Samuel Lover, (born Feb. 24, 1797, Dublin, Ire.--died July 6, 1868, St. Helier, Isle of Jersey), Anglo-Irish novelist, songwriter, and painter. Privately educated, Lover fled his father's stockbroking office and became a successful painter, largely of portraits. He also wrote songs, notably "Rory O'More" (1826), which he also developed as a novel (1837) and a play (1837). His best known novel is Handy Andy (1842), often seen as one of the sources of the "stage Irishman," a popular theatrical stereotype. After failing eyesight forced him to give up painting, he gave successful entertainments..
John Trumbull, (born April 24, 1750, Westbury, Connecticut [U.S.]--died May 11, 1831, Detroit, Michigan Territory), American poet and jurist, known for his political satire, and a leader of the Hartford Wits).While a student at Yale College (now Yale University), Trumbull wrote two kinds of poetry: "correct" but undistinguished elegies of the Neoclassical school, and brilliant, comic verse that he circulated among friends. His burlesque "Epithalamium" (1769) combined wit and scholarship, and his essays in the style of Joseph Addison were published in The Boston Chronicle in 1770. While..
Paul Signac, (born Nov. 11, 1863, Paris, France--died Aug. 15, 1935, Paris), French painter who, with Georges Seurat, developed the technique called pointillism.When he was 18, Signac gave up the study of architecture for painting and, through Armand Guillaumin, became a convert to the colouristic principles of Impressionism. In 1884 Signac helped found the Salon des Independants. There he met Seurat, whom he initiated into the broken-colour technique of Impressionism. The two went on to develop the method they called pointillism, which became the basis of Neo-Impressionism. They continued..
James Northcote, in full Thomas James Northcote, (born Oct. 22, 1746, Plymouth, Devon, Eng.--died July 13, 1831, London), English portraitist and historical painter.Northcote was apprenticed to his father, a poor watchmaker of Plymouth, and, during his spare hours, learned to use paintbrush and pencil. In 1769 he left his father and started as a portrait painter. Four years later he went to London and was admitted as a pupil into the studio and house of the great portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1775 he left Reynolds, and about two years later, having acquired the necessary funds by portrait..
Edward Lear, (born May 12, 1812, Highgate, near London, England--died January 29, 1888, San Remo, Italy), English landscape painter who is more widely known as the writer of an original kind of nonsense verse and as the popularizer of the limerick. His true genius is apparent in his nonsense poems, which portray a world of fantastic creatures in nonsense words, often suggesting a deep underlying sense of melancholy. Their quality is matched, especially in the limericks, by that of his engaging pen-and-ink drawings.The youngest of 21 children, Lear was brought up by his eldest sister, Ann, and..
Robert Motherwell, (born Jan. 24, 1915, Aberdeen, Wash., U.S.--died July 16, 1991, Provincetown, Mass.), American painter, one of the founders and principal exponents of Abstract Expressionism (q.v.), who was among the first American artists to cultivate accidental elements in his work.A precocious youth, Motherwell received a scholarship to study art when he was 11 years old. He preferred academic studies, however, and eventually took degrees in aesthetics from Stanford and Harvard universities.Motherwell decided to become a serious artist only in 1941. Although he was especially..
Maurice Sendak, in full Maurice Bernard Sendak, (born June 10, 1928, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.--died May 8, 2012, Danbury, Connecticut), American artist and writer best known for his illustrated children's books.Sendak was the son of Polish immigrants and received his formal art training at the Art Students League of New York. While a student there, he drew backgrounds for All-American Comics and did window displays for a toy store. The first children's books he illustrated were Marcel Ayme's The Wonderful Farm (1951) and Ruth Krauss's A Hole Is to Dig (1952). Both were successful, and Sendak..
Donald Judd, in full Donald Clarence Judd, (born June 3, 1928, Excelsior Springs, Missouri, U.S.--died February 12, 1994, New York, New York), American artist and critic associated with Minimalism. Credited as Minimalism's principal spokesman, Judd wrote what is considered to be one of the most significant texts of the movement, "Specific Objects" (1965; published first in Arts Yearbook 8 and later in the exhibition catalog Donald Judd: 1955-1968, 2002). The article laid out the Minimalist platform of stressing the physical, phenomenological experience of objects rather than representing..
Francis Picabia, (born January 22, 1879, Paris, France--died November 30, 1953, Paris), French painter, illustrator, designer, writer, and editor, who was successively involved with the art movements Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism.Picabia was the son of a Cuban diplomat father and a French mother. After studying at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs (1895-97), he painted for nearly six years in an Impressionist mode akin to that of Alfred Sisley. In 1909 he adopted a Cubist style, and, along with Marcel Duchamp, he helped found in 1911 the Section d'Or, a group of Cubist artists. Picabia went on to..
Giorgio Vasari, (born July 30, 1511, Arezzo [Italy]--died June 27, 1574, Florence), Italian painter, architect, and writer who is best known for his important biographies of Italian Renaissance artists.When still a child, Vasari was the pupil of Guglielmo de Marcillat, but his decisive training was in Florence, where he enjoyed the friendship and patronage of the Medici family, trained within the circle of Andrea del Sarto, and became a lifelong admirer of Michelangelo. As an artist Vasari was both studious and prolific. His painting is best represented by the fresco cycles in the Palazzo..
Ignacy Jan Paderewski, (born Nov. 6, 1860, Kurylowka, Podolia province in Russian Poland--died June 29, 1941, New York, N.Y., U.S.), Polish pianist, composer, and statesman, who was prime minister of Poland in 1919.Paderewski was the son of a steward of a Polish landowner. He studied music from 1872 at the Warsaw Conservatory and from 1878 taught piano there, and in 1880 he married one of his pupils, Antonina Korsak, who died in childbirth the following year. Encouraged and financed by the actress Helena Modrzejewska (Modjeska), he studied in Vienna from 1884 to 1887 under Theodor Leschetizky,..
Marjane Satrapi, (born 1969, Rasht, Iran), Iranian artist and writer whose graphic novels explore the gaps and the junctures between East and West.Satrapi was the only child of Westernized parents; her father was an engineer and her mother a clothing designer. She grew up in Tehran, where she attended the Lycee Francais. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, her family's Western way of life drew the attention of Iranian authorities, and by 1984 her parents had decided to send her to Austria to attend school. A failed relationship there exacerbated her sense of alienation and contributed to a..
Art Spiegelman, (born February 15, 1948, Stockholm, Sweden), American author and illustrator whose Holocaust narratives Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (1986) and Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (1991) helped to establish comic storytelling as a sophisticated adult literary medium.Spiegelman immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1951. The family settled in Queens, New York, and Spiegelman, inspired by the clever artwork and subversive humour of Mad magazine, studied cartooning. As a teenager, he attended Manhattan's High School..
Joshua Reynolds, in full Sir Joshua Reynolds, (born July 16, 1723, Plympton, Devon, England--died February 23, 1792, London), portrait painter and aesthetician who dominated English artistic life in the middle and late 18th century. Through his art and teaching, he attempted to lead British painting away from the indigenous anecdotal pictures of the early 18th century toward the formal rhetoric of the continental Grand Style. With the founding of the Royal Academy in 1768, Reynolds was elected its first president and knighted by King George III.Early lifeReynolds attended the Plympton..
James McNeill Whistler, in full James Abbott McNeill Whistler, (born July 11, 1834, Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.--died July 17, 1903, London, England), American-born artist noted for his paintings of nocturnal London, for his striking and stylistically advanced full-length portraits, and for his brilliant etchings and lithographs. An articulate theorist about art, he did much to introduce modern French painting into England. His most famous work is Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871; also called Portrait of the Artist's Mother or Whistler's Mother).Early yearsWhistler was born..
Michelangelo, in full Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, (born March 6, 1475, Caprese, Republic of Florence [Italy]--died February 18, 1564, Rome, Papal States), Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since then he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. Although the frescoes on the..
Wassily Kandinsky, Russian in full Vasily Vasilyevich Kandinsky, (born December 4 [December 16, New Style], 1866, Moscow, Russia—died December 13, 1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France), Russian-born artist, one of the first creators of pure abstraction in modern painting. After successful avant-garde exhibitions, he founded the influential Munich group Der Blaue Reiter (“The Blue Rider”; 1911–14) and began completely abstract painting. His forms evolved from fluid and organic to geometric and, finally, to pictographic (e.g., Tempered Élan, 1944).Early yearsKandinsky’s mother was..
Oskar Kokoschka, (born March 1, 1886, Pöchlarn, Austria—died February 22, 1980, Villeneuve, Switzerland), Austrian painter and writer who was one of the leading exponents of Expressionism. In his early portraits, gesture intensifies the psychological penetration of character; especially powerful among his later works are allegories of the artist’s emphatic humanism. His dramas, poems, and prose are significant for their psychological insight and stylistic daring.Early life and worksWhen Kokoschka was three years old, his father went bankrupt in a financial crash. The family was..
John Dyer, (baptized Aug. 13, 1699, Aberglasney, Carmarthenshire, Wales--died December 1757, Coningsby, Lincolnshire, Eng.), British poet chiefly remembered for "Grongar Hill" (1726), a short descriptive and meditative poem, in the manner of Alexander Pope's "Windsor-Forest," in which he portrays the countryside largely in terms of classical landscape. The poet describes the view from a hill overlooking the vale of Towy and uses this as a starting point for meditation on the human lot:A little rule, a little sway,A sunbeam in a winter's day,Is all the proud and mighty haveBetween the..
Norman Lindsay, in full Norman Alfred William Lindsay, (born Feb. 23, 1879, Creswick, Victoria, Australia--died Nov. 21, 1969, Springwood, New South Wales), Australian artist and novelist especially known for his political cartoons and sensual book illustrations.At 16 Lindsay began to draw for a Melbourne newspaper, and in 1901 he moved to New South Wales. He was for many years the chief cartoonist of the Sydney Bulletin. His major characteristics of imaginative power, grim strength, and a certain coarseness of style are apparent in his illustrations for editions of the works of Theocritus,..
Tristan Tzara, original name Samuel Rosenstock, (born 1896, Moinesti, Rom.--died December 1963, Paris), Romanian-born French poet and essayist known mainly as the founder of Dada, a nihilistic revolutionary movement in the arts, the purpose of which was the demolition of all the values of modern civilization.The Dadaist movement originated in Zurich during World War I, with the participation of the artists Jean Arp, Francis Picabia, and Marcel Duchamp. Tzara wrote the first Dada texts--La Premiere Aventure celeste de Monsieur Antipyrine (1916; "The First Heavenly Adventure of Mr. Antipyrine")..
Ad Reinhardt, in full Adolf Frederick Reinhardt, (born Dec. 24, 1913, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.--died Aug. 30, 1967, New York, N.Y.), American painter who painted in several abstract styles and influenced the Minimalist artists of the 1960s.Reinhardt studied at Columbia University (1931-35) under the art historian Meyer Schapiro, and after graduation he studied at the National Academy of Design and the American Artists' School (1936-37). He was a member of the American Abstract Artists group from 1937 to 1947 and had his first one-man show in 1943 in New York City. He subsequently taught at various..
Benjamin Robert Haydon, (born Jan. 25, 1786, Plymouth, Devon, Eng.--died June 22, 1846, London), English historical painter and writer, whose Autobiography has proved more enduring than his painting.The son of a Plymouth bookseller, Haydon went to London to attend the Royal Academy schools. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807, but because of subsequent quarrels most of his later paintings were shown at private exhibitions. Haydon's ambition was to become the greatest historical painter England had ever known, and he went on to produce a series of stiffly heroic canvases on such..
Jack Levine, (born Jan. 3, 1915, Boston, Mass., U.S.--died Nov. 8, 2010, New York, N.Y.), painter who was prominent in the American Social Realist school of the 1930s.Trained first at the Jewish Welfare Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and later at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Levine also studied at Harvard University from 1929 to 1931. From 1935 to 1940 he was intermittently part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project. During this period he set up a studio in the slums of Boston, where he depicted the poor and created satirical portrayals of corrupt..
Faith Ringgold, (born Oct. 8, 1930, New York, N.Y., U.S.), American artist and author who became famous for innovative, quilted narrations that communicate her political beliefs.Ringgold grew up in New York City's Harlem, and while still in high school she decided to be an artist. She attended City College of New York, where she received B.S. (1955) and M.A. (1959) degrees. In the mid-1950s she began teaching art in New York public schools. By the 1960s her work had matured, reflecting her burgeoning political consciousness, study of African arts and history, and appreciation for the freedom..
Roger Fry, in full Roger Eliot Fry, (born December 14, 1866, London, England--died September 9, 1934, London), English art critic and artist, best known as the champion of the movement he termed Post-Impressionism.Fry was born into a Quaker family and was educated at the University of Cambridge for a career in science. His interest in art grew, however, and he studied painting in Italy and also began to lecture on art. His first book, Giovanni Bellini, was published in 1899. Thereafter he published art criticism, and in 1905 his edition of Joshua Reynolds's Discourses was published.Fry first..
Robert Smithson, (born Jan. 2, 1938, Passaic, N.J., U.S.--died July 20, 1973, Amarillo, Texas), American sculptor and writer associated with the Land Art movement. His large-scale sculptures, called Earthworks, engaged directly with nature and were created by moving and constructing with vast amounts of soil and rocks.Smithson preferred to work with ruined or exhausted sites in nature. Using the earth as his palette, he created archetypal forms: spirals, circles, and mounds. Although, like other land artists of the late 1960s and early '70s--including Walter De Maria, Nancy Holt, Michael..
Gil Kane , pseudonym of Eli Katz, (born April 6, 1926, Riga, Latvia--died Jan. 31, 2000, Miami, Fla., U.S.), Latvian-born American comic book artist whose innovative and dramatic style and precise drawing technique brought new life and vibrancy to such classic superheroes as Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Captain Marvel, the Incredible Hulk, and the Atom--in addition to characters he created, such as Morbius the Living Vampire and Iron Fist--during what became known as the "Silver Age" of comics.Kane moved to the United States with his parents when he was three years old. He became enthralled..