Dictionary of

Art  &  Artist


- D -


  Dada-Delacroix Delaroche-Donatello Donati-Dyck  

Dada. Artistic movement started in Zurich in 1916 by a group, mostly painters and poets, who went to Switzerland to take refuge from World War I and who gathered at the *Cabaret Voltaire, a 'literary nightclub' organized by *Ball. Other members included Emmy Hennings, H. *Richter and Richard
Huelsenbeck from Germany, *Arp from Alsace, *Janco and *Tzara from Rumania. Under *Picabia's influence, Tzara emerged by 1918 as D.'s chief spokesman and wrote the Dada Manifesto (1918). D. works are nihilistic gestures and provocations. Tzara, encouraged by *Breton and other members of the Parisian Litthature group (L. Aragon, Philippe Soupault and others), went to Paris in 1920 to launch the movement which prepared the way for *Surrealism. In the meantime, other Dadaists moved to other European centres: Arp joined M. *Ernst and Johannes Baargeld in Cologne in 1919, but it was primarily in Berlin, after the war, that D. became identified with political radicalism. The Berlin Club D. included among its members *Baader, *Grosz, *Hausmann, *Heartfield, Wieland Herzfelde, *H6ch and Huelsenbeck. *Schwitters, although rejected by the Berlin group, became associated with Arp and Picabia's branch of Dadaism. D. in Paris collapsed in 1922; most members of the French group formed the Surrealist group m 1924 when Breton published the 1st Surrealist Manifesto.


Artistic and literary movement launched in Zurich in 1916 but shared by independent groups in New York, Berlin, Paris and elsewhere. The Dadaists channelled their revulsion at World War I into an indictment of the nationalist and materialist values that had brought it about. They were united not by a common style but by a rejection of conventions in art and thought, seeking through their unorthodox techniques, performances and provocations to shock society into self-awareness. The name Dada itself was typical of the movement’s anti-rationalism. Various members of the Zurich group are credited with the invention of the name; according to one account it was selected by the insertion of a knife into a dictionary, and was retained for its multilingual, childish and nonsensical connotations. The Zurich group was formed around the poets HUGO BALL, Emmy Hennings, TRISTAN TZARA and RICHARD HUELSENBECK, and the painters HANS ARP, MARCEL JANCO and HANS RICHTER. The term was subsequently adopted in New York by the group that had formed around MARCEL DUCHAMP, FRANCIS PICABIA, Marius de Zayas (1880–1961) and MAN RAY. The largest of several German groups was formed in Berlin by Huelsenbeck with JOHN HEARTFIELD, RAOUL HAUSMANN, HANNAH HÖCH and GEORGE GROSZ. As well as important centres elsewhere (Barcelona, Cologne and Hannover), a prominent post-war Parisian group was promoted by Tzara, Picabia and ANDRÉ BRETON. This disintegrated acrimoniously in 1922–3, although further Dada activities continued among those unwilling to join Surrealism in 1924.

Dahl Johan Christian (b Bergen, 24 Feb 1788; d Dresden, 14 Oct 1857). Norwegian painter and collector, active in Germany. His paintings, imbued with Romantic and patriotic sentiments, had a strong influence on the landscape tradition both in Germany (especially Dresden) and in his native Norway.

Dahomey. W. African republic, formerly a powerful kingdom under the Abomey kings but occupied as a French colony in the 1870s. Outstanding examples of Abomey courtly art include a remarkable wrought-iron, over-life-size figure, thought to be Gu, the god of war and iron. By 19th-c. Fon tribal craftsmen, it was made by *assemblage technique. D. non-courtly art was dominated by *Yoruba wood carvings.

Daibutsu (Jap. great Buddha). Colossal statues of the Buddha. The 8th-c. bronze d. at Nara, frequently restored, is 53 ft (16.2 m.) high. The most famous d., the great mid-13th-c. bronze Buddha at Kamakura, is 37 ft (11.3 m.) high.

Dali Salvador (1904—89). Spanish painter, designer of jewellery, etc. and stage-sets, book ill. and writer, notorious for his extravagant and eccentric statements about himself. He joined the Surrealist movement in Pans in 1929 making
the Surrealist films Le Chien Andalou (1929) and L'Age d'or (1931) with L. Bunuel and painting such works as The Persistence of Memory (1931) and Premonition of Civil War (1936). His paintings, which he has called 'hand-painted dream photographs', are characterized by minute detail, virtuoso technique, ingenuity and showmanship together with elements of Freudian dream symbolism. His religious paintings include Christ of St John of the Cross (1951). Later works include ills for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1969). His publs include Diary of a Genius (trs. 1966) and his Unspeakable Confessions ... (trs. 1976).

Dalmau Lluis (d. 1460). Spanish painter who worked at the court of Aragon and helped to extend the influence of Flemish painting in Spain. In 1431 D, was sent on a mission to Bruges and probably there learnt to follow Van Eyck's style, evident in his great work Virgin and Councillors

Damian Cosmas (b Benediktbeuren, bapt 28 Sept 1686; d Munich, 10 May 1739). Painter and architect, son of Hans Georg Asam. As a youth, he worked as his father’s assistant, for example at Schloss Schönach (1704) and at the Maria-Hilf-Kirche (1708), Freystadt. After his father’s death in 1711, Cosmas Damian went to Rome, studying at the Accademia di S Luca under Carlo Maratti; he was awarded the academy’s first prize for his brush drawing of the Miracle of St Pius (Rome, Accad. N. S Luca) in 1713. That year he returned to Germany. In 1717 he married Maria Anna, daughter of the engraver Franz Anton Morl (1671–1734); their son, Franz Erasmus Asam (1720–95), produced few works of his own, acting mainly as an assistant to his father. In 1724 Cosmas Damian bought an estate he named Asamisch-Maria-Einsiedel-Thal in Munich-Thalkirchen, even building a chapel of his own there in 1739. Throughout his life Cosmas Damian worked mainly on large commissions, painting and sometimes also acting as architect, sometimes collaborating with his brother Egid Quirin; his work took him to the Upper Palatinate, Upper and Lower Bavaria, Baden and Swabia as well as to the Tyrol, Switzerland, Bohemia and Silesia. Besides church dignitaries, his patrons included the court and the aristocracy. He was given the protection of the Elector’s court in Munich in 1719 and subsequently some minor offices at various other courts. On large-scale commissions he always employed workshop assistants as well as members of his family. His pupils included Thomas Christian Scheffler (1699–1756), Matthaus Günther, Joseph Gregor Winck, Johann Adam Schopf (1702–72) and Johann Adam Muller ( fl 1718–38).

D'Ancona Edward.  Pin-Up Art.

Daniele da Volterra. see Volterra Daniele da

Danube school. Name used to describe the developments in landscape painting which took place in the Danube region in the early 16th с The artists working there, who included Altdorfer, Huber and Lucas Cranach (as a young man), introduced a romantic awareness of landscape as an expressive adjunct to human action. They also produced a large number of pure landscape drawings.

Danube school. Group of German and Austrian artists c. 1500–50, of which Albrecht Altdorfer and WOLFGANG HUBER were two of the central figures. The term came into use following an observation by Theodor von Frimmel (1853–1928) in 1892 that painting in the Danube region around Regensburg, Passau and Linz possessed certain common characteristics that entitled one to speak of a Danube style (Donaustil ). This point was taken up by Hermann Voss in Der Ursprung des Donaustils (Leipzig, 1907). Once the early, Viennese works (c. 1500–05) of Lucas Cranach the elder  were recognized as having provided the formative stage of this stylistic development, the name Danube school (Donauschule) took deeper root. The name also carried associations of the regional landscape (Donaulandschaft) and of the art born of that region (Kunstlandschaft), evoking what critics saw as its nature-orientated quality. ‘Danube school’ and ‘Danube style’ established themselves as terms of reference too convenient to be dislodged, despite the demurs of many critics. The leading artists did not form a school in the usual sense of the term, since their communality derived from neither a single workshop nor even a particular centre, and the geographical limits of the school or style are even less precise. Nevertheless, continuing discussion over the idea of a Danube school has given de facto acknowledgement that it does exist as a stylistic phenomenon.

D'Arcangelo Allan (1930- ). U.S. artist, noted in the mid-1960s for his *Pop art paintings of highways.

Darger Henry (1892–1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a janitor in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.

Dau al Set [Cat.: ‘die at seven’].
Artistic and literary group based in Barcelona and active from 1948 to 1956. It was founded in September 1948 by the poet Joan Brossa, who proposed the group’s name, together with philosopher Arnau Puig and the painters Modest Cuixart, Joan Ponç (b 1927), Antoni Tàpies and Joan-Josep Tharrats. They based their stance largely on Dada and Surrealism and related developments, notably on Max Ernst’s early work and on the art of Paul Klee and Joan Miró, and directed much of their attention to the sub-conscious by way of magic and the occult. Making clear their opposition to academic and official artistic circles, they were an important force in promoting contemporary art in Catalonia after the damage to their culture effected by the Spanish Civil War (1936–9).

Daubigny Charles-Francois (1817—78). French landscape painter associated with the Barbizon school. D. painted chiefly in the Ile-de-France, but travelled in Italy, Spain, Britain and Holland. Typical of his work are The Lock at Optevoz and River Scene with Ducks.

Daumier Honore (-Victorin) (1808—79). French painter, caricaturist, graphic artist and sculptor. Trained in Paris and attracted to lithography. D. made his living from 1830 with cartoons in the satirical journals La Caricature and Le Charivari. He lampooned the government (being imprisoned in 1832 for his attack on King Louis-Philippe), the bourgeoisie in the Robert Macaire series and the legal profession. From about 1848 D. attempted to establish himself as a serious painter in oils, but he was hampered by his fame as a left-wing cartoonist, his dependence on his fellow-painters for most of his subjects and his refusal to give his works the finish then considered necessary. A brief period of success under the Third Republic was followed by neglect, poverty and near-blmdness. Since his death he has been recognized as a pioneer, chiefly of Expressionism, e.g. The Painter before his I'.ascl, a master draughtsman, e.g. We want Barabbas!, a major graphic artist and a sculptor of vigour and expressiveness. In his sketches and oil paintings of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza D. created a great modern rein-terpretation of Cervantes's characters, e.g. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

David Gerard (c. 1460-1523). Netherlands painter who succeeded Memlinc as the most important painter of the school. Born in Oudewater, D. was admitted to the painters' guild in Bruges m 1484. He was influenced by earlier Netherlands masters, in particular Van Eyck and Van der Goes, but his work shows close relationship with the painting of Geertgen tot Sintjans and the miniaturists of Bruges. He was commissioned by the town of Bruges to paint a number of works, including 2 pictures to warn officials of the stern retribution for corruption and injustice — Tlie Judgement of Cambyses and The Flaying ofSisamnes — a Last Judgement and Virgin with Child and Angels. Other important works are The Baptism of Christ, 'The Marriage at Сапа, 2 landscapes, and The Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor, the most serene and successful * sacra conversazione painted in N. Europe.

David Jacques-Louis (1748—1825). French painter, the leading figure ot Neoclassical painting. Trained in the Rococo tradition ot Boucher by J.-M. Vien, D. repudiated this training with his Oath of the Horatii, shown in Rome and Paris in 1784 and immediately recognized as a landmark in painting. Its colouring was lucid and cool, its drawing strong, simple and severe. In its theme it advocated a return from the diversions of a pleasure-loving aristocracy to the traditionally austere virtues of the early Roman republic. D. became virtual dictator of the arts in France from the outbreak of the Revolution to the fall of Napoleon; few men have exercised such power over the art and taste of their period. His subjects — allegory, history and mythology — and his search for an ideal beauty based on the supposed canons of classical sculpture were to become the hall-marks of academic art during the 19th с IX celebrated the victories and extolled the martyrs of the Revolution, e.g. The Death of Marat; in Return of the Sons of Brutus the theme of republican virtue recurs. IX was himself a deputy and was briefly imprisoned after the tall of Robespierre (1794); from his cell he painted the View of the I.uxenihourg (hardens, a small masterpiece of landscape painting, wholly romantic ami warmly evocative in feeling. His portraits too, are far from austere, e.g. of M. Seriziat and Mine Senziat, and of the famous beauty and conversationalist Mine Recamier (1800). Later he became the pamter-advocate of Napoleon, e.g. The (Coronation of Napoleon and his work was fundamental in the creation of the Empire style.

Davies Arthur Bowen (1862-1928). U.S. painter of romanticized landscapes with whimsical, elongated figures, e.g. Crescendo (1910). He was a member of The *Eight. He supported new trends and artistic independence and took a leading part in organizing the *Armory Show. After it he worked for a time in a modified Cubist style.
See also:
Davies Arthur (2)

Davringhausen Heinrich  (German, 1894-1970)
De Andrea John (1941- ). U.S. *Hyper-Realist sculptor of figures cast from life which, through the perfection ot his models, appear to be idealized as in classical sculpture, e.g. Scaled Man and Woman (1981). Sometimes the figures re-enact 3-dimensional, realist scenes from works such as *Manet's lx Dejeuner stir I'herbe or Allegory: After Com bet (1988).

De Bry Theodore
  (1528 – 1598) was a engraver, goldsmith and editor who travelled around Europe, starting from the City of Liège (where he was born and grown up), then to Strasburg, Antwerp, London and Frankfurt, i.e. a true European of his time, a bit like Erasmus. At his time in the 16th century, the city of Liège was the center of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, independent of neighbouring countries, i.e. Burgondy, Netherlands, Germany and France. See relevant map on that link. Theodorus de Bry was born in 1528 in Liege, East of today's (2008) Belgium, to a family who had escaped the destruction of the City of Dinant in 1466 by the Duke of Burgondy, so-called Philip the Good and his son Charles the Bold. As a man he trained from his grand father, Thiry de Bry senior (? - 1528), and under his father Thiry de Bry junior (1495 - 1590), a family of jewelers and engravers, engraving copper plates. The art of copper plate engraving was the technology of that time required for printing images and drawings as part of books. In 1524, Thiry de Bry junior married Catherine le Blavier, daughter of Conrad le Blavier de Jemeppe. Their son Theodorus de Bry became also a jeweler, engraver and book editor and publisher and he became famous most notably for his depictions of early European expeditions to the Americas.

Decadence. A term applied to any period of artistic or moral decline. It has also a specific and not necessarily pejorative meaning in connection with the late iyth-c. movement originating in France and characterized by emphasis on the isolated role of the artist, hostility to bourgeois society, a taste for the morbid and perverse, and a belief in the superiority of the artificial to the natural. This was a development of some of the attitudes of *Romanticism, first exemplified by *Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal. It reached its full development in the last 2 decades of the 19th c, reacting against *Naturahsm; Huysmans's A Rebours became the virtual textbook of the movement and a magazine, Le Decadent, was publ. briefly (1886). In Britain D. was at its height in the 1890s; representative figures were Oscar Wilde and *Beardsley.

Decalcomania. A Surrealist technique for generating images: ink or paint is applied on to a piece of paper which is then either folded or transferred to another piece of paper by pressing the two together. The artist then would elaborate what the resulting accidental 'image' suggests to him as in blot drawing.

Decalcomania. Technique for generating images used, for example, by the Surrealist artist Oscar Domínguez: paint is applied to a piece of paper that is then either folded, creating a mirrored pattern, or pressed against another sheet. The resulting image can then be elaborated, as in a blot drawing. It is a popular technique with young school children.

Decamps Alexandre-Gabriel (1803—60). French painter, lithographer, caricaturist and book ill. His travels in Turkey, which antedated those of Delacroix in Morocco, gave him material for successful exotic landscapes and genre paintings.

Deccani miniature painting. Art of the Islamic states of Ahmadnagar, Golkonda and Bijapur, central Deccan, India. The earliest known is a life of the ruler of Ahmadnagar (late 1560s); some of the finest, e.g. * Ragamala, was for Ibraham Adil Shah II of Bijapur (1580—1626). *Mughal miniature painting, Hindu, Persian and European art affected D. m. p.

Decollage (Fr. unsticking). The opposite of *collage: the peeling away, usually of found images, i.e. posters, resulting in the accidental creation of new images and surface effects.

Deconstruction. *Postmodernism

Decoupage. The process of cutting designs out of paper and applying them to a surface to make a *collage or papier colle.

Degas Edgar (Hilaire Germain) (1834-1917). French painter, draughtsman, sculptor and graphic artist, the son of a rich banker and a Creole mother. After a typical bourgeois education he studied law, but in 1855 went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, then to Naples and Rome. In 1861 he was back in Paris, where he painted portraits and compositions in a severely classical style, later turning to the painting of dancers, the races, town life and portraits in an environment, which established his reputation. Though not in agreement with Impressionist theory he allied himself with the movement from its beginning in protest against sterile academic theory and practice, and exhibited with the Impressionist painters until 1886. His life was marred by hypochondria increasing with old age, and with his eyesight failing towards the end of his life, he shunned all society.
D. discovered and appropriated the new environment of I9th-c. industrial man — the townscape, the street, the interiors of the places of entertainment and work of all social classes. He observed the behaviour of the female and male human animal against these settings with analytical detachment, biting wit and an unfailing eye for the typical. For this purpose he made use of photography, the store of knowledge accumulated m museums, the technical knowledge of craftsmen and the visual discoveries of the Impressionist painters. He strove after perfection in every possible way, for he believed that given sensibility the mastery of the technical means was decisive. He experimented therefore with graphic media, perfected the art of pastel, made monotypes and etchings and modelled in clay and wax in order to understand better the movements of his dancers and racehorses. These stuidies, which were never intended for exhibition, were cast m bronze after his death and thus preserved. He never painted on the spot, but composed only after much observation, many studies and a most intimate knowledge of the subject, relying on a prodigious visual memory. The vision of eternal truth in fleeting reality was D.'s characteristic contribution. There is a gradual development from the early classical composition of the Young Spartans (1860) with its cool colours, to the new science of colour and movement m the Washerwomen (1879), the Miss Lola, the series of ballet dancers, drawings, paintings and pastels of women at their toilette, washing themselves and dressing, and especially in the near-abstract monotypes.

Degenerate art (Ger. Entartcte Kunst). The term of official denigration in Nazi Germany for the work of avant-garde artists such as *Beckmann, *Chagall, *Corinth, *Dix, *Feininger, *Grosz, *Kandinsky, *Klee, *Kokoschka, *Marc and *Modersohn-Becker. Their works were held up for public contempt in an exhibition which opened in Munich, and public galleries were stripped of all 'degenerate' exhibits.

De Groux, Henry (b St-Josse-ten-Noode, nr Brussels, 16 Nov 1866; d Marseille, 12 Jan 1930). Painter, pastellist and lithographer, son of Charles De Groux. He studied under Jean-Franзois Portaels from the age of 11 and at the Acadйmie de Bruxelles (1882–3). Until 1890 he participated in exhibitions organized by the avant-garde circles La Chrysalide, L’Essor and Les XX, of which he was a member. He was a close friend of William Degouve de Nuncques, in whose studio he executed the frieze Procession of Archers (pastel, 1886–90; Belgium, priv. col.), first exhibited at Les XX in 1887 and 1889, and the Mocking of Christ (1889; Avignon, Pal. Roure), to which he gave his friend’s features. Masses of tangled bodies with crazed expressions haunt his considerable oeuvre, marked by literary symbolism and by a tendency towards depicting such renowned figures as Christ, Napoleon and Wagner.

De Kooning Willem (1904-97). Dutch painter, influenced by *De Stijl and Flemish Expressionists, who moved to the U.S.A. (1926) where he worked as a decorator. He worked on the *W.P.A. art project (1938) and joined the N.Y. Group of *Abstract Expressionist painters, becoming a leading member. His painting has its roots in *Gorky's Surrealism and he often uses open allusions to reality which may be the starting-point or may accidentally occur during the painting's execution. His best-known series, the Women (1952) was the first sign of the 'new figuration' in N.Y. painting. Its violent imagery and technique caused a sensation. It was followed by a series of landscapes and a return r. 1963 to the theme of woman, now painted in flamboyant, almost satiric style.

Delacroix Eugene (Ferdinand Victor) (1798-1863). Leading French Romantic painter, draughtsman, lithographer, writer and art critic. It is possible that he was a natural son of Talleyrand. After studies with Guerin, a follower of David, he worked at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, for a while. In 1821, when D. was in financial difficulties, he was helped by his friend Gericault, whose work he greatly admired. D. became known from 1822 with his painting Dante and Virgil in the Inferno, shown in the Salon. During a visit to Britain in 1825 D. met Lawrence and Wilkie. In 1831 he was awarded the Legion d'honneur and during the following year visited Morocco and Spam, a journey which proved to be crucial for the further development of his work. In 1833 a commission to decorate a salon in the Palais Bourbon was the beginning of a period of very intense work and a number of public commissions on a large scale, which established D. State honours followed and in 1857, after 7 rejections, he was at last elected a member of the French Institute. He was frequently ill now, but his monumental work increased and he employed about 30 assistants. His last great work, paintings for the church of St-Sulpice, occupied him until 1861.
D. used the works of his contemporaries Constable, Gencault, Gros and of the past masters, Michelangelo, Poussin, Rubens and others, as sources from which he took what he needed. He applied the same approach to his study of nature and to reality as a whole. He made use of literature for his subjects, of science in his studies of colour relationships, of photography in his study of form, and of lithography in his graphic work. He saw painting as a bridge between painter and spectator, and colour as its most important element. He was original in the realization of related — as against local — colour, and in the use of complementaries and of simultaneous contrast, but it is wrong to see D. as a colounst only. His concern for form and composition increased, and towards the end he achieved a synthesis of these elements. His use of broken colour and the freedom of his brushwork was decisive in the formation of the later Realist and Impressionist painting. D. is best known today for his Massacre of Chios (1824) and the Death of Sardanapalns (1827), and also for Liberty Leading the People (1830). He is also celebrated for his paintings of Morocco in the Louvre, such as the Women of Algiers (1834), his compositions of animal subjects and many watercolours. His religious paintings, e.g. the Pieta (1848), are less known; so are his mural paintings, mainly because of lack of access. His journals (1823—54) and critical writings are valuable as historical documents and as works in their own right.



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