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De Morgan, William Friend

( Artist)

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Biography De Morgan, William Friend
Friend, William De Morgan (1839-1917) - an outstanding English ceramist, the son of the famous mathematician August De Morgan. His artistic education William begins a twenty-year. After art school at the Royal Academy, De Morgan approaches in the early 1860's with William Morris and the artists of his circle. Talented theorist and practitioner of Decorative Arts, William Morris - one of the most prominent figures in the second half of XIX century. He began to struggle for the revival of arts and crafts, counting machine production, the main cause of the then decline in the art. In 1861 Morris founded the company, which brought together skilled craftsmen, and attracted to the work of some of the most famous British artists - F. Webb, E.Bern-Jones, DG Rossetti and other. Morris's been making studio furniture, printed fabric, wallpaper, stained glass, ceramics, tapestries. Dominance eclecticism, . ponderous pomp and pretentious embellishment Morris contrasted the desirability of simple shapes, . color purity, . exquisitely stylized motifs of flora and fauna in a strictly conform to the surface decor items.,

. Activities Morris initiated a broad movement for the renewal of decorative art in Europe
. The impact of the concepts of Morris, the artistic community in Europe has changed radically in relation to the decorative arts, compelling questions about the role of everyday objects in the formation of spiritual culture of man.

. Adhered to the cup Morris, De Morgan soon leaves the painting and begins to engage in stained glass, and about 1869 passes to ceramics.

. This is an ancient art, with the apparent prosperity, was at that time in a state of deep crisis
. It took half a century since the discovery by Europeans secret of making porcelain - the finest type of pottery. In the XVIII century porcelain was seen as a jewel, its natural qualities highly valued in every way and play with. Decor merged with the form of a harmonious unity of the artistic image. By the middle of the XIX century porcelain ceased to be a miracle, has become too familiar. Its whiteness disappears under the gilded or solid colored enamel, its subtlety and the fragility of the mask in imitation of metal, wood and t. d. The main emphasis in the artistic decision becomes beautiful decor, all at least consistent with the material and form. Ceramic production for the most often imitated products XVIII century, or directly to work "under the porcelain". Other types of ceramics were firmly forgotten ever existed in the form of antique handicrafts (for example, Italian companies working in the style of majolica XVI century).

Not accepting the contemporary porcelain "ugliness", De Morgan turned to clay. He is fond of medieval Oriental ceramics. His charm and gentle pearl metallic glow chandelier (pigment, which gives a reflection of pottery), Hispano-Moorish majolica and shiny glaze Iranian ceramics. And from the production of stained glass De Morgan goes to experimentation on the composition and methods of firing ceramic bodies and glazes. In the basement of the house on Fitzroy Square, where the artist lived, he arranges a ceramic stove, combining it with a chimney fire. Technological experiments end in fire, and De Morgan must find a more convenient location for their activities. He settled in Chelsea, a quiet, old-fashioned London suburb at the home under the name "Orange", and arranges their furnaces in the Garden. There is a legend that one of the neighboring houses for a hundred years earlier, in the 1770's, Dzh.Vedzhvud and his assistants painted the famous "Green Frog", which is stored in Leningrad's Hermitage.

. De Morgan, not only experiments on the composition of masses and glazes, and firing over the system, inventing new ways of applying the decoration, he constructs the forges, makes drawings of tools, carefully delves into all the details of
. Endeavors of the artist crowned with a fairly quick success. He begins to produce tiles, decorative dishes and vases, painted in the "Persian" range of colors with a predominance of green and turquoise and are of high quality glazes. Particularly famous De Morgan's products, painted chandeliers. Secrets of the chandelier had been lost in the middle of XVII century. In 1856, the Italian ceramic factory in Dochchia (near Florence) method of fixing the chandelier was found again. Several Italian artists came to the ceramist Staffordshire (traditional ceramic center of England) to teach them this process, but the results were insignificant. Among the British artists and scholars went to the phrase that "the secret of a chandelier - a sort of philosopher's stone ceramists". Self-discovery chandelier De Morgan and the high artistic quality of its products were considered in the artistic circles of the highest achievement of English ceramics, as was mentioned even in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

. In Chelsea frequented by Morris and his family here has strengthened their friendship with De Morgan
. But the Orange house became too small. In 1882 De Morgan rents for its factory land in Mertonovskom Abbey (Surrey), where a year earlier settled workshop Morris. But after six years, he takes a factory in Liverpool (next to Chelsea) because of deteriorating health. For this reason, starting with the 1892 De Morgan spends the winter in Florence. Factory management shares with his companion architect Halsey Ricardo. In Florence, organized a workshop, where De Morgan made drawings and models of ceramics, sending them to London. Great place in the ceramic tile De Morgan took mosaics which adorned the interiors of houses and ships. Thus, he was full of "geographical" series of six ships: "The green valleys of England", "London", "Storm", "China" (mountains and junks), "India" (gray elephants and golden tigers). The shining effulgence of these tracks reminiscent of Iran and Central Asia.

De Morgan was very fond of ceramic tile and finely felt her nature. He dreamed of its broad application in the external walls of buildings. "Clearly, the chandeliers and underglaze painting can be placed on all parts of the buildings that caught the rays of the rising sun" - the artist wrote. But perhaps the more important in his art were painted decorative vases and dishes. This is a product of simple, traditional pottery forms. The paintings are a harmonious complex pattern on the surface of the vessel and are characterized by exquisite range of colors. As in morrisovskih wallpaper, these compositions are composed of stylized motifs, but De Morgan Animalistic themes predominate, and in these stylizations arise impressive artistic images. Noble Roe, a dark silhouette filed on patterned background of foliage, lizard, dancing merrily on his tail, fish and coral sprouts t. d. Especially many marine motivation - the artist passionately loved the sea and mystery poeticized water depths.

. De Morgan's life drew inspiration from the inexhaustible source of beautiful ceramic art of the East, and later - in Greece and Crete, but he was by no means an imitator
. His works show a bright creative individuality of the artist, a strictly defined direction and timing. And perhaps, just feeling a mismatch figurative sound of their products with the aspirations of the new. century, De Morgan in 1905, stopped its artistic activity and the last years of his life engaged in literature. De Morgan died Jan. 15, 1917 in London.

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