschitz founded the Ateliers und Werkstätten für Angewandte Kunst and the Keramischen Werkstätten production centres attached to the school. In ...


Arthur Channing Downs

(b Newburgh, NY, Oct 31, 1815; d Hudson River, NY, July 28, 1852).

American writer, horticulturist, landscape gardener and architect. From the age of seven he was trained in the family nursery garden by his elder brother Charles Downing (1802–85), an experimental horticulturist. Before he was 15, Downing came under the influence of André Parmentier (1780–1830), a Dutch-trained landscape gardener, and he studied the 700-acre estate that Parmentier had landscaped in the English manner at Hyde Park, NY. Downing was also influenced by the mineralogist Baron Alois von Lederer (1773–1842) and the landscape painter Raphael Hoyle (1804–38). In 1834 Downing’s first article, ‘Ornamental Trees’, appeared in journals in Boston, MA, and France. His article ‘The Fitness of Different Styles of Architecture for Country Residences’ (1836) was the first important discussion of the topic in America. He expressed enthusiasm for a variety of styles and insisted they must be used in appropriate settings. His ...


(b Frankfurt am Main, Aug 28, 1749; d Weimar, March 22, 1832).

German writer, statesman, scientist, historian and theorist. By virtue of his prodigious literary output, his writings on art (notably in collaboration with Friedrich Schiller), his patronage as chief minister of Weimar, the extraordinary variety of his interests, and his sheer longevity, he had a profound influence on European culture.

Goethe began writing in the late 1760s, when the Romantic reaction against Neo-classicism had already started. The Rococo view of the Classical heritage, which stressed the formal elegance and rationality of the Greeks, was being dismantled by such writers as Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Joachim Winckelmann and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, all of whom influenced Goethe. Herder’s study of folk art, Homer and the Bible concurred with Goethe’s celebration of Shakespeare—in Rede zum Shäkespears Tag (1771)—and of Gothic art—in Von deutscher Baukunst (1772)—in acknowledging the role of passion and daemonic energy in art. These elements, it was claimed, were also present in Classical art; this contrasted with the Neo-classical emphasis on its rationality. This period of Goethe’s life produced such characteristically Romantic poems as ...


Howard Caygill

(b Mohrungen, Aug 25, 1744; d Weimar, Dec 18, 1803).

German theorist. He was the most consistent and influential critic of German Enlightenment philosophy and aesthetic theory. His impeccable Enlightenment pedigree as a student of Kant at the University of Königsberg in the early 1760s and his acquaintance with Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert during his visit to Paris in 1769 were combined with a friendship and sympathy for the person and works of Johann Georg Hamann and other professed opponents of the Enlightenment. His insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the Enlightenment enabled him to offer an alternative theoretical basis for the work of the younger Sturm und Drang writers of the 1770s, headed by Goethe. In 1776 he was appointed at Goethe’s behest to the post of General Superintendent of the Lutheran Church in Weimar, where he remained until his death.

Although Herder published in several fields, ranging from the philosophy of language and epistemology to aesthetics and theology, all he wrote revolved around a critique of the ahistorical character of the German Enlightenment. His thought combines two main elements: the recognition that reason is grounded in sentiment, a position later described as ‘metacritical’; and the perception that the grounding of reason is the product of a specific history, and cannot be understood apart from it....


Therese Dolan

(b Lyon, 1795; d Vernon, 1873).

French art critic and journalist. His career began in 1818 with a pamphlet, Mes visites au Musée Royal du Luxembourg (Paris, 1818), in which he divided the history of painting in France into three ages: the golden age of Poussin and Claude, the period of decadence of Boucher and Carle Vanloo, and the era of revival of Joseph-Marie Vien and David. His most significant contributions to art criticism were his works on the Paris Salons, written between 1819 and 1833, particularly those of 1824 and 1827, which provide useful insight into the debate between classicism and Romanticism that emerged in French painting during the 1820s.

Jal perceived decadence in the Neo-classical paintings at the Salon of 1824, which he criticized for over-emphasis on precise rendering and excessive use of academic form. He defined Romanticism as a school of painting disdaining style and correctness, and he accused Delacroix of careless drawing, strident colour and a lack of decorum in the ...


David Rodgers

(b Wormsley Grange, Hereford & Worcs, Feb 11, 1751; d London, April 23, 1824).

English writer, connoisseur and collector (see fig.). He was the son of a clergyman from a wealthy dynasty of iron-masters. His father died in 1764, and shortly afterwards he inherited a considerable estate from his uncle, which ensured his financial independence. He was a sickly child and was educated at home, becoming well versed in Classical history, Latin and Greek. In 1772 he travelled in France and Italy and was abroad again in 1776, touring Switzerland with the landscape painter John Robert Cozens. The following year he travelled to Sicily on an archaeological expedition taking with him the painters Philipp Hackert and his pupil, the amateur artist Charles Gore (1729–1807). Knight kept a detailed journal (Weimar, Goethe- & Schiller-Archv) illustrated by his companions and on his return to England commissioned Cozens and Thomas Hearne to paint watercolours (London, BM) from Hackert’s and Gore’s sketches (London, BM). It seems probable that the journal was intended for publication and that the expedition may have had an entrepreneurial aspect, as archaeology was a fashionable subject and the Sicilian sites largely unexplored....


[Thabaud, Hyacinthe-Joseph-Alexandre]

(b La Châtre, Indre, Feb 3, 1785; d Aulnay, nr Paris, Feb 27, 1851).

French writer and critic. He was a pioneer of literary romanticism and an influential literary figure, whose paid work as a government official allowed him to produce novels, verse and essays. He also wrote art criticism, and the Salon of 1817 prompted no less than seven articles to Le Constitutionnel. The first (3 May) gave a general and favourable survey of the exhibition and commended as best the works by Pierre Guérin, Antoine-Jean Gros and Abel de Pujol (1785–1861). In his second article (8 May) he suggested that aspiring artists should emulate the draughtsmanship of Gros and the composition of Guérin. In 1819 an anonymous book entitled Lettres à David sur le salon de 1819 was published, consisting of 34 initialled letters, most, if not all, of which are thought to have been written by Latouche. Their object was to draw attention to Jacques-Louis David, then in self-imposed exile, and to align the young generation of Romantics with the Davidian tradition. The eighth letter is devoted to ...


Pontus Grate

(b Paris, Feb 16, 1808; d Paris, Sept 18, 1857).

French critic. In 1831 the originality, perspicacity and learning of his first Salon review secured him a leading position in French art criticism that he retained until his death. The first French writer to devote himself exclusively to art criticism, Planche set out to establish a conscientious and severe critical method. Initially this allowed him to reject the new prolific juste milieu and to be one of the foremost defenders of such Romantic artists as Delacroix. He conceived their art as a ‘bodily struggle with nature and truth’, but from the outset interpreted the idea of nature in a restricted and traditional sense. Much as he praised the boldness, energy and inventiveness of Delacroix, he deplored his incorrect and careless execution. Increasingly he endowed the Academic concept of high finish with implications of scientific exactitude, refusing in its name to allow individual expression, however poetical or dramatic, to take any liberties with visual truth. He maintained that artists should elaborate a distinct, logical and unequivocal language, rather than search for new modes of expression. At the same time Planche became increasingly opposed to the tendencies in the 1830s towards mere careful portrayal of reality; he was the first to use the word ...


Martin Postle

(b 1747; d Yazor, Hereford & Worcs, Sept 14, 1829).

English landowner and writer. He was one of the leading promoters of the Picturesque, a quasi-aesthetic theory concerning the codification of types of landscape; this enjoyed a brief popularity in England at the end of the 18th century. In 1794 Price published An Essay on the Picturesque. The book was written to expand and redefine observations on the nature of Picturesque Beauty made during the 1770s and 1780s by the Rev. William Gilpin. In his essay of 1794 Price employed the term Picturesque to describe a category of landscape that evoked sensations that were not contained within the existing polarities of Sublime and Beautiful, established earlier in the century by Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful; 1757). According to Price ‘the two opposite qualities of roughness, and of sudden variation, joined to that of irregularity, are the most efficient causes of the picturesque’. Price loved systems and organized objects in nature—trees, animals and dwellings—into tables according to their level of picturesqueness. Thus in his view hovels are more picturesque than cottages, cows more picturesque than horses, idle peasants more picturesque than working ones, and so on. Price’s theories inspired, among other things, Thomas Rowlandson’s satirical illustrations to ...


Jörg Traeger

(b Wolgast, July 23, 1777; d Hamburg, Dec 2, 1810).

German painter, draughtsman and theorist. He stands alongside Caspar David Friedrich as a leading figure in German Romantic painting even though his early death restricted his oeuvre to relatively few stages of development. The enduring prominence of philosophical and theoretical concerns suggests that further work would have contributed to the history of ideas as well as to that of art. Runge’s greatest influence was on later, largely 20th-century artists and thinkers rather than on his immediate contemporaries. While 19th-century developments certainly bore out Runge’s claim for a new, symbolic role for landscape, it was only in the later 19th century and in the 20th century that serious consideration was given to his colour theory and to his concept of the total work of art appealing to several senses (subsequently termed Gesamtkunstwerk).

He received no formal artistic training in his childhood; but a very strict Protestant upbringing and regular readings of biblical and Lutheran texts were fundamental in conditioning his subsequent aesthetic and philosophical outlook. He was also influenced at an early age by the poet and theologian Gotthard Ludwig Kosegarten who taught in Wolgast from ...


(b Vouziers, Ardennes, April 21, 1828; d Paris, March 5, 1893).

French philosopher, critic, historian and teacher. After a brilliant school career and several years teaching in the provinces, he established his reputation as a literary critic with Essai sur les fables de La Fontaine (1853). In 1864 he published his Histoire de la littérature anglaise. He became one of the most distinguished French historians of the late 19th century. His outstanding work is undoubtedly Les Origines de la France contemporaine (1876–93), in which he applied his positivist philosophy and scientific method to analyzing the ancien régime and the French Revolution.

Taine was deeply interested in the visual arts. Through the support of the Minister of Education, Victor Duruy, he was appointed teacher of art history and aesthetics at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in October 1864, in succession to Viollet-le-Duc, who had been forced to resign as a result of student hostility. For the next 20 years, Taine imparted his erudition and philosophical insight to many generations of painters, sculptors and architects. He constantly revised his lectures in the light of new documents and his visits to European museums. His teaching programme was organized around five-year cycles (on the subject of art in Italy, in the Netherlands and in Greece), which were repeated four times between ...


Robert E. McVaugh

(Heinrich )

(b Berlin, July 13, 1773; d Berlin, Feb 13, 1798).

German writer. He was trained in law but devoted most of his time to music, poetry and the visual arts. In these pursuits he received guidance and support from Karl Philipp Moritz, Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752–1814), Erduin Julius Koch (1764–1834) and, above all, Ludwig Tieck, with whom he travelled to Wörlitz, Dessau, Halle, Leipzig, Meissen and Dresden in the autumn of 1792. The following spring Tieck and Wackenroder both entered the university at Erlangen, from where they explored Nuremberg, Banz, Bamberg and the pilgrimage church of Vierzehnheiligen. Later in 1793 they transferred to the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, where Wackenroder was introduced to art history by Johann Dominicus Fiorillo. While at Göttingen the friends planned a trip to Italy, where Tieck intended to pursue his poetry and Wackenroder his music. The trip was never realized, however, and in the autumn of 1794 Wackenroder was called back to legal work in Berlin by his father. In ...