Dictionary of

Art  &  Artist


- B -


Baburen-Bassano Bastien-Benton Berchem-Bocklin Bodegon-Braque Brassai-Byzantine

Bastien-Lepage Jules
(1848-84). French painter remembered for his peasant genre scenes such as The Hayfield. Although his technique was affected by Impressionism, the sentiment of his work was in the tradition of G. Courbet and J.-F. Millet.

Bataille Nicolas de. Tapestries

'Bateau Lavoir' was a tenement in Montmartre where *Picasso, Van *Dongen, Andre Salmon, *Gris and street traders, actors, prostitutes, etc. lived 1904—9. The Parisian avant-garde, e.g. *Apolhnaire, *Braque, *Derain, *Kahnweiler, *Matissc, *Dufy, Alfred Larry and Cocteau, met at Picasso's studio there.

Batoni Pompeo Girolamo (1708-87). Italian painter, with A. R. Mengs the leading painter in Rome in the mid-19th c. His main output was portraits of travelling foreigners (particularly Englishmen on the Grand Tour) whom he often set in front of classical monuments, but he also painted many religious, historical and mythological subjects. He was ennobled by Maria Therese for his double portrait of the emperor Joseph II and the future Leopold II at their meeting in Rome (1769).

Bauchant Andre (1873—1958). French 'primitive' painter commissioned by Diaghilev to design the decor for Stravinsky's Apollon-Musagete (1928). He was originally a gardener but began to draw while a full-time painter in the early 1920s. He first chose historical subjects but later painted genre scenes, landscapes and sensitive flower-pieces.

Baudelaire Charles-Pierre (1821—67). French poet and critic. His book of poems Les Flairs du mal, 1857, was a landmark in introducing the modernist sensibility through its Romantic realism and freedom from conventional literary tradition. It was attacked on grounds of immorality, and in his lifetime B. did not receive the recognition he deserved. Besides his poetry, he wrote much influential criticism of literature, painting and music. He was a passionate admirer of Poe and De Quincey and trs. some of their works. B. had a Romantic view of the poet as an exceptional being born to exemplary suffering, but his verse has a density and power rarely found m his Romantic predecessors, I.es Vleurs du null can be read as a history of the human soul, oscillating between extremes of horror and delight ('I'horrair de la vie, I'extase de la vie"). B. interprets both nature and man's creation — i.e. towns and works of art — as patterns of interlocking symbols. In this he was no doubt influenced by his reading of Swedenborg, and he was one of the originators of the literary movement later to be known as *Symbolism. It has been argued that Les l'lcurs du tual is a carefully constructed whole, and that B. intended a final version of the cycle. His work includes private diaries. (Mon aeur mis a  nu), a vol. of prose poems, and many critical articles coll. m Curiositcs csthetiques (publ. posth. 1868) and IL'Art roniantique (publ. posth. 1868).

Baudry Paul (Jacques Aime) (1828-86). French painter known for his mural decorations, particularly those in the Opera, Pans.

Bauhaus. A teaching institution for the arts founded, in 1919, at Weimar, Germany by Gropius. The aim was to reunify artistic disciplines and integrate them with constructional techniques. The visual arts and architecture were to be studied and applied as related activities, and any division between structural and decorative arts was denied. There were 2 parallel courses, one studying material and techniques and one studying form m the studio. A basic aim was to teach design suited to machine production and articles were produced by students as prototypes tor a mass-production line. Teachers at the school included *Kandinsky, *Klee, *Feininger, *Schlemmcr and Breuer. In 192s the B. moved to Dessau where its building, by Gropius, exemplified its principles. Mies van der Rohe succeeded Gropius as director in 1928. The B. was closed in 1933 by the Nazi government. In 1937 *Moholy-Nagy became director of a new B. at Chicago and many other artists moved to the U.S.A. B. principles have deeply influenced subsequent developments in architecture and the visual arts.

Bauhaus [Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar].

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by WALTER GROPIUS. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of FUNCTIONALISM in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in 1923, the main influences included John Ruskin and William Morris, and various individuals and groups with whom he had been directly involved: for example Henry Van de Velde; such members of the Darmstadt artists’ colony as Peter Behrens; the Deutscher Werkbund; and the Arbeitsrat für Kunst.

Ba(o)ule. African people of the Ivory Coast, ethnically linked with the *Ashanti. Then-traditional sculpture, in hard dark woods, is finely carved and highly polished. Typical works are human figurines with delicate, introspective features, or face marks, sometimes decorated with animal figures. Painted helmet-masks and metal sculptures were also produced.

Baumeister Willi (1889—1955). German abstract painter and creator of murals. B. studied in Stuttgart under A. Holzel; he visited Paris in 1912, 1914 and in 1924 when he met F. Leger, and took a teaching post in Frankfurt from 1928 to 1933. B. publ. his theories of art in Deis Ihibekannte in der Kuusl (1947).

Baumgarten Lothar (1944— ). German artist who studied at the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie where he came into contact with *Beuys. Since the late 1960s, he has been interested in anthropology. In his work he addresses the opposition between nature and culture, and the colonial impact on the native people and the environment in South and North American Indian societies, e.g. Terra Incognita (1969) and in Dorado-Gran Sabana (1977—85). B. uses installations, books and photographs as his media. Names of, for instance, the Indian populations of South America, names of indigenous annuals or of North American native nations have been said 'to constitute the primary medium of his work', as in his site-specific Installation AMERICA Invention (1988-93) at the Guggenheim Museum, N.Y., which transformed Frank Lloyd Wright's entire spiral atrium into a single work of art with inscriptions of the names of native societies in the Americas.

Bayer Herbert (1900-85). Austrian-born painter and graphic artist; he trained and taught at the *Bauhaus (1921—8). His works include *photomontages, posters, e.g. for the German Werkbund Exhibition, Paris (1930), and advertising. From 1938 he worked in the U.S.A. and helped introduce Bauhaus principles.

Bayeu Francisco (1734-95). Spanish Neoclassical painter, particularly of frescoes, who worked under R. Mengs in the decoration of the Royal Palace at Madrid; he succeeded Mengs (1777) as director of the royal tapestry workshops. His brother-in-law and pupil was Goya, who painted his portrait.

Bayeux Tapestry "Propaganda on cloth" (probably late 11th c). Not properly a tapestry but a strip of linen 231 ft (70.4 m.) long and 20 ins (50.8 cm.) deep embroidered in coloured wools. It represents events in the life of Harold of England and the Norman Conquest (1066) in a series of scenes which are supplemented by a Latin commentary and decorative borders depicting, e.g. scenes from tables and everyday life. First mentioned (1476) in an inventory of Bayeux cathedral, where it was used occasionally to decorate the nave. It was probably commissioned by Odo, bishop of Bayeux, half-brother of William the Conqueror, but whether it is of Norman or Saxon design is uncertain; a totally unfounded tradition connects Mathilda, William the Conqueror's queen, with the B. t. It is the only work of its kind which survives and is now exhibited in Bayeux.

Bayros Franz von  (1866-1924) was an Austrian commercial artist, illustrator, and painter best known for his controversial "Tales at the Dressing Table" portfolio.
Franz von Bayros (also Marquis de Bayros) was born on May 28, 1866, in Zagreb, in present-day Croatia. He may be one of the most fascinating drawers and designers of fin de siècle Austria. At the age 17, Bayros passed the entrance exam for the Vienna Academy with Eduard von Engerth. Bayros mixed in elegant society and soon belonged to the circle of friends of Johann Straub, whose step daughter Alice he married on 1896. The next year, Bayros moved to Munich. In 1904, Bayros gave his first exhibition in Munich, which was a great success. From 1904 until 1908, Bayros traveled to Paris and Italy for his studies. Returning Vienna, he felt himself a stranger. The outbreak of the First World War was yet another setback for Bayros. The artist died on April 2, 1924 from a cerebral hemorrhage. 

Bazille Frederic (1841—70). Early French Impressionist painter. While a pupil of Marc Glcyre he met Renoir (with whom he shared a studio), Monet and Sisley, and through them Manet. B. painted out of doors and was interested in the correlation between flesh tints and landscape tones. He was a painter of great promise but was killed in action in the Franco-Prussian War.

Baziotes William (1912-63). U.S. *Ahstract Expressionist painter of the *New York School. He was influenced by Surrealist theories on * Automatism and the subconscious; his paintings are brooding, mysterious abstract images in subtle, often muted colours. They include: Dwarf (1947); Night Landscape (1947) and Congo (1954).

Bearden Romare (1914—88). U.S. African-American painter of dazzling technical facility, who used *Cubist, *collage and *photomontage techniques late in his career, e.g. 'Projections' series (1964). Outspoken about the status of African-American artists, he wrote and lectured extensively about black artists.
see also collection: Romare Bearden 

Beardsley Aubrey
Vincent (1872—98). British artist in black and white whose work epitomized the 'decadence' of the 1890s. His ills for J. M. Dent's ed. of Morte d'Arthur (1892) are strongly influenced by Burne-Jones. In 1893, work of his, showing Japanese influences, was publ. m The Studio (the 1st*Art Notiveati magazine). In 1894 B. ill. Oscar Wilde's English trs. of Salome and became art ed. of  The * Yellow Book, but following Wilde's fall in 1895 B. had to resign. In 1896 he became ed. of the new magazine The Savoy, in which his ills of Pope's 'I he Rape of the Lock and of his own fragment Under the Hill appeared. In these, the stark black and white masses arc broken down and the effect shows B.'s interest in 18th-c. French illustration. In 1896 began the final onset of his tuberculosis and in 1897 B. went to Mentone, where he died.

Beaux-Arts, Ecole des. The school of art in Paris which replaced the school of the Academic Royale ties Beaux-Arts, suppressed during the Revolution. Most Impressionist painters were taught there but rebelled against its teaching. The school became associated with reaction, and the tact that it controlled official commissions had a stultifying effect. The school is now rather more liberal.

Beccafumi Domenico called 'II Mecarino', Domenico di Pace (c 1485-1551). Sienese painter, took his patron's name, B., and studied under Mecarino. His masterpiece is the mosaic for S. Bernardino church, Siena. He also worked in Pisa and Genoa. His delicate early style, typical of the Sienese school, shows, m its compositional coherence, the influence of Raphael; it derived vigour and boldness from B.'s study of Michelangelo.

Becker Charles. Magic realism.

Beckmann Max (1884-1950). German painter, lithographer and woodcut artist and one of the greatest 20th-c. figure painters. In World War I he served in a medical corps but was released following a nervous breakdown. A teacher at Frankfurt school of art (1915-33) he was dismissed by the Nazi regime and settled in Amsterdam in 1937 moving to the U.S.A. in 1947. He is identifiable with no one school but his army experiences radically affected him and his work passed through a period of Expressionistie distortion and *New Objectivity realism, using scenes from everyday life for subjects. B. left a large series of self-portraits.

Beechey Sir William (1753-1839). British portrait painter. In 1793 he became official portrait painter to George Ill's queen, Charlotte.

Beer Jan de (1475-1536). Flemish painter, one of the *Antwerp Mannerist school many of whose paintings were formerly ascribed to him.

Beerbohm Sir Max (1872-1956). 'The Incomparable Max.' British satirist, caricaturist and dramatic critic; his witty drawings 1st appeared in The Strand Magazine (1892) and his caricatures include The Poet's Comer (1904) and Rossetti and his Circle (1922).

. Name of 2 Flemish landscape painters. Anthonie (fl. 1639-65) painted mostly snow scenes somewhat similar to those of H. Avercamp; Jan Abrahamsz
(fl. 1622-66) used more conventional subject matter.

Before all letters. In engraving, a proof taken before the plate has had the title and dedication, etc. added. Such proofs are naturally rare.

Bega Cornelis (1620—64). Dutch painter. He was the pupil of Adriaen van Ostade and painted the same kind of peasant genre scenes, but his work is far inferior.

Beham Hans Sebald (1500-50). This German etcher, engraver, painter and woodcut artist produced over 1000 book ills. His work is distinguished by force and restraint of expression as well as technical mastery whether on copper or wood. Very few of his paintings are known. His brother, Barthel (1502-40), for a time painter to the Bavarian court at Munich, in 1535 moved to Italy where he died. His paintings at Munich include the Miracle of the Cross (1530). He also left engravings.

Beksinski Zdzislaw  (1929 – 2005) was a renowned Polish painter, photographer, and fantasy artist.

Belechose Henri  (fl 1415; d before 28 Jan 1445). South Netherlandish painter. He was one of the artists who came from the South Netherlands to work for the French royal family. On 23 May 1415 he succeeded Jean Malouel as court painter and Valet de Chambre to John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, in Dijon, and he may already have been connected with Malouel’s workshop. On 5 November 1415 Bellechose was paid for painting four small wooden pillars with angels, which were placed around the high altar of Notre-Dame, Dijon. On 19 May 1416 the duke authorized the purchase of materials for Bellechose to complete two panels, one of the Martyrdom of St Denis and another showing the Death of the Virgin, for the Charterhouse of Champmol. Bellechose also carried out decorative work, including painting banners for the Duke’s castle of Talant near Dijon in 1416 and coats of arms for the funeral of John the Fearless in 1419. On 5 April 1420 Bellechose was appointed court painter to Philip the Good, successor to John the Fearless. His first known commissions were again of a decorative nature, including work for the funerals of Margaret of Bavaria, wife of John the Fearless, in 1423 and of Catherine of Burgundy, daughter of an earlier Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold, in 1425 and for the marriage of Philip the Good’s sister Agnes of Burgundy in 1424. During these years he had eight assistants and two apprentices; travelling artists, including some from German territory, also worked in his shop on a temporary basis. Around this time he married Alixant Lebon, daughter of a Dijon notary. On 21 November 1425 Philip the Good ordered an altarpiece of the Virgin venerated by John the Fearless and Philip the Good, accompanied by SS John the Evangelist and Claude, for the chapel of the castle at Saulx-le-Duc in Burgundy. Bellechose painted three statues for the new entrance gate to the palace in Dijon in 1426. In August 1429 he received an important commission for St Michel, Dijon, to make an altarpiece with Christ and the Twelve Apostles and an antependium showing the Annunciation. Exactly a year later his name appears for the last time in the ducal accounts. The salary of the artist had decreased by two thirds since 1426 and from 1429 he was not paid at all. The fact that Philip the Good moved the centre of his administration to the Netherlands and enlisted the services of Jan van Eyck considerably diminished the prestige of Dijon and the artists who worked there. Bellechose was still alive in 1440, though absent from Dijon.

Bellange Jacques (b ?Bassigny, c. 1575; d Nancy, 1616). French painter, etcher and draughtsman. His known artistic activity dates only from 1602 to 1616 and he is now familiar chiefly for his etchings and drawings, all his decorative works and most of his paintings having perished. His highly idiosyncratic style was inspired by such Italian artists as Parmigianino, by the School of Fontainebleau and by northern artists including Albrecht Dürer and Bartholomeus Spranger. His work would seem to express a private and nervous religious sensibility through a style of the greatest refinement. It is among the latest and most extreme expressions of Mannerism. He was influential on other Lorraine artists: Claude Déruet was his pupil, as, perhaps, was Georges de La Tour.

Bellegambe Jean (r. 1480-c 1535). Flemish painter of altarpieces, known as 'the master of colour', working m Amiens. He was influenced by Italian painting in such works as the polyptych.

Bellini. Family of Italian painters, Jacopo and his sons Gentile and Giovanni, who created the Venetian school of the Renaissance.

Bellini Gentile (c. 1429-1507). Italian painter famous for his narrative works in the seuole (confraternities) of Venice, e.g. the Procession of the Relic of the Cross in the Piazza of San Marco (1496), and for his portraits. He was chosen to paint the Sultan Mohammed II in Constantinople (c. 1480). In his works austere draughtsmanship and architectural composition are combined with rich colouring.

Bellini Giovanni (c 1430-1516). Pupil of his father and first collaborated with him and Gentile on the great decorative works for the scuole (Gentile *B.), now destroyed.
Having no interest in classical subjects, which were becoming popular, he chose predominantly religious themes, which he treated with much of the devotional restraint of earlier painters. Nevertheless, by adopting the technique of oil glazing and gradually abandoning the linear conception of form he revolutionized Venetian painting and substantially affected the future course of European painting through his most famous pupils, Giorgione and Titian. He was slow to find his own style and never ceased to develop it. In Padua (1458—60) he was strongly influenced by Mantegna, though his work was never as sculptural or severe as Mantegna's, e.g. their respective treatments of The Agony in the Garden, both based on a sketch by Jacopo B. B.'s version has a naturalistic landscape background (one of the earliest examples of landscape painting); it illustrates his ability to create a lyrical affinity between his figures and their settings. Other early works probably done at this time include several madonnas and pietas. These madonnas have the serenity, tenderness and individuality typical of his later work; the suffusion of light and the presentation of half-length figures are also characteristic of his style. B. returned to Venice in 1460. 4 triptychs (1460—1) for the Canta church were his 1st major undertaking and these were followed by the Altarpiece with St Vincent Ferrar (1464), for the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo, notable for the differences in style between the panels. In 1470 he was working on the decoration of the Scuola Grande di S. Marco with Gentile and visited Rimini and Pesaro. There he saw oil paintings by Rogier van der Weyden, which impressed him by their realism and tonal variations. He himself learnt the Flemish technique of oil glazing from Antonella da Messina in 1475, and his Resurrection (1475/6) was the 1st Venetian painting executed m glazes of pure oil paint. He had been using a mixture of oil and tempera in Rimini while the brushwork of the Pieta with St John is typical of that used with oil. His work gradually lost its sharp contours, expressing form by a developing richness and variety of tone and colour, e.g. the altarpiece from S. Giobbe The Virgin and Child with Saints and an Orchestra of Angels. This style was more fully exploited by Titian. Much of 13.'s time after 1497 was occupied in restoring the frescoes of the hall of the great council in the Doge's Palace, Venice, a work begun by Gentile. Among B.'s portraits is the famous Doge Leonardo Loredan (c. 1501). He painted few mythological subjects, but the best known, The Veast of the Cods (c. 1514), painted for the camerino or study of Alfonso d'Este of Ferrara, was unusual for its time in its representation of deities as ordinary people, possibly members of the court of Ferrara. Titian, who completed the decoration of the room, repainted the landscape background of this picture and made minor alterations to the figures, though retaining B.'s composition.

Bellini Jacopo (c. 1400—70). Follower of A. Pisanello and Gentile da Fabriano. His rare extant paintings show him to have been competent rather than outstanding, and his importance lies in his interest in the return to antiquity and the new scientific approach to the subjects of painting. Two valuable sketchbooks of his exist. Many of these sketches, which include figure studies for larger compositions and show an interest in landscape, architectural design and the problems of perspective, were used by his sons and his son-in-law Mantegna.

Bellmer Hans (1902-75). Polish-born artist living in Germany and, from 1938, Paris, where he joined the Surrealists. In 1933 he made Doll, an articulated life-size female nude which he photographed in erotic poses. Technically refined drawings and graphics, e.g. Le Bon sens (1964), continued B.'s obsessive exploration of the female body.

Bellori Giovanni Pietro (1615-96). Italian collector, antiquarian and writer of seminal work on art, Vile de' pittori, scultori ct architetti moderni, 1672, on which he was assisted by Poussin and which is the basic source for the history of the *Baroque. In it he puts forward a rationalist Platomsm and the antique as a model for value judgment. This book exercised great influence on French academic theory and the Royal Academy, and it became the theoretical foundation of *Neoclassicism as developed by *Winckelmann.

Bellotto Bernardo (1720-80). Italian landscape and townscape painter, also called Canalctto, whose nephew and pupil he was and whose style and name he adopted. In 1747 B. went to Dresden, where he became painter to the electoral court. In 1767 he settled in Warsaw, working for the Polish king until his death. His views of Warsaw are so exact that they were used when the city was reconstructed after World War II.

Bellows George (1882—1925). U.S. painter of portraits, landscapes and urban life. He studied under Robert Henri (1865-1929). His work provided a comment on contemporary U.S. life, from which he drew his subjects with uncompromising realism. His series of 6 prizefight paintings (1909) demonstrate his natural dashing style, which he later subjected to the theory of 'dynamic symmetry' to give a formal balance to his compositions. He turned with great success to lithography, e.g. a war series (1918), and book ill.

Benedetto da Maiano (1442-97). Florentine sculptor prominent for his reliefs which belong to the same traditions as those by *Ghiberti and *Donatello.

Benglis Lynda (1941- ). U.S. artist who uses a wide range of materials (paint, wax, latex, plaster, fabric, rubber, polyurethane foam, etc.) in works which defy distinction between painting and sculpture. B. is concerned with colour (e.g. vibrant Day-Glo, fluorescent pink and blue, etc.) and large-scale organic forms in space, which she has called 'frozen gestures', e.g. 'Adhesive Products' series (1971) and The Wave (1984). A dedicated feminist, she has also made videos focusing on female sexuality.

Benin. City and warrior kingdom of W. Nigeria; its greatest period was apparently during the 14th—! 7th cs. The Portuguese reached B. in the late 15th c; a British punitive expedition (1897) opened the Benin art treasures to Europe. These consist of naturalistic bronzes (cast by *cire perdue technique) and ivories; bronze reliefs, once decorations for the royal palace; human heads in the round, probably idealized, not actual portraits, of royalties; human and animal figures; implements. Sources and development are obscure but the surviving objects are the products of court art, probably inspired by the art of *Ife and showing slight European influences.

Benois Alexandre (1870-1960). Russian painter and theatrical designer, the founder of the St Petersburg *World of Art movement. B. belonged to a very cosmopolitan and cultured family, as did most of his friends; this many-streamed culture bridged the gap isolating Russia from the rest of Europe after the 19th-c. nationalist *Wanderers. From B. came the interest in ballet, to which he introduced Diaghilev, a member of the group.

Benson Ambrosius (d. 1550). Lombard painter who settled in Bruges (1519) and painted in a Flemish style particularly reflecting the influence of G. *David. There are many of his pictures in Spain and he was formerly known as the 'Master of Segovia'.

Benton Thomas Hart (1889—1975). U.S. Regionalist painter who was one of the most voluble of those protesting against European Modernism and its followers in U.S. art. Roasting liars and Cattle Loading, West Texas (1950) are typical in portraying U.S. rural scenes. He became famous for his 1930s murals, e.g. at The New School for Social Research, N.Y., and for the Missouri State Capitol.

Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

| privacy