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Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Mariana Katzarova

(b Dolni Dŭbnik, nr Pleven, July 24, 1901; d Sofia, Jan 23, 1958).

Bulgarian cartoonist, illustrator, draughtsman, painter, teacher, editor and critic. In 1926 he studied painting at the Academy of Art, Sofia, and although he was later known for his paintings, he achieved greater fame as a political and social cartoonist and newspaper and magazine illustrator. His early cartoons are courageous commentaries on political events in Bulgaria from 1925 to 1934, wittily satirizing the monarchy and dictatorships. He also mocked the machinations of the various bourgeois political parties as they fought for power. Among his most celebrated cartoons are the Kidnapping of the Constitution and the Tsar’s Family, published in the Sofia newspapers Zemedelsko Zname and Sturetz, as well as Suvremennik and other left-wing publications. He also illustrated the series Spanish Chronicle (1936). In 1940 he began freelancing for the anti-Fascist satirical newspaper Sturshel (Sofia) and in 1941 became its editor. During World War II he executed many political cartoons opposing Fascism and Nazism (e.g. ...

Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Christian Dittrich

(b Sangerhausen, July 30, 1641; d Dresden, May 29, 1706).

German painter, draughtsman, graphic artist and writer on art. He was a son and pupil of Andreas Bottschild II (c. 1590–1657), a painter and engraver, who decorated churches in Sangerhausen. Samuel had further training with his brother Johann Andreas Bottschild (b 1630; d after 1670), with whom he went to Saxony. In 1658–61 they worked jointly on gallery paintings of 19 scenes from the Passion (heavily restored 1852) in the Dorfkirche at Hohnstädt, near Leipzig. The decorations for the banqueting hall of Schloss Rötha, near Leipzig (c. 1668–70; destr.), were Bottschild’s first complete programme of mythological themes. At Rötha he also completed two group portraits of the female and male lines of the Friesen family (Dresden, Inst. Dkmlpf.)

In 1673 Bottschild painted a Presentation in the Temple for Freiberg Cathedral. It was probably after this that he left for Italy with his cousin and pupil ...

Article

David Leatherbarrow

(b London, 1771; d London, Dec 1843).

English architect, writer and illustrator. A brilliant draughtsman, speculative archaeologist and an avid reader of ancient myth, he was one of England’s most remarkable visionary architects. His career began in 1787, when he was apprenticed to James Wyatt. Two years later he entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, and won the Silver Medal in his first year and the Gold in the next. He then left for Italy, where he visited all the important Classical sites as well as less well-known sites in the Roman Campagna. He usually travelled with painters and architects, most often with C. H. Tatham and G. A. Wallis (1770–1847). Gandy won a special medal in an Accademia di S Luca competition in 1795 but was forced to return to London in 1797 because of the advance of Napoleon’s army into Italy and the bankruptcy of his financial supporter John Martindale.

Gandy was unable to set up an architectural practice when he returned to England owing to financial difficulties and worked for ...

Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, May 25, 1841; d Paris, Oct 23, 1917).

French illustrator, decorative artist and printmaker of Swiss birth. Before arriving in Paris in the autumn of 1871, Grasset had been apprenticed to an architect, attended the Polytechnic in Zurich and travelled to Egypt. In Paris he found employment as a fabric designer and graphic ornamentalist, which culminated in his first important project, the illustrations for Histoire des quatre fils Aymon (1883). Grasset worked in collaboration with Charles Gillot, the inventor of photo-relief printing and an influential collector of Oriental and decorative arts, in the production of this major work of Art Nouveau book design and of colour photomechanical illustration. Grasset used a combination of medieval and Near Eastern decorative motifs to frame and embellish his illustrations, but most importantly he integrated text and imagery in an innovative manner which has had a lasting influence on book illustration.

In 1881 he was commissioned by Rodolphe Salis to design furnishing in a medieval style for the latter’s new Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre. This project brought him in direct contact with Montmartre avant-garde artists such as Adolphe Willette, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Rivière and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Grasset’s numerous posters include ...

Article

Fridolf Johnson

(b Tarrytown, NY, June 21, 1882; d Au Sable Forks, NY, March 13, 1971).

American painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, and sailor. He first studied architecture but turned to painting, studying in New York at the schools of William Merritt Chase and of Robert Henri. In his realistic landscapes, the most famous of which related to his long sojourns in such remote and rugged places as Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and Greenland (e.g. Eskimo in a Kayak, 1933; Moscow, Pushkin Mus. F.A.), he favoured a precise rendering of forms with strong contrasts of light and dark. He was also renowned for the many books that he illustrated and wrote about his adventures. His considerable reputation as an illustrator was based on his striking drawings for such classics as Voltaire’s Candide (New York, 1928) and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (Chicago, 1930). His simple but distinctive graphic designs, such as God Speed (wood-engraving, 1931; see Kent, 1933, p. 87), were widely imitated.

Rockwellkentiana (New York, 1933)...

Article

(b Temesvár [now Timişoara, Romania], Dec 16, 1883; d Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Aug 24, 1977).

Hungarian architect, graphic artist, teacher, writer and politician. He studied (1902–7) at the Hungarian Palatine Josef Technical University, Budapest, where he experimented with Romanesque Revival designs, then travelled to Italy, Germany and Austria. On his return he became the leading figure of Fiatalok (Hung.: ‘the young’), a group of Hungarian architects including Béla Jánszky (1884–1945), Valér Mende, Dezső Zrumeczky (1883–1917) and Dénes Györgyi, who rejected both Ödön Lechner’s Secessionist architecture and the prevalent historicism. Kós was influenced by the works of Ruskin, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. The example of the Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen and Lars Sonck, who studied vernacular buildings in Karelia, was also important, and it was in imitation of these that Kós toured Transylvania with his associates, studying and recording the village architecture. The result was the development of an individual style derived from Finnish architectural trends and Transylvanian folk architecture. The ...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, June 5, 1893; d Brno, June 7, 1974).

Czech architect, theorist, graphic artist, designer, teacher and writer. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied with Jan Koula (1855–1919), Josef Fanta and Antonín Balšánek (1865–1921). While still studying he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists. During the period 1921 to 1928 he practised in Mladá Boleslav and in 1925 he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Technical University in Brno. At the same time he was a founder-member of Socialistická scéna (Socialist Stage), for which he worked as stage manager, set designer and graphic artist. Kroha’s early work was based on a distinctive conception of Cubism, as in the Crematorium in Pardubice (1919), and Expressionism, as in the Catholic church, Prague-Vinohrady (1918–19), which he formulated in a series of extremely varied competition designs for buildings that were full of tension and explosiveness. His works at Mladá Boleslav, especially the State Technical College (...

Article

N. A. Yevsina

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Nikol’skoye-Cherenchitsy estate, nr Torzhok, 1751; d Moscow, 2/Jan 3, 1804).

Russian architect, theorist, illustrator, poet, Musician and inventor. An enlightened dilettante and encyclopedist from a princely family, he studied architecture on his own and travelled in western Europe (1775, 1776–7), above all in France and Italy. On his return to Russia L’vov worked at the Foreign Ministry and acquired a reputation as an architect from the early 1780s. His earliest works—the Neva Gate (1780–87) of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, the single-domed cathedral of St Joseph (1780–98) in Mogilyov and the similar five-domed church (1785–96) at the monastery of SS Boris and Gleb in Torzhok—are characterized by their austere simplicity, spareness of form and pronounced monumentality. They became the model for many Russian Neo-classical churches of the late 18th century and the early 19th. L’vov’s works for St Petersburg include the Post Office (1782–9), unexecuted designs for the Cabinet on the Nevsky Prospect (...

Article

(b Roermond, Aug 25, 1864; d Amsterdam, April 15, 1932).

Dutch architect, theorist, industrial designer, illustrator and teacher. He grew up in the artistic milieu around P. J. H. Cuypers and probably received most of his artistic education in this environment. Between 1880 and 1887 Lauweriks attended various drawing courses including in 1885–7 those at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers in Amsterdam. In 1889 he became decoration draughtsman in Cuypers’s office. In 1891 he became a member of the architectural society Architectura et Amicitia and from 1893 was editor of the society’s journal Architectura. At the same time, together with his friends and colleagues K. P. C. de Bazel and Herman J. M. Walenkamp, he became involved with ethical–anarchist groups and produced illustrations for Licht en waarheid, the journal of the anarchist group Wie Denkt Overwint (Who thinks conquers).

On 31 May 1894, with de Bazel, Lauweriks joined the Theosophical Society. This brought him into strong conflict with Cuypers. He left the latter’s office in ...

Article

José Manuel Fernandes

(b Lisbon, Nov 21, 1879; d Lisbon, July 13, 1974).

Portuguese architect, graphic artist and writer. He was educated in England and then studied architecture (1893–7) at the Technische Hochschule, Hannover, under Albrecht Haupt. His grounding in Anglo-Saxon and German culture was unusual among Portuguese artists of the time, who tended to be orientated towards French influences, and it directed him to a search for the deeper and more spiritual roots of Portuguese architecture. From 1898 to 1901 he spent time travelling and drawing in southern Portugal and Morocco, observing the persistence of local traditions in Mozarabic and Islamic architectural forms and spatial planning. Some of these he later adopted in his designs for domestic buildings, particularly the use of the patio as a nucleus for rooms and the use of decorative elements (such as bricks, tiles and whitewash). He thus participated in the nationalist Casa Portuguesa style, but he also sought to modernize this tradition, integrating it with the innovative European currents of Art Nouveau; such houses as the Casa Roque Gameiro (...

Article

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

David Elliott

(Vladimirovich)

(b Bagdadi, Georgia, July 19, 1893; d Moscow, April 14, 1930).

Russian poet, critic, graphic designer and painter of Georgian birth. Although best known as a poet and playwright he studied painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1911–14) and, as a member of the Futurist group Hylea, was a pioneer of what later became known as Performance art. Mayakovsky’s family moved to Moscow on the death of his father in 1906, and he soon became involved in left-wing activities, for which he was repeatedly arrested. On passing the entrance examination of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in August 1911, his political activities shifted their focus to bohemian épatage. In the class for figure painting Mayakovsky met David Burlyuk, who with his brothers Nikolay Burlyuk (1890–1920) and Vladimir Burlyuk (1886–1917) and the ‘aviator poet’ Vasily Kamensky (1864–1961), formed the core of the Russian Futurist movement. Adopting a stance similar to that of Marinetti, whose Futurist manifesto (...

Article

(b Minsk, Belorussia, Nov 21, 1893; d Łódź, Dec 26, 1952).

Polish painter, theoretician, typographer and draughtsman. On completion of his engineering studies at the Moscow Military Academy, he was drafted into the Tsarist army in 1914; seriously wounded, he subsequently began his artistic studies in the post-Revolutionary academies in Moscow, Vkhutemas and Inkhuk. In 1920–22 he was associated with Unovis, and during this period he was influenced by Suprematism, whose principles would in later years form the basis of his polemics. In 1921 he married the sculptor Katarzyna Kobro, and at the beginning of 1922 they both moved to Poland. He published his first articles on the Russian avant-garde in the Kraków periodical Zwrotnica in 1922. Strzemiński organized the Wystawa Nowej Sztuki (‘Exhibition of new art’) in Wilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1923, which acted as a manifesto of Polish Constructivism; he exhibited Suprematist architectural projects, Cubist paintings and Synthetic Compositions as well as Suprematist abstract works constructed from simple forms in contrasting colours. With Strzemiński’s help, in ...