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Collection Dayton C. Miller Collection

Sources on Artists and Collectors

Quite often, at least two artists are associated with a print - the engraver, etcher, or lithographer, and the original artist after which the print was copied. The standard is to give the engraver's name first, and then to say "after" the original artist: For example, Bernard Baron, after Watteau; or, Nicolas Dorigny, after Raphael. Short biographies are given for each artist associated with a print, or for authors of illustrated books in which a print appeared. In cases where the original artist is very well known, only a sentence or two is given since sources on them are widely available, for example: "Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was a well-known Flemish painter who worked in the late 16th and first half of the 17th century. There are many sources available in print and online for information on Rubens. See Bénézit and Grove Art Online/Oxford Art Online for his biography and further references."

Detail from Le Concert d'une Faune (The Faun's Concert) by Francesco Bartolozzi, after a drawing by Carlo Cignani, ca. 1765-1766. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Performing Arts Reading Room.

In biographies of the artists, the reader will often encounter the phrase, "according to Bénézit." This refers to a standard biographical reference on artists, the text of which is in French. The full citation is: Emmanuel Bénézit, Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays / par un groupe d'écrivains spécialistes français et étrangers. 10 vols. Paris: Gründ, 1976. LC call number: N40.B47 1976. The 1976 edition has been the source used here, but a more recent edition, also in French, was published in 14 volumes in 1999. An English language edition, also published in 14 volumes, was published in 2006.

One of the best sources for artist biographies is the online reference, Oxford Art Online, which merged with Grove Art Online in November 2007 by combining the full text of The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner (1996, 34 vols.); The Oxford Companion to Western Art, edited by Hugh Brigstocke (2001); Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, edited by Michael Kelly (1998); and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, by Michael Clarke and Deborah Clarke. Oxford Art Online External, which contains images of works by many artists and also provides links to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, is available on-site at the Library of Congress. Otherwise it is available by subscription only, so the reader who wishes to consult the online version may have to obtain a subscription, or must go to a library that has a subscription to it. The reader may, of course, use the printed sources. The full citations for the two printed dictionaries from Oxford Art Online which are cited in this Web site are as follows: Jane Turner, editor. The Dictionary of Art. 34 vols. New York: Grove, 1996. LC call number: N31.D5 1996; Hugh Brigstocke, editor. The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. LC call number: N33 .O923 2001.

Another standard biographical source for artist biographies is a German multivolume dictionary: Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, editors. Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart : unter Mitwirkung von 300 Fachgelehrten des In- und Auslandes. 37 vols. Leipzig: Seemann, 1978. LC call number: N40 .A64 1978. This source is commonly referred to as Thieme-Becker. It was only used infrequently for biographies of artists represented in the Miller print collection. Since 1992, Thieme-Becker has been in the process of being updated. It is published under a new title: Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon…. Munich: Saur, 1992-. LC call number: N40.A63 1992. At the end of 2009, the series had published up to volume 65 (the end of the G's). This source will be available online as Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon Online / Artists of the World Online by subscription only in January 2010 and will include all artists A-Z.

Other sources cited in entries for certain prints are catalogues raisonnés. These are definitive, multivolume catalogues devoted to a particular artist's work. Full citations for specialized sources such as these, or monographs on an artist, are given in the entry for the print associated with that artist.

Sources on Collectors

Several of the prints in the Miller collection have collectors' marks on them, that is, marks or stamps of previous owners of the prints. Mme Rhea Blok, Curator, Collection Frits Lugt, Fondation Custodia, 121 rue de Lille, 75007 Paris, has identified several of these marks on the Miller prints. An important book on collectors' marks written by Frits Lugt, Les Marques de collections de dessins & d'estampes, was published in Amsterdam in 1921. A supplement to Les Marques… was published in 1956. Mme Blok is currently preparing a new edition, a second supplement, for the Collection Frits Lugt, Fondation Custodia. It is to be published in 2010, together with a database. Information Mme Blok provided regarding collectors' marks on the Miller prints is included in the records for the relevant prints in this Web site, and will also be included in the new Lugt supplement.

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