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V - ARTISTS
Armand Vallee 1884-1960
Vallee was foremost a fashion designer, but he also produced illustrations in watercolor for postcards, posters, comics, and magazines such as Fantasio and La Vic Parislenne.
Florimond van Acker 1858-1940
Florimond or Flori-Marie studied art in Antwerp and Brussels before entering the Academy in Bruges. Afterwards in 1882 he settled in the small fishing village of Knokke to be closer to his favorite subject matter. This however did not stop him from making many trips abroad. By 1885 he opened a new studio in Brussels where he became a founding member of the artist group Forward. At the urging of his family he returned to Bruges in 1887 where he began to teach at the Academy. He would eventually become director there, holding the position until 1926. Van Acker involved himself in many different mediums. Besides being a painter, he worked in etching, lithography, and produced graphic work for stamps, bookplates, book illustrations, exposition and travel posters, and postcards. He is also known for the costumes he designs for pageants. While his style was influenced by Impressionism and later by other modernist trends, his roots in more traditional Flemish painting remain evident. Much of his output captured a romantic vision of Bruges and simple rural life, sometimes harkening back to earlier times.
Alberto Vargas 1896-1982
Alberto’s father was the photographer Max T. Vargas, who sent him off to study at the Julien Studios in Switzerland in 1915. When it looked as if the Swiss would get embroiled in the First World War he moved to New York City a year later. Soon he found himself painting posters for film studios and the Ziegfield Follies. By World War Two he had become famous for his pin-up work, the Varga Girl, rendered through watercolor and airbrush. These images found their way onto calendars, playing cards, and postcards. Following the war he created many illustrations for Esquire magazine but the backlash against his erotic imagery cost him much work until he was picked up by Playboy magazine in the 1960’s. Vargas stopped working after his wife died in 1974, though he did create a few more pieces when his biography was published in 1978.
Anton Velim 1892-1954
Between 1908 and 1912 Velim attended the Graphic Education and Research Institute followed by studies at the Vienna Academy until 1920. In 1912 he produced Christmas postcards for the Wiener Werkstätte. His work grew increasingly abstract as years went by, and despite winning prestigious awards he has largely been forgotten.
Boris Eremeevich Vladimirsky 1878-1950
Vladimirsky studied at the Kiev Art College in 1906. His academic style would latter lend itself to Socialist Realism, which predominated after the Revolution. Even though he sometimes used symbolism to criticize the government his paintings much were reproduced on numerous postcards before and after the Soviet Era due to their great popularity.
Fritz Voellmy 1863-1939
Voellmy was a landscape painter and etcher who also designed many postcards. His graphic style remained quite loose while often incorporating the white negative space of the card into his vignetted compositions.
Hans Richard von Volkmann 1860-1927
Volkmann was a painter and graphic artist that was heavily influenced by Jungendstil. After studying at the Dusseldorf Academy during the 1880’s he went on to the Karlsruhe Academy where he stayed until 1892. He later spent time in the artist colony at Willinghausen. A number of his paintings were reproduced as lithographic prints, but he also illustrated postcards.
Ernst Vollbehr 1876-1960
In 1897 Vollbehr began traveling to Berlin, Dresden, Paris, and Rome in pursuit of an art education. This taste for travel would take him around the world with trips to Africa, Aisia, and North and South America, and provide him with subjects for many paintings and illustrations. He worked in advertising and began providing images for Jugend magazine in 1905. During World War One he became an Army staff painter for the Crown Prince, and produced about 1,200 images of the Western Front. They were rather plainly matter of fact, neither glorifying war nor representing its horrors. Many of these were latter published in book form with his journals from these years. His landscapes produced from far off travels remained popular in postwar years, and they eventually drew the approval of the Nazi regime. He then began to produce more and more work depicting German advancements in terms of industry and the Olympic games, which gained him entry into the Great German Art Expositions. His best known work from this period depicts the Autobahn, published in the Roads of Adolph Hitler in 1938. Many of his paintings were placed on continental sized postcards throughout the 1930’s. During World War Two he worked as a war artist once more depicting scenes on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. After his son was killed fighting the Russians in 1943, Vollbehr lost his taste for art. His last exhibition was held a year later.
Max Vollmberg 1882-1930
After leaving the Berlin Academy in 1906, Vollmberg moved to Paris where he began his career as a painter and illustrator. He designed a number of somewhat modernist postcards at this time for Raphael Tuck. In 1912 he began an extensive journey through Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico that would last eight years. After returning to Germany in 1920, he published accounts of his travels and many of his paintings that captured the landscapes and rural life of the region were turned into postcards. His academic style provides many of these images with documentary appeal. In 1926 Vollmberg briefly moved to Oakland, California to teach at the College of Arts and Crafts.
Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel 1856-1910
After graduating law school in 1880, Vrubel entered the St. Petersburg Academy the following year to study art. In 1984 he left for Kiev to begin a five year project restoring church murals and mosaics. It was through this work that he came under the influence of Byzantine art. Afterwards he moved to Moscow and soon joined the art colony at Abramtsevo. At this time he began creating illustrative works often with Orientalist influence. By 1895 Vrubel was also created ceramics and stained glass but his long standing love of the theater led him into set and costume design. Through this work he met the opera singer Nadezhda Zebela who he would marry. In 1900 he became a member of the World of Art Group. Though much of his work involved symbolism, demonic themes increased as his mental state deteriorated due to contracting syphilis. In 1904 he returned to St. Petersburg but stopped working two years later due to blindness, just as his work began to appear on postcards. Four years later he purposely contracted pneumonia at an asylum from which he died. Russian art societies widely reproduced his work on postcards after his death, a trend that continued for decades with state run publishing houses in the Soviet Era.