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American Scene painting  

M. Sue Kendall

Term used to describe scenes of typical American life painted in a naturalistic vein from c. 1920 until the early 1940s. It applies to both Regionalism and Social Realism in American painting, but its specific boundaries remain ambiguous. The phrase probably derived from Henry James’s collection of essays and impressions, The American Scene (London, 1907), published upon James’s own rediscovery of his native land after 21 years as an expatriate. The term entered the vocabulary of fine arts by the 1920s and was applied to the paintings of Charles Burchfield during 1924.

In the two decades following World War I, American writers and artists began to look for native sources for the aesthetic and spiritual renewal of their modern technological civilization. This search engaged and activated many thoughtful and creative people in the 1920s and 1930s and resulted in that flurry of activity that Waldo Frank (1889–1967) discussed as ...


Bail family (i)  

Gabriel P. Weisberg

French family of painters. Jean-Antoine Bail (b Chasseley, Rhône, 8 April 1830; d Nesle-la-Vallée, 20 Oct 1919) was largely self-taught, but he received some training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon before showing the intimate, monochromatic Artist’s Studio (Saint-Etienne, Mus. A. & Indust.) at the Salon there in 1854. He subsequently showed works at the Paris Salon, beginning in 1861 with The Cherries (untraced), and he exhibited at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français, Paris, until 1898. He was recognized by contemporary critics as the artist who best exemplified the realist tradition in provincial themes. He used models who posed in his studio on the Ile St Louis for his paintings of cooks and maids, and many of his interior scenes, with their intimate figural groupings and close attention to detail, display an awareness of Chardin and Dutch 17th-century painting. Sensitive portraits such as the ...


Beal, Jack  

Anne K. Swartz

(b Richmond, VA, June 25, 1931; d Oneonta, NY, Aug 29, 2013).

American painter. Beal studied at the College of William and Mary, Norfolk, VA, before going on to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. In 1965, he began having solo exhibitions at the Allan Frumkin Gallery, later Frumkin/Adams Gallery and then George Adams Gallery, which had venues in New York City and Chicago, continuing to exhibit with them into the 21st century. Like many artists working in the 1960s, he repudiated the abstract, then so current in the art world, and favored instead the kind of “New Realism” being espoused by artists such as Philip Pearlstein, among others. His art focuses on the figure indoors, usually rendered up-close in a compact interior environment. The colors are usually vivid and the lines often dominant.

Beal is known primarily as a painter, but in addition to painting and prints, Beal produced two major public art monuments. The first was a series of four murals titled ...


Bechtle, Robert  

Janet Bishop

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1932).

American painter. Native of the San Francisco Bay Area, known for careful observation and explicit use of snapshot-like photographic source material for paintings of family, cars, and residential neighborhoods. The artist rose to national and international prominence in early 1970s as part of the Photorealist movement (see Photorealism).

From the 1960s, Bechtle pursued a quiet realism based on the things he knew best, translating what seem to be ordinary scenes of middle-class American life into paintings. Following an early childhood in the Bay Area and Sacramento, his family settled in 1942 in Alameda, an island suburb adjacent to Oakland where his mother would occupy the same house for almost 60 years. The neighborhood appears in many of Bechtle’s paintings.

Bechtle earned both his BFA (1954) and his MFA (1958) at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied graphic design and then painting. During his student years and into the 1960s, Bechtle was influenced by Pop art’s precedent for the use of commercial subject matter and techniques. He was likewise interested in Bay Area figuration, especially the subjects and structure of paintings by ...


Bierbaum, Otto Julius  

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Grüneberg, June 28, 1865; d Dresden, Feb 1, 1910).

German writer and publisher. From 1892 to 1894 he edited the Freie Bühne (later renamed Neue deutsche Rundschau), the Berlin-based magazine that acted as the chief mouthpiece of literary naturalism. He took up the cause of modernist painting in his very first publication, A. Böcklin (1891), a text introducing 15 heliographs of the artist’s work, and this was followed by publications on Fritz von Uhde (1893; 1908) and on Hans Thoma (1904). In 1894, with Julius Meier-Graefe, Bierbaum founded Pan, which was to become the leading avant-garde journal of the period in Germany, notable for its typography and for the inventive integration of text and illustration. There were also reproductions of paintings, drawings and sculpture, and the list of contributors included Franz von Stuck, Thoma, von Uhde, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Max Klinger, Arnold Böcklin, Paul Signac, Georges Seurat, Félix Vallotton, ...


Cammarano, Michele  

Mariantonietta Picone Petrusa

(b Naples, Feb 23, 1835; d Naples, Sept 21, 1920).

Italian painter. He came from a family of artists of Catalan origin and was taught by his grandfather Giuseppe (1766–1850) and his great-uncle Antonio before enrolling at the Naples Accademia di Belle Arti in 1853. He studied under Gabriele Smargiassi (1798–1882), an exponent of traditional, composed, Romantic landscape, but was soon impressed by the plein-air landscape painting of Giacinto Gigante and by the work of the landscape painters of the Scuola di Posilippo, Alessandro La Volpe (?1820–87) and Vincenzo Franceschini (1812–85). Between 1854 and 1855 Cammarano entered the studio of Nicola Palizzi and devoted more time to studies from the live model and of landscape en plein air, with stays on Capri and at Cava Campobasso. This led to a break with Smargiassi, but Cammarano continued to attend evening life classes at the Accademia and to take part in competitions. Early works, such as ...


Canonica, Pietro  

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 ...



Valérie M. C. Bajou

[Durand, Charles-Emile-Auguste]

(b Lille, July 4, 1837; d Paris, 1917).

French painter. He came from a humble background and by the age of 11 was taking lessons at the Académie in Lille from the sculptor Augustin-Phidias Cadet de Beaupré (b 1800) who taught him to sketch. At 15 he began a two-year apprenticeship in the studio of one of David’s former pupils, François Souchon (1787–1857), whose name he still referred to several years later when he exhibited at the Salon. In 1853 he moved to Paris. He copied in the Louvre where he must have met Henri Fantin-Latour, then taking life classes at the Académie Suisse (1859–60). He exhibited at the Salon for the first time in 1859. His first period in Paris, from 1853 to 1862 (interspersed with visits to Lille, where he received portrait commissions and an annuity in 1861), shows the influence of Gustave Courbet, whose After Dinner at Ornans...


Czigány [Wimmer], Dezső  

Mária Szobor-Bernáth

(b Budapest, June 1, 1883; d Budapest, Dec 31, 1937).

Hungarian painter. He studied in Munich and Nagybánya (now Baia Mare, Romania) under Simon Hollósy, and for 18 months in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens. Brown tones and a strong realism characterize his early pictures. On returning to Hungary, he developed close links with many leading radical intellectuals. He became a member of the radical, Fauvist-influenced group the Eight (see Eight, the), exhibiting with them from 1909 until they disbanded in 1912. His own ideal was Cézanne.

After 1910 Czigány’s style remained unchanged. He painted restrained compositions with harsh, rigid forms; his still-lifes highlight the plasticity of objects (e.g. Still-life with Apples and Utensils, 1910s) and his landscapes are vivid (e.g. Lonely Tree, 1910; Budapest, N.G.). He had an introvert personality with an inclination towards depression. From the 1910s to the end of his life he painted a series of portraits overwhelmingly frontal and sculptural in form (e.g. Self-portrait...


Degas, (Hilaire Germain) Edgar  

Geneviève Monnier

(b Paris, July 19, 1834; d Paris, Sept 27, 1917).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor, pastellist, photographer and collector. He was a founder-member of the Impressionist group and the leader within it of the Realist tendency. He organized several of the group’s exhibitions, but after 1886 he showed his works very rarely and largely withdrew from the Parisian art world. As he was sufficiently wealthy, he was not constricted by the need to sell his work, and even his late pieces retain a vigour and a power to shock that is lacking in the contemporary productions of his Impressionist colleagues.

The eldest son of a Parisian banking family, he originally intended to study law, registering briefly at the Sorbonne’s Faculté de Droit in 1853. He began copying the 15th- and 16th-century Italian works in the Musée du Louvre and in 1854 he entered the studio of Louis Lamothe (1822–69). The training that Lamothe, who had been a pupil of Ingres, transmitted to Degas was very much in the classical tradition; reinforced by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which he attended in ...


Dova, Gianni  

Silvia Lucchesi

(b Rome, Jan 18, 1925; d Pisa, Oct 14, 1991).

Italian painter. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan under Aldo Carpi, Carlo Carra and Achille Funi. In Milan in 1946 he signed the ‘Manifesto del Realismo’ also called ‘Oltre Guernica’, which was published in the magazine Numero. With a group of young northern Italian artists of the post-war generation, including Giuseppe Ajmone, Ennio Morlotti and Emilio Vedova, he published this manifesto in opposition to the Novecento Italiano and the ‘formalism’ of avant-garde groups of the past, and to focus on the social content of the present. He made his début in 1947 with a one-man show at the Galleria Cavallino in Venice. At first his art developed around abstraction and geometry. He participated in 1949–50 in the Mostra d’arte concreta in Milan and in 1951 in the exhibition Arte astratta e concreta in Italia at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome. He became part of the ...


Eakins, Thomas  

Elizabeth Johns


(b Philadelphia, PA, Jul 25, 1844; d Philadelphia, Jun 25, 1916).

American painter, sculptor, and photographer. He was a portrait painter who chose most of his sitters and represented them in powerful but often unflattering physical and psychological terms. Although unsuccessful throughout much of his career, since the 1930s he has been regarded as one of the greatest American painters of his era.

His father Benjamin Eakins (1818–1899), the son of a Scottish Irish immigrant weaver, was a writing master and amateur artist who encouraged Thomas Eakins’s developing talent. Eakins attended the Central High School in Philadelphia, which stressed skills in drawing as well as a democratic respect for disciplined achievement. He developed an interest in human anatomy and began visiting anatomical clinics. After studying from 1862 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where instruction was minimal, Eakins went to Paris to enroll at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme. From 1866 to the end of ...


Eddy, Don  

Mark W. Sullivan

(b Long Beach, CA, Nov 4, 1944).

American painter and printmaker. Eddy studied at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu (BFA, 1967, MFA, 1969) and came to prominence in the early 1970s as an exponent of Photorealism, producing airbrushed paintings based on photographs of automobiles (e.g. Untitled, 1971; Aachen, Neue Gal.), the displays in shop windows or still-lifes, as in New Shoes for H (1973; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.). He treated similar subjects in screenprints and in colour lithographs such as Red Mercedes (1972; see 1973 exh. cat., p. 35). Rather than basing a painting or print on a single photograph, as was the case with other photorealists, Eddy would work from as many as 40 photographs to ensure a consistently sharp focus for his often spatially complex images.

From the 1980s Eddy’s focus shifted away from photorealism towards metaphysics, with images placed in porteic relationships to one another; describing his art as ‘echoing ecosystems’....


Forsberg, Nils, the elder  

Torsten Gunnarsson

(b Kätteryd, Skåne, Dec 17, 1842; d Helsingborg, Nov 8, 1934).

Swedish painter. He came from a very poor background and trained initially as an artisan painter. He received his first artistic education at the Handicraft Association’s school in Göteborg in the mid-1860s. In 1867 he was awarded a scholarship to visit the Exposition Universelle in Paris. He studied further at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Léon Bonnat, remaining in Paris for over 30 years. Like Gustaf Cederström Forsberg sought to renew Swedish history painting by investing it with techniques borrowed from French Realism. Another essential feature of his painting was the great social and moral commitment seen in such contemporary subjects as the Family of Acrobats before the Circus Director (1878; Göteborg, Kstmus.), which attacked child labour.

Forsberg’s biggest success was with the powerful A Hero’s Death (1888; Stockholm, Nmus.), which was awarded a first-class gold medal at the Paris Salon of 1888. The subject derived from Forsberg’s experiences in Paris during the Franco-Prussian War (...


Fréderic, Léon  

D. Cardyn-Oomen

(Henri Marie)

(b Brussels, Aug 26, 1856; d Schaarbeek, Jan 27, 1940).

Belgian painter and draughtsman. He studied briefly under Charle-Albert before attending the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, where he became a pupil of Jules Vankeirsbilck (1833–96) and Ernest Slingeneyer (1820–94), also working in the studio of Jean-François Portaels. In 1878 he went to Italy with the sculptor Julien Dillens; he stayed there for over a year, making numerous studies after the artists of the Quattrocento. In 1878 he made his début at the Triennial Salon in Brussels and became a member of the group of Realist painters known as Essor, L’. The very early work still shows the influence of E. Wauters (1846–1933), with whom he collaborated on the Panorama of Cairo (untraced).

In 1882 Fréderic was awarded his first medal at the Triennial Salon in Brussels for the triptych Chalk Sellers (Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.). The objective, realistic style and the smooth painting technique are characteristic of his work; also typical is the elaboration of one theme over several large canvases. The bleak and melancholy atmosphere of the expanding suburbs inspired him to paint tramps and a series of ...


Geffroy, Gustave  

Joanne Culler Paradise

(b Paris, June 1, 1855; d Paris, April 4, 1926).

French critic, writer and administrator. Although his formal education stopped short of a lycée degree, in his youth he steeped himself in the positivist, socialist and Romantic currents of the day. In the early 1880s he met his mentors: Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929), who preached evolutionary, socialist politics; and Emile Zola and Edmond de Goncourt, who inculcated in him their Naturalist literary theories. Geffroy also formed close friendships with Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, J.-F. Raffaëlli, Félix Bracquemond and Eugène Carrière, all of whom helped to shape his aesthetic views.

As a journalist covering art, literature and politics from the 1880s to about 1907, Geffroy was an important witness to the cultural life of the early Third Republic. His chief endeavour was the art criticism that he wrote, in the 1880s, for Clemenceau’s newspaper La Justice and, from 1893, for Le Journal. About a third of his output for these and other periodicals was collected in ...


Osman Hamdi  

S. J. Vernoit

[Edhem, Osman HamdiHamdi Bey]

(b Istanbul, Dec 30, 1842; d Eskihisar, Gebze, nr Istanbul, Feb 24, 1910).

Turkish painter, museum director and archaeologist. In 1857 he was sent to Paris, where he stayed for 11 years, training as a painter under Gustave Boulanger and Jean-Léon Gérôme. On returning to Turkey he served in various official positions, including two years in Baghdad as chargé d’affaires, while at the same time continuing to paint. In 1873 he worked on a catalogue of costumes of the Ottoman empire, with photographic illustrations, for the Weltausstellung in Vienna. In 1881 he was appointed director of the Archaeological Museum at the Çinili Köşk, Topkapı Palace, in Istanbul. He persuaded Sultan Abdülhamid II (reg 1876–1909) to issue an order against the traffic in antiquities, which was put into effect in 1883, and he began to direct excavations within the Ottoman empire. As a result he brought together Classical and Islamic objects for the museum in Istanbul, including the Sarcophagus of Alexander, unearthed in Sidon in ...


Homer, Winslow  

Helen A. Cooper

(b Boston, MA, Feb 24, 1836; d Prout’s Neck, ME, Sept 29, 1910).

American painter, illustrator and etcher. He was one of the two most admired American late 19th-century artists (the other being Thomas Eakins) and is considered to be the greatest pictorial poet of outdoor life in the USA and its greatest watercolourist (see fig.). Nominally a landscape painter, in a sense carrying on Hudson River school attitudes, Homer was an artist of power and individuality whose images are metaphors for the relationship of Man and Nature. A careful observer of visual reality, he was at the same time alive to the purely physical properties of pigment and colour, of line and form, and of the patterns they create. His work is characterized by bold, fluid brushwork, strong draughtsmanship and composition, and particularly by a lack of sentimentality.

Homer was the second of three sons of Charles Savage Homer, a hardware importer, and Henrietta Benson Homer, a gifted amateur watercolourist. Brought up in Cambridge, MA, where he attended school, he had an active outdoor boyhood that left a lifelong liking for the country. An independent, strong-willed young man, he showed an early preference for art and was encouraged in his interest by both parents. Like a number of self-educated American artists, Homer was first known as an illustrator. At 19 he became an apprentice at the lithographic firm of ...



French group of painters who held their first exhibition as a group at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans in June 1948. Their manifesto, which affirmed their commitment to realism and to communism, was drawn up and published by the critic Jean Bouret. In the preface to the exhibition catalogue he stated that ‘painting exists to bear witness, and nothing human can remain foreign to it’. The best-known artists associated with the group were Bernard Buffet and Bernard Lorjou (b 1908). Buffet’s style, as represented by such series as Flagellation, Resurrection (both 1952) and Horrors of War (1954), illustrates the atmosphere of ‘existential’ Angst that characterized the work of many painters associated with Homme–Témoin. Lorjou’s the Atomic Age (1950) is a tableau of post-war urban suffering, oppression and spiritual longing. The painters were obviously strongly influenced by the harsh and expressionistic styles of Francis Gruber and Chaïm Soutine. In content, their work developed almost into a pastiche of those contemporary artists who protested against war atrocities or political opposition to tyranny, such as Fautrier or Matisse....


Ioganson, Boris  

Christina Lodder


(b Moscow, July 25, 1893; d Moscow, Feb 25, 1973).

Russian painter. He was trained in the 19th-century Realist tradition of the Wanderers and became one of the most important artists in establishing Socialist Realism as the official art of the USSR. He studied with Pyotr Kelin in 1912 and at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1913–18) under Nikolay Kasatkin (1859–1930), Abram Arkhipov and Konstantin Korovin. He then served in the Red Army and worked as a stage designer in the province of Kherson from 1919 to 1922. In 1922 he participated in the 47th Wanderers’ exhibition in Moscow and became one of the members of AKhRR (the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia), promoting Realism and attacking the abstract experiments of the avant-garde. Ioganson argued that ‘the Russian painter is an innovator…not an innovator of form divorced from content, but a true innovator, reflecting the new tendencies of reality’.

Ioganson produced highly detailed canvases depicting the new industrial enterprises associated with the building of Socialism, for example the ...