Dictionary of

Art  &  Artist




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Aachen-African Afro-Amberger American-Apollodoros Appel-Art Art Brut-Aztec


Afro-Cubanism. Early 2Oth-c. trend in Cuban music, literature and painting. It evolved from the European avant-garde's interest in primitive art and the writings of the anthropologist Fernando Ortiz, notably Los negros brujos (1906). There were parallel movements in Puerto Rico and Haiti.

Agar Eileen  (1899—1991). Born in Buenos Aires, settled in Britain 1911. Prominent among British Surrealist painters, who also made sculptures and assemblages: her work was included in the International Surrealist Exhibition, London 1936, and all other subsequent major exhibitions surveying Surrealism.

Agitprop [Rus. agitatsionnaya propaganda: ‘agitational propaganda’].

Russian acronym in use shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 for art applied to political and agitational ends. The prefix agit- was also applied to objects decorated or designed for this purpose, hence agitpoyezd (‘agit-train’) and agitparokhod (‘agit-boat’), decorated transport carrying propaganda to the war-front. Agitprop was not a stylistic term; it applied to various forms as many poets, painters and theatre designers became interested in agitational art. They derived new styles and techniques for it from Futurism, Suprematism and Constructivism

Agnolo Andrea del * Andrea del Sarto

Agostino di Duccio (1418—81). Florentine sculptor mainly ot reliefs, possibly a pupil of J. della Quercia. His earliest independent work was probably the altar (completed by 1442) in Modena cathedral. His major work is at the Tempio Malatestiano, Rimini (architect *Alberti, painter Piero della Francesca). A.'s style is essentially linear, his relief work is flat with no attempt at lllusionism.

Aguillon Franciscus (1567-1617)

Airbrushing. A method of painting by means of a fine paint or varnish spray, used primarily in commercial and graphic arts to achieve a smooth flat finish, or gradations of colour. Some Pop and Super Realist artists also use it.

Ajanta cave paintings (Hyderabad state, India). A series of wall paintings, dating from the 1st to the 7th с ad, of which only parts now survive. They depicted scenes in the life of the Buddha and the Jataka stories of his former lives, scenes from contemporary life and animals and plants. The handling is sure and subtle, the line controlled, the colour vivid and well contrasted and the presentation, a somewhat stylized realism, ignores perspective. There are also carved pillars and sculptures.

AKhRR. *Vkhutemas


Austrian group of performance artists, active in the 1960s. Its principal members were Günter Brus, Otto Muehl and Hermann Nitsch, who first collaborated informally in 1961, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, who was introduced to the group in 1963. Others associated with the group included Anni Brus, the film maker Kurt Kren, the composer Anetis Logosthetis and the actor Heinz Cibulka. The group were influenced by the work of Adolf Frohner (b 1934), Arnulf Rainer and Alfons Schilling (b 1934), who were all in turn influenced by American action painting and by the gestural painting associated with Tachism. The members of Aktionismus attached significance, however, not so much to the paintings produced by the artist as to the artist as a participant in the process of production, as a witness to creation rather than as a creator. Muehl, Brus and Nitsch all felt drawn to public performances celebrating and investigating artistic creativity by a natural progression from their earlier sculptural or painterly activities. In 1962 Muehl and Nitsch staged their first Aktion or performance, Blood Organ, in the Perinetgasse in Vienna. In 1965 Brus produced the booklet Le Marais to accompany an exhibition of his work at the Galerie Junge Generation, Vienna. Muehl, Nitsch and Schwarzkogler all contributed, referring to themselves as the Wiener Aktionsgruppe.

Alabaster. A natural stone used for statues and ornamental carving. It is a granular form of gypsum, usually white, pink or yellowish in colour and very soft. The best sort is pure white and translucent but it can be made nearly opaque to resemble marble by heating it in almost boiling water. It was extensively used in the medieval and Renaissance periods. In the late 14th c. and 15th c. English work, particularly that of Nottingham, had a European reputation. Being soft, a. allows a more delicate style of carving than is possible in stone.

Albani Francesco (1578-1660). Italian painter working at Bologna and Rome and popular with his contemporaries for graceful, if somewhat sentimental, religious and mythological paintings. He studied first under the Flemish painter *Calvaert and then at the Carracci Academy.

Albers Anni (b Berlin, 12 June 1899; d Orange, CT, 10 May 1994).
Textile designer, draughtsman and printmaker, wife of Josef Albers. She studied art under Martin Brandenburg (b 1870) in Berlin from 1916 to 1919, at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (1919–20) and at the Bauhaus in Weimar (1922–25) and Dessau (1925–29). In 1925 she married Josef Albers, with whom she settled in the USA in 1933 after the closure of the Bauhaus, and from 1933 to 1949 she taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina; she became a US citizen in 1937. Her Bauhaus training led her as early as the 1920s to produce rectilinear abstract designs based on colour relationships, such as Design for Rug for Child’s Room (gouache on paper, 1928; New York, MOMA), but it was during her period at Black Mountain College that she began producing her most original work, including fabrics made of unusual materials such as a mixture of jute and cellophane (1945–50; New York, MOMA) or of mixed warp and heavy linen weft with jute, cotton and aluminium (1949; New York, MOMA). She began producing prints in 1963, using lithography, screenprinting, etching and aquatint and inkless intaglio.

Albers Josef  (1888-1976). German painter and designer. After an academic training in Berlin, Essen and Munich, he studied at the *Bauhaus and was later invited by Gropius to teach there. His 1st work included pictures in glass, furniture and abstracts. In 1933 he went to the U.S.A. and developed a new free abstract style (Etude in Red-Violet, 1935), later became interested in the manipulation of colour (his series of Variantes from 1947), and developed as the doyen of U.S. geometric abstractionists (Homage to the Square: in secret, 1962). He was always an experimental artist, his work being closely related to his practice as a teacher. In 1955 he became chairman of the Design Department at Yale Univ.

Alberti Leon Battista (1404—72). Italian humanist and architect born in Genoa. In Florence (c. 1428) he formed friendships with *Donatello, *Ghiberti, *Robbia and *Masaccio to whom he dedicated his important treatise on painting, Delia Pittura (1436) containing the first description of *perspective in depiction. As a great humanist, he stressed the rational and scientific nature of the arts, departing from religious symbolism or function, and urging a return to classical modes.

Albertinelli Mariotto (1474-1515). Florentine painter. Close friend of, and collaborator with, Fra *Bartolommeo, whom he met in the atelier of *Rosselli. Their partnership broke up about 1512, when A. became an innkeeper. With a technique sometimes indistinguishable from Bartolommeo's A.'s best independent "work is his Visitation (1503).

Albright Ivan Le Loraine (1897-1983). U.S. painter born in Chicago. Studied in Chicago and at National Academy of Design, N.Y. He evolved a personal, naturalistic style outside the mainstream of modern art. Worked slowly and meticulously, drawing on experience of seamy life in Chicago where he lived.

Alcamenes (late 5th с. BC). Athenian sculptor, a pupil of Phidias. The group Procne and Itys is attributed to him, and he may have collaborated in the sculptures for the Parthenon.

Aldegrever Heinrich (1502-c. 1555). German engraver and painter who worked on a small scale, greatly influenced by *Durer.

Aldobrandini Wedding, The. A 1st-c. BC: Roman wall painting after a Greek original; so called after a former owner.

Alechinsky Pierre (1927— ). Belgian painter; he studied painting in Brussels and engraving with *Hayter in Paris. One of the founders of the international *Cobra group (1948).

Alen William Van
(b Brooklyn, NY, 1888; d New York, 24 May 1954).
 American architect. While studying at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, he was apprenticed to Clarence True, a speculative builder in New York, after which he joined the local firm of Copeland & Dole and later Clinton & Russell. Van Alen also studied under Donn Barber (1871–1925) at the Beaux-Arts Institute in New York and in 1908 won a fellowship to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied under Victor A. F. Laloux. From 1911 to 1925 he was in partnership with H. Craig Severance (1879–1941) in Manhattan.

Alenza Leonardo (1807-1845). Spanish painter and illustrator. He studied at the Real Academia de S Fernando, Madrid, under Juan Antonio Ribera y Fernández and José de Madrazo y Agudo. He worked independently of court circles and achieved some fame but nevertheless died in such poverty that his burial was paid for by friends. He is often described as the last of the followers of Goya, in whose Caprichos and drawings he found inspiration for the genre scenes for which he became best known. Of these scenes of everyday life and customs the more interesting include The Beating (Madrid, Casón Buen Retiro) and Galician with Puppets (c. 1835; Madrid, Casón Buen Retiro). Alenza y Nieto’s numerous drawings include the illustrations for Alain-René Lesage’s Gil Blas (Madrid, 1840), for an edition of the poems of Francisco de Quevedo published by Castello and for the reviews Semanario pintoresco and El Reflejo. The painting Triumph of David (1842; Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando, Mus.) led to his election as an Académico de mérito at the Real Academia de S Fernando in 1842, and he produced such portraits as that of Alejandro de la Pena (Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando, Mus.) and a Self-portrait (Madrid, Casón Buen Retiro). His two canvases entitled Satire on Romantic Suicide (Madrid, Mus. Romántico) are perhaps the most characteristic of his works.

Alexander John White (1856-1915). U.S.-born painter and ill. He became a fashionable portrait painter in the 1880s. In Paris, 1890—1901, he was a friend of *Whistler and *Rodin, and was influenced by the *Art Nouveau. He executed murals at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (1895—96) and the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh (1905—15).

Alexander mosaic (3rd c. hi:) also called The Battle of Issus. The finest Roman mosaic known, which shows a battle between Greeks and Persians, including a combat supposedly between Alexander the Great and Darius; it may be a copy of a work by the Greek painter *Philoxenus of Eretria (r. 300 be:). Found at Pompeii.

Algardi Alessandro (1598—1654). Bolognese sculptor. After studying at the Carracci Academy he settled r. 1625 in Rome, where his friends included *Domenichino, N. *Poussm and *Sacchi. A. excelled as a portraitist, particularly in the depth of his character analysis, e.g his Francesco Bracciolini. Although A.'s approach was classical and although he was Bernini's chief rival, his statue of Innocent X was influenced by the bitter's Urban VIII and above all his tomb for Leo XI (1645/50) is the first of many to be modelled on Bernini's for Urban. From 1646 to 1653 A. was working on his relief of The Meeting of Attila and Leo I. With its modulation from the free-standing figures of the foreground to the shallow relief of the background, this was to be influential on later relief technique.

Alken Henry (1785—1851). Best known of a family of Danish sporting artists who settled in Britain. He was a prolific painter and water-colourist of hunting, coaching and shooting scenes and produced a famous series of aquatint prints. The quality of his work declined in the 1820s.

Allan David (1744-96). Scottish genre and portrait painter. He worked in Rome (1764—77) and won a prize there for a history painting. Sometimes called the 'Scottish Hogarth', more as a measure of his fame than his style.

Allan Sir William (7782—1850). Scottish history painter admired by Walter Scott. A. and *Wilkie were largely responsible for establishing Scottish historical genre painting.

Alla prima (It. at first). Method of painting in which the colour is applied in one session and no subsequent modification is made. In oil painting any previous drawing or under-painting is obliterated so that it docs not affect the final result.

Allegory. A story, whether in verse or in prose, or a painting in which the literal account or presentation is intended to have, or is interpreted as having, another and parallel meaning.

Allegretto Nuzi (di Nuzio) (1315/20-73). Italian painter working at Florence. He was affected by the Sienese school as well as by the work of Giotto. A. signed many of his pictures in full, which was unusual in the 14th с.

Allied Artists’ Association [A.A.A.].

Organization established in London in 1908, dedicated to non-juried exhibitions of international artists’ work. The main impetus for the A.A.A. came from Frank Rutter (1876–1937), art critic of the Sunday Times, and the first exhibition was held at the Albert Hall, London. Inspired by the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, Rutter wanted to set up an exhibiting platform for the work of progressive artists. On payment of a subscription, artists were entitled to exhibit five works (subsequently reduced to three) and over 3000 items were included in the first show. Rutter also wanted the A.A.A. to have a foreign section and for the first exhibition collaborated with Jan de Holewinski (1871–1927), who had been sent to London to organize an exhibition of Russian arts and crafts.

Allori Alessandro (1535-1607). Florentine painter. Used the name Bronzino after the death of his uncle, II *Bronzino. Studied under Bronzino and in Rome under Michelangelo. Although his drawing was rigid and his colouring cold he was popular as a painter of decorative frescoes into which he inserted portraits of prominent contemporaries. Cristofano (1577—1621), Mannerist painter, son of Alessandro. His painting united the rich colouring of the Venetian with the careful drawing of the Florentine school. His best-known painting is Judith with the Head of Holojemes. Judith is a portrait of his mistress Mazzafirra, while Holofernes is supposed to be a self-portrait.

Allston Washington (1779-1843). U.S. painter and writer. In Europe (1801-10, 1811-18), he studied under B. West in London and visited Pans and Kome, becoming a close friend of S. T. Coleridge, W. Irving and B. Thorwaldsen. As the 1st U.S. artist to paint romantic landscapes he was a precursor of the *Hudson River school; he also painted portraits, e.g. that of Coleridge, and large dramatic biblical and classical subjects. His Lectures on Art were publ. in 1850.

Alma-Tadema Lawrence (1836-1912). Netherlands academic painter who settled in London (1870). He was very popular for his idealized, but accurately detailed and brilliantly coloured, scenes of Greek and Roman life.

Alquilar Maria is a Brooklyn, NY-based American artist, born on May 25, 1938.
Her imagery combines iconography of primitive cultures to depict the paths to enlightenment. Like many primitive, outsider painters, Alquilar began her work after the sudden death of her husband that resulted in the fracture of a strong family structure.
In 2004, she was commissioned by Livermore, California to create a mural for the city's new public library. When the $40,000 mural was unveiled in October 2004, the names of prominent intellectuals, such as Albert Einstein, were misspelled. She initially refused to fix the mural, citing artistic license. However, she quietly returned to correct the misspellings the following summer, working under the hot California sun for three days. The city paid her an extra $6000, plus travel expenses.

Alsloot Denis van (d. с 1626). Flemish painter who specialized in pageant and procession scenes.

Altamira. Limestone cave in Sautander province, northern Spain, where animal paintings of the upper palaeolithic or leptolithic era were first discovered (1879). A.'s famous roof frieze of naturalistic bison is now recognized as late Magdalcnian art с. 10000 BC belonging to the final phase of the ice age hunting cultures of Western Europe. The paintings are executed in earth colours, mostly blacks and reds, straight on to porous rock; in some cases one painting is superimposed on another. *Cave art.

Altdorfer Albrecht (c. 1480-1538). German painter and city architect and councillor of Regensburg, Bavaria. His St George is one of the first true landscape paintings in Europe. In it a mass of forest foliage soars above the tiny figures of St George and the dragon. Even in his early works, which show influences of L. Cranach and Durer, landscape predominates, and a tour of the Danube and the Austrian Alps (c 1511) confirmed his inclinations. An immediate result was the series of canvases, drawings and etchings of Danube landscapes (*Danube school). Other major works are Alexander's Victory, also called the Battle of Arbela (1529), and the Si Vlorian Altar. This was eight panels depicting the life of St Plorian, painted for St Florian's church, near Linz, Austria. Seven of the panels are now in colls elsewhere; the Germanisches N.-Mus., Nuremberg; the Uffizi; and a private coll.

Altichiera da Zevio (fl. 1369-84). Italian painter from Verona. His figures are reminiscent of Giotto's style but show a greater awareness of one another suggestive of later painters. There are frescoes by him in Verona and Padua including a great Crucifixion in the church of Sant'Antonio, Padua.

Altman Nathan
(1889 – 1970) was a Russian avant-garde artist, Cubist painter, stage designer and book illustrator.

Amadeo Giovanni Antonio (1447-1522). Italian sculptor and architect. He was principally active in Bergamo, Cremona, Milan and Pavia. His professional success, in terms of the architectural and sculptural commissions and official appointments that he received, was far greater than that of any of his contemporaries in Lombardy in the late 15th century, including Bramante. Amadeo’s influence in both fields, for example in his use of all’antica ornament of local origin, was considerable.

Aman-Jean Edmond  (1858-1936). French painter, pastellist and printmaker. He studied from 1880 under the academic painter Henri Lehmann at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; there he befriended Georges Seurat with whom he shared a studio for several years. He also studied under Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, working as his assistant on the Sacred Grove (1884; Lyon, Mus. B.-A.). In 1886 he obtained a travel scholarship to Rome and on his return befriended Symbolist poets such as Stephane Mallarme, Paul Verlaine and Philippe-Auguste Villiers de l’Isle Adam. While the poets sought to subvert language in order to express new sensations, Aman-Jean relied on pictorial and iconographic traditions. He specialized in pictures of languid young women turned in profile to the left or gazing into space, as in Girl with Peacock (1895; Paris, Mus. A. Dec.), using broken brushstrokes and colour contrasts that by then had largely shed their avant-garde connotations. Typical works such as the colour lithograph Beneath the Flowers (1897; Paris, Bib. N.) and the portrait of Mlle Thadie C. Jacquet (1892; Paris. Mus. d’Orsay) led the critic Camille Mauclair to identify him as an heir to the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Amano Yashitaka (born July 28, 1952) is a Japanese artist known for his illustrations for Vampire Hunter D and for his character designs, image illustrations and title logo designs for the Final Fantasy video game series developed by Square Enix (formerly Square).

Amasis painter. Greek potter and vase painter in the *black-figured style; his figures are lithe, vigorous and witty.

Amaury-Duval Eugene-Emmanuel (1806-1885). French painter and writer. A student of Ingres, he first exhibited at the Salon in 1830 with a portrait of a child. He continued exhibiting portraits until 1868. Such entries as M. Geoffroy as Don Juan (1852; untraced), Rachel, or Tragedy (1855; Paris, Mus. Comédie-Fr.) and Emma Fleury (1861; untraced) from the Comédie-Française indicate an extended pattern of commissions from that institution. His travels in Greece and Italy encouraged the Néo-Grec style that his work exemplifies. Such words as refinement, delicacy, restraint, elegance and charm pepper critiques of both his painting and his sedate, respectable life as an artist, cultural figure and writer in Paris. In contrast to Ingres’s success with mature sitters, Amaury-Duval’s portraits of young women are his most compelling. In them, clear outlines and cool colours evoke innocence and purity. Though the portraits of both artists were influenced by classical norms, Amaury-Duval’s have control and civility in contrast to the mystery and sensuousness of Ingres’s.

Amberger Christoph (c. 1500-r. 1561/2). German portrait painter whose work shows Venetian influence. Working in Augsburg he painted many famous people, including the Emperor Charles V (1532).

American Abstract Artists. U.S. group of painters formed in 1936, they included George I. K. Morris and Ibraham Lassaw. Their annual shows maintained a tradition of academic, if somewhat mannered, *Cubism.



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