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José Manuel Fernandes

(b Seixas, Minho, July 14, 1866; d Lisbon, April 30, 1919).

Portuguese architect. He was born into a humble family in northern Portugal and in 1881 went to the Escola de Belas Artes, Oporto, and thence to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris; there he joined the studio of Victor Laloux in 1886 and was an outstanding pupil. He returned to Portugal in 1896 when he won an international competition for the reconstruction of the vast building of the Câmara dos Deputados in the former convent of S Bento, Lisbon (now the Assembleia da República). The work, which continued into the 1930s, is in an elaborate and confident Neo-classical style.

Terra’s skill as a designer was soon shown in several housing projects in Lisbon that won the annual Valmôr prize instituted in Lisbon in 1902 by a public benefactor. In 1903 he won with a design for a residential block in Rua Alexandre Herculano, 57, Lisbon, where he himself eventually lived. Other prize-winning designs included the town house (...


Giuliana Tomasella

(b Turin, Nov 10, 1869; d Turin, Feb 16, 1925).

Italian poet and critic. He published two collections of poetry, Il poema dell’adolescenza (1901) and Poemi d’amore e di morte (1922), and contributed as a literary, artistic and social critic to many daily newspapers and magazines, including La Stampa, the Gazzetta letteraria, The Studio and Emporium. Up to 1889 he was part of the Liberty movement in Turin; he was a great admirer of the Liberty style, which he considered to be the sole great achievement of contemporary art, and was a proud adversary of Impressionism and the avant-garde. He was a founder of L’Arte decorativa moderna (1902–7), and for ten years director of the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna in Turin. From 1905 to 1912 La Stampa printed several of his most controversial articles, in which he fiercely attacked the most important contemporary painters in Europe, from Renoir and Cézanne to van Gogh and Matisse. His own concept of art as an ‘ideal transcendence of reality’ led him to prefer the Pre-Raphaelites, especially William Holman Hunt, as well as Arnold Böcklin, Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati. His most famous book, ...


(b Albi, Tarn, Nov 24, 1864; d Château de Malromé, nr Langon, Gironde, Sept 9, 1901).

French painter and printmaker. He is best known for his portrayals of late 19th-century Parisian life, particularly working-class, cabaret, circus, nightclub and brothel scenes (see fig.). He was admired then as he is today for his unsentimental evocations of personalities and social mores. While he belonged to no theoretical school, he is sometimes classified as Post-Impressionist. His greatest contemporary impact was his series of 30 posters (1891–1901), which transformed the aesthetics of poster art.

Many of the defining elements of Toulouse-Lautrec’s life and work came to him at birth. His parents, Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse-Lautrec (...


Marja Supinen

[Wallgren, Carl Wilhelm]

(b Porvoo, Dec 15, 1855; d Helsinki, Oct 13, 1940).

Finnish sculptor. He began studying sculpture in Helsinki as a pupil of Carl Eneas Sjöstrand. In 1877 he moved to Paris, which was to prove much more significant for his studies. During his years there Vallgren followed the instruction of Pierre-Jules Cavelier at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Vallgren’s progress was leisurely. He spent the early part of the 1880s sketching figures and practising portrait sculpture. He was clearly attracted by the realist tendencies of the decade, as well as by the study of movement. The life-size marble sculpture Echo (1885; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) marks a turning point in his work; it combines the familiarity of drawing-room realism with the serenity of a lyrical depiction of nature. Towards the end of the 1880s Vallgren was greatly influenced by Auguste Rodin, and at the same time he moved closer to both decorative and Symbolist expression. His works dating from this period, such as the reliefs ...


Jean-Claude Vigato

(b Herbeviller, Meurthe-et-Moselle, July 13, 1856; d Nancy, July 21, 1922).

French architect and cabinetmaker. He learnt his trade in the carpentry business belonging to his uncle Charles-Auguste Claudel (1827–93), a specialist in church furniture, in Nancy. Although he only spent a year at the municipal drawing school, through his uncle he discovered Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s famous Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVe siècle (Paris, 1854–68). He had been managing the business for six years when in 1887 he completed work on the great organ of the church of St Léon at Nancy where their passion for neo-medievalism made the sculptor voluble and the carpenter bold. The enthusiastic proselytizing of Emile Gallé and Victor Prouvé converted a developing love of Gothic into an engagement with Modernism, and by 1896 Vallin had designed a house for his own use—the first in the Ecole de Nancy manner. The décor is naturalist and the composition anti-classical, with a façade of which the features are differentiated by interior functions....


Marie Demanet

(Leo Josephus)

(b Antwerp, July 10, 1876; d Antwerp, Feb 1, 1946).

Belgian architect. His father was a carpenter and he was forced to interrupt his architectural studies at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp in order to earn his living. He went to work for Emile Thielens, a German architect who had settled in Antwerp and designed the buildings in the zoological garden. In 1898, at the age of 22, Van Averbeke collaborated with the architect Jan Van Asperen on the Help U Zelve building in Antwerp, whose remarkable Art Nouveau façade can be entirely attributed to Van Averbeke. He was one of the most original Art Nouveau designers in Belgium and developed a style that was at once lyrical and geometrical, coloured by Scottish and Viennese influences. He was also a talented draughtsman and several of his projects were published in the German review Moderne Bauformen. In 1905 he joined the municipal architects’ department of Antwerp, ultimately becoming Chief Architect in ...


Jane Block and Paul Kruty

(b Antwerp, April 3, 1863; d Zurich, Oct 25, 1957).

Belgian designer, architect, painter, and writer. He was one of the leading figures in the creation of Art Nouveau in the 1890s.

From 1880 to 1883 Van de Velde studied at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, exhibiting for the first time in 1882. In 1883 he was a founder-member of the art group Als Ik Kan, which fostered the position of the artist outside of the Salon. His earliest paintings, such as the Guitar-player (1883; Brussels, priv. col., see Canning, p. 100), are in a Realist vein with sombre tones. In October 1884 Van de Velde travelled to Paris. Although he entered the studio of the academic painter Carolus-Duran, where he remained until the spring of 1885, he was strongly attracted to the works of Jean-François Millet (ii). His works after his stay in Paris, such as Still-life with Fruit Dish (1886; Otterlo, Kröller-Müller), display the characteristic broken brushstroke of the Impressionists, although this style is often combined with subjects drawn from Millet, seen in the ...


B. M. Kirikov


(b Pogorelki, Yaroslavl’ province, Dec 8, 1875; d Finland, ?1941).

Russian architect. He studied at the Institute of Civil Engineers, St Petersburg, from 1896 to 1901 and then from 1901 to 1904 at the Academy of Arts with Leonty Benois. He was a talented and original exponent of the northern European version of Art Nouveau (Rus. stil’ modern), and he influenced many architects in St Petersburg. His work also parallels attempts in Finland and the Baltic states to develop a National Romantic style in architecture. This is evident in the combination of functional expediency, emotional quality, direct expression of construction methods and materials and the realization of vernacular traditions. In the Savitsky Mansion (1904–6) in Tsarskoye Selo (now Pushkin) and the residential building (1906–7), with Aleksey Bubyr’ (1876–1919), at Stremyannaya Street 11, St Petersburg, the intense dynamics of the façades are underlined by contrasting natural and artificial materials. Similar sculptural effects are seen in his buildings in Tallinn (formerly Reval). In the mosque (...


Regina Soria

(b New York, Feb 26, 1836; d Rome, Jan 29, 1923).

American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer (see fig.). He studied under Tompkins Harrison Matteson in Shelbourne, NY, and went to Paris in March 1856. After eight months in the studio of François-Edouard Picot, he settled in Florence until the end of 1860. There he learnt drawing from Raffaello Bonaiuti, became interested in the Florentine Renaissance and attended the free Accademia Galli. A more significant artistic inspiration came from the Italian artists at the Caffè Michelangiolo: Telemaco Signorini, Vincenzo Cabianca (1827–1902), and especially Nino Costa (1827–1902). This group sought new and untraditional pictorial solutions for their compositions and plein-air landscapes and were particularly interested in the experiences of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon painters. They became known as Macchiaioli for their use of splashes (macchia) of light and shadows and for their revolutionary (maquis) attitude to prevailing styles. Among Vedder’s most notable Florentine landscapes are ...


E. Mattie and M. de Moor

(b Rotterdam, Feb 14, 1860; d Rotterdam, ?19 Oct 1948).

Dutch architect. He was trained in his father’s business and attended evening classes at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen in Rotterdam (1872–7). Then he went to the Polytechnische School in Delft, obtaining a diploma in 1882. His career immediately expanded once he was commissioned in 1883 to build Rotterdam Theatre (destr. 1940), which was in a Dutch Neo-Renaissance style, like many of the designs of his early period. He built the concert hall and auditorium De Kunstmin (1888–90) at St Jorisweg 76, Dordrecht, in the same style; it was rebuilt (1939–40) by Sybold van Ravesteyn. Verheul also designed the water-towers (1885; destr. 1925) at Schiedam in a more historicizing style. Later he felt more attracted to Jugendstil, specifically Nieuwe Kunst. One of his most important designs in this style was the building (1900–02; destr. 1974) in Utrecht for the insurance company ‘De Utrecht’. One of Verheul’s least characteristic buildings of this period is the Witte Huis (...


Milo Cleveland Beach

(b Metz, 1854; d 1942)

French jeweller and collector. Vever directed the family jewellery business, begun in Metz by his grandfather Pierre-Paul Vever (d 1853). After the capture of Metz in the Franco-Prussian War (1871), the family moved to Luxembourg and then Paris, where the Maison Vever became well established on the Rue de la Paix, winning the Grand Prix of the universal expositions in 1889 and 1900 and becoming a leader in the Art Nouveau movement. Vever gave an important group of Art Nouveau works to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. His early interest in contemporary French painting led him to assemble a large and important group of works by Corot, Sisley, Renoir and Monet, of which he sold the majority (Paris, Gal. Georges Petit, 1897) to concentrate on Japanese and Islamic art. Vever had begun to collect Japanese prints in the 1880s and in 1892 joined the distinguished private group ...


( Colomann )

(b Penzing, nr Vienna, July 13, 1841; d Vienna, April 11, 1918).

Austrian architect, urban planner, designer, teacher and writer. He was one of the most important architects of the 19th and 20th centuries—in 1911 Adolf Loos called him ‘the greatest architect in the world’—and a key figure in the development of 20th-century European architecture. His work, spread over more than half a century, embodies the transition from mid-19th-century historicism to the earliest expressions of 20th-century Modernism. Wagner was an influential teacher and theorist, and in addition to his executed work he designed and published more than 100 ambitious schemes, the last volume of his Einige Skizzen being published posthumously in 1922; this long series of often fantastic but always highly pragmatic and carefully thought out projects included urban plans, museums, academies, parliament buildings and public monuments.

After studying at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna from 1857 to 1860 and spending a short period at the Bauakademie in Berlin, where he became familiar with the work of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Wagner studied from ...


Cynthia Prossinger

[Ger.: ‘Viennese workshop’]

Viennese cooperative group of painters, sculptors, architects and decorative artists founded by Josef Hoffmann and Kolo Moser in 1903 and active until 1932.

The group was modelled upon C. R. Ashbee’s Guild of Handicraft. Under the artistic direction of Hoffmann and Moser and with the financial patronage of the industrialist Fritz Wärndorfer (b 1868), they sought to rescue the applied arts and artistic craftwork from aesthetic devaluation brought on by mass production. Their aim was to re-establish the aesthetic aspect of the everyday object. As a long-term goal they strove to promote the cultivation of general public taste by bringing the potential purchaser in close contact with the designer and craftsworker. The offices, studios and workshops at Neustiftgasse 32 were designed by Moser with that purpose in mind.

The Wiener Werkstätte believed that artistic endeavour should permeate all aspects of everyday life; no object was so menial that it could not be enhanced by beauty of form and execution. It was postulated that this maxim, rooted in the work of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, gave direction to cultural progress. The moral and social aspect of the workshops was also influenced by the credo derived from John Ruskin and Morris, and adopted by Ashbee, that the craftsworker should work under humane conditions and in an artistic atmosphere. The profits of the cooperative were shared by not only the financier but also the designer and executor. Charles Rennie Mackintosh also influenced the group, which is evident in the puristic simplicity and geometric austerity of their early objects, for example a brass vase by Moser (...


Richard Kerremans

(b Brussels, April 16, 1858; d Brussels, Dec 13, 1929).

Belgian jeweller, designer and sculptor . The son of the master goldsmith Louis Wolfers (1820–92), he graduated from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1875 and entered his father’s workshop as an apprentice, where he acquired a comprehensive technical training. Influenced by the Rococo Revival and Japanese art, in the 1880s he created sensitively curved pieces in gold and silver decorated with asymmetrically distributed floral motifs, which heralded the Art Nouveau style (e.g. ewer, Le Maraudeur, c. 1880; Brussels, Musées Royaux A. & Hist.). After 1890 he produced two kinds of work: goldsmithing and jewellery designs for production by Wolfers Frères and one-off pieces that were produced to his own designs in the workshop that he had established c. 1890–92. Typical of the latter are Art Nouveau goldsmiths’ work and jewellery (e.g. orchid hair ornament, 1902; London, V&A), crystal vases carved into cameos and ivory pieces. Ivory was then in plentiful supply from the Congo, and from ...


( Vasil’yevna )

(b Wiesbaden, Jan 31, 1870; d Chêne Bougerie, nr Geneva, Dec 27, 1902).

Russian painter, decorative artist and designer . She was a major Symbolist artist in Russia and played a significant role in the revival of folk traditions in Russian art in the late 19th century. She grew up in Moscow and studied (1885–8) under Yelena Polenova and Vasily Polenov as an external student at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Subsequently she joined Yelena Polenova’s group for the study of the historical and archaeological monuments of Moscow and became closely associated with the Abramtsevo group. From 1888 she spent winters in Paris, where she enrolled as a student at the Académie Julian. Her paintings, sometimes consisting of melancholic depictions of decaying mansions in the manner of Viktor Borisov-Musatov, were dominated by decorative landscapes. Always striving to express the synthetic inner vitality of organic life, she concentrated on forest motifs (e.g. The Window and Aspen and Fir Tree (both pokerwork and oil on panel, ...