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Article

Belinda Thomson

(b Lille, April 28, 1868; d Paris, April 15, 1941).

French painter and writer. He was the son of a cloth merchant. Relations with his parents were never harmonious, and in 1884, against his father’s wishes, he enrolled as a student at the Atelier Cormon in Paris. There he became a close friend of Louis Anquetin and Toulouse-Lautrec. In suburban views of Asnières, where his parents lived, Bernard experimented with Impressionist and then Pointillist colour theory, in direct opposition to his master’s academic teaching; an argument with Fernand Cormon led to his expulsion from the studio in 1886. He made a walking tour of Normandy and Brittany that year, drawn to Gothic architecture and the simplicity of the carved Breton calvaries. In Concarneau he struck up a friendship with Claude-Emile Schuffenecker and met Gauguin briefly in Pont-Aven. During the winter Bernard met van Gogh and frequented the shop of the colour merchant Julien-François Tanguy, where he gained access to the little-known work of Cézanne....

Article

Belinda Thomson

(b Granville, Nov 25, 1870; d Paris, Nov 13, 1943).

French painter, designer, printmaker and theorist. Although born in Normandy, Denis lived throughout his life in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just west of Paris. He attended the Lycée Condorcet, Paris, where he met many of his future artistic contemporaries, then studied art simultaneously at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian (1888–90). Through fellow student Paul Sérusier, in 1888 he learnt of the innovative stylistic discoveries made that summer in Pont-Aven by Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. With Sérusier and a number of like-minded contemporaries at the Académie Julian—Pierre Bonnard, Paul Ranson, Henri-Gabriel Ibels and others—Denis found himself fundamentally opposed to the naturalism recommended by his academic teachers. They formed the Nabis, a secret artistic brotherhood dedicated to a form of pictorial Symbolism based loosely on the synthetic innovations of Gauguin and Bernard. Denis’s first article, ‘Définition du néo-traditionnisme’, published in Art et critique in 1890 (and republished in ...

Article

(b Milan, Oct 15, 1851; d Milan, Aug 4, 1920).

Italian painter, dealer, critic and collector of Hungarian origin. Around 1870 he frequented the circle of Scapigliati, Gli and in 1870–71 visited London. Grubicy’s acquaintance with the art galleries there inspired him to start his own gallery in Milan, specializing in the Scapigliati artists, particularly Tranquillo Cremona and later Daniele Ranzoni. After Cremona’s death in 1878, Grubicy extended his interest to younger Lombard artists, primarily Giovanni Segantini (whose Choir of S Antonio impressed him at the 1879 annual exhibition at the Brera, Milan), Emilio Longoni (1859–1932) and later Angelo Morbelli. Grubicy became Segantini’s dealer and they were in close collaboration from this time. Between 1882 and 1885 Grubicy was in the Low Countries and probably informed Segantini of Millet and The Hague school. During his visit Grubicy also began to draw (e.g. Housemaid Washing, 1884; Milan, Castello Sforzesco) and to paint (e.g. The Hague: My First Work, 1884...

Article

(b Amsterdam, Dec 4, 1868; d Bloemendaal, Dec 31, 1938).

Dutch painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer and stained-glass artist. He trained at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1886–90), under the directorship of August Allebé. Having initially painted and drawn Impressionistic landscapes, he started working in the ’t Gooi region in 1892, where, influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Jan Toorop, he made a number of Symbolist drawings and lithographs. In 1896 he married the Dutch writer Henriette van der Schalk. They both devoted themselves to the recently founded Sociaal Democratische Arbeiders Partij. In the years up to c. 1900 Holst produced among other things a series of lithographs of political cartoons with socialist content, as well as serene landscapes and paintings of girls from the village of Huizen. His allegorical murals (1902; in situ), on topics such as ‘Industry’ or ‘Commerce’, in the new Koopmansbeurs in Amsterdam by H. P. Berlage (1876–1903), marked an important point in his career as his first opportunity to construct a monumental piece of work. Partly inspired by the murals in the town hall at ’s Hertogenbosch by Antoon Derkinderen, he developed a tight, stylized type of design, which he believed to be ideal for visually representing idealistic and exalted thoughts. In his murals (...

Article

Jane Block

(b Brussels, Nov 26, 1865; d Brussels, July 5, 1916).

Belgian painter and decorative artist. He showed a precocious talent, first exhibiting in 1875. His only formal study was at a local school of drawing. Between 1884 and 1886 he showed at the Essor group in Brussels paintings that were based on Dürer and Holbein and closely related to those of Lemmen’s contemporary, Khnopff. When Lemmen became a member of Les XX in 1888 his style developed quickly, influenced principally by French Neo-Impressionism and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Lemmen adopted the pointillist technique following Seurat’s first showing with Les XX in 1887. His best pointillist canvases include The Carousel (1890–91; priv. col., see Belgian Art, 1880–1914, exh. cat., New York, Brooklyn Mus., 1980, p. 118, fig.) as well as portraits of Julie (1891; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.) and Mme Lemmen (1894–5; Paris, Mus. Orsay).

In the early 1890s Lemmen became a leader in the burgeoning decorative arts movement. In ...

Article

(b Amersfoort, March 7, 1872; d New York, Feb 1, 1944).

Dutch painter, theorist, and draughtsman. His work marks the transition at the start of the 20th century from the Hague school and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. His key position within the international avant-garde is determined by works produced after 1920. He set out his theory in the periodical of Stijl, De, in a series of articles that were summarized in a separate booklet published in Paris in 1920 under the title Le Néo-plasticisme (see Neo-plasticism) by Léonce Rosenberg. The essence of Mondrian’s ideas is that painting, composed of the most fundamental aspects of line and colour, must set an example to the other arts for achieving a society in which art as such has no place but belongs instead to the total realization of ‘beauty’. The representation of the universal, dynamic pulse of life, also expressed in modern jazz and the metropolis, was Mondrian’s point of departure. Even in his lifetime he was regarded as the founder of the most ...

Article

Belinda Thomson

(Henri)

(b Paris, Nov 9, 1864; d Morlaix, Oct 6, 1927).

French painter and theorist. Son of a wealthy perfume and glove manufacturer, he was a star pupil at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, early on showing a bent towards philosophy. Having little inclination for business, Sérusier was eventually allowed to follow his chosen career of art. He studied at the Académie Julian (1885–90), where his popularity and wide-ranging intellectual gifts led to his election as chief student monitor (massier). This position gave him a certain authority, which was increased when his painting of a Breton Weaver (1888; Senlis, Mus. A. & Archéol.) won an honourable mention at the Salon of 1888.

Sérusier’s encounter with Gauguin in Pont-Aven that year proved decisive in changing his stylistic direction away from a dark-toned naturalism towards a more arbitrary, anti-naturalistic use of colour and simplification of form. Under Gauguin’s direction he started to paint a small landscape from nature, the ...

Article

Belinda Thomson

(b Lausanne, Dec 28, 1865; d Paris, Dec 28, 1925).

Swiss printmaker, painter and critic, active in France. He attended school in Lausanne, then moved to Paris in 1882 and enrolled as an art student at the Académie Julian. Paris remained his main base for the rest of his life, although he returned regularly to Switzerland to see his family. He became a close friend of Charles Cottet and Charles Maurin, who was his teacher and mentor. As a student, copying in the Louvre, Vallotton was drawn to the minute realism of the earlier masters, in particular Holbein, whose work he sought to emulate. He succeeded in having portraits accepted by the Salon jury in 1885 and 1886.

Vallotton was primarily a printmaker. He first made a drypoint etching in 1881. Between 1888 and 1892, to make ends meet, he produced reproductive etchings after such artists as Rembrandt and Millet, and from 1891 to 1895 he worked as Paris art correspondent for the ...