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Article

Geoffrey Waywell

(b Ilford, June 22, 1894; d Peebles, Feb 25, 1988).

English archaeologist . One of the most distinguished Classical scholars of the 20th century, specializing in Greek and Roman sculpture, he was equally well-known for his skills as an administrator and teacher. He was appointed Assistant Curator of Coins at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1922, leaving the post to become Director of the British School in Rome in 1925. Tempted by the opportunity of proximity to the British Museum collections and library, Ashmole returned to England in 1929 to take up the Yates Chair of Classical Archaeology at the University of London (1929–48), soon arranging a transfer to the university of the museum’s collection of plaster casts. As Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum (1939–56), he was largely responsible for the eventual display of the Elgin Marbles in the Duveen Gallery. He returned to Oxford in 1956 as Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology, from which post he retired in ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Carmela Vircillo Franklin

(b Berlin, Aug 18, 1911; d Cambridge, MA, Sept 6, 2006).

German historian of antiquity and the Middle Ages, active also in Italy and America. Bloch was trained at the University of Berlin under the historian of ancient Greece Werner Jaeger, art historian Gerhart Rodenwaldt and medievalist Erich Caspar from 1930 until 1933, when the rise of National Socialism convinced him to move to Rome. There he received his tesi di laurea in ancient history in 1935 and his diploma di perfezionamento in 1937. He then participated in the excavations at Ostia, Rome’s ancient port, which was an important site in the revival of Italian archaeology under Fascism. At the outbreak of World War II, he immigrated to the USA, and began his teaching career in 1941 at Harvard University’s Department of Classics, where he remained until his retirement in 1982. His experience of totalitarianism shaped both his personal and professional beliefs.

Bloch applied a deep knowledge of epigraphy, history and material culture, art history, literary and archival sources to his research and he had a propensity for uncovering the significance of new or neglected evidence. One such area was Roman history. His first publications, on ancient Rome’s brick stamps (many of which he discovered ...

Article

Valeria Farinati

(b Casale Monferrato, Oct 24, 1795; d Florence, Oct 17, 1856).

Italian architect, archaeologist and architectural historian. He studied architecture at the University of Turin (1810–12) under Ferdinando Bonsignore (1767–1843) and his assistant Giuseppe Talucchi (1782–1863). After serving (1812–14) in the fortress of Alessandria, he resumed his studies and obtained a degree in architecture in 1814. He served a period of apprenticeship under Talucchi, who helped him obtain a three-year grant from the Court of Turin for further study in Rome, where Canina settled in January 1818. He worked on engravings of Roman monuments under the antiquarian, scholar and publisher Mariano Vasi (1744–1820), and at the end of his three-year period as pensionato, he presented a survey of the Colosseum (Anfiteatro Flavio descritto, misurato e restaurato; dispersed) to the architects of the Accademia di S Luca, including Giuseppe Valadier, who were much impressed.

In 1824 Canina was appointed to execute his scheme for the expansion of the park of the ...

Article

Maria Adelaide Miranda

[Virgílio]

(b Régua, Oct 19, 1888; d Coimbra, June 3, 1944).

Portuguese art historian, writer, archaeologist and museum official. He studied Law at the Universidade de Coimbra but soon became involved in research in the history of art, archaeology and ethnography, and in 1921 he was appointed as a lecturer in art history and aesthetics at the university. He was also a distinguished museum official, serving as Curator of the Museu Etnológico Português and of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, in Lisbon. In 1929 he was appointed Director of the Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro, in Coimbra. Among his archaeological activities was that of directing the excavations at Conímbriga, south of Coimbra. Aware of the lack of objectivity in the study of archaeology and art history in Portugal, he investigated these disciplines thoroughly and sought to found them on direct observation and the consultation of sources. He favoured a method of research based on the study of documents, believing that only the document and the work of art remained constant, whereas aesthetic appreciation constantly changed. However, he thought that the document alone was not enough but had to be supported by material from photographic archives and by the gathering of data from museums, such that everything that might clarify the subject of study was brought together in one place. His vast body of published work includes ...

Article

John Curran

(Valéry Marie)

(b Aalst, Jan 3, 1868; d Woluwe, Brussels, Aug 20, 1947).

Belgian archaeologist and religious historian. Educated in Ghent, Bonn, Berlin and Paris, he taught at the University of Ghent from 1896 to 1910. He made a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the complexity of ancient paganism and its symbols, and he travelled widely in Syria and Turkey in search of ancient astrological drawings and symbols. Other important early works of this prolific scholar focused on the influence of ancient oriental cults, particularly Mithraism, on the Roman world and on Christianity. He developed an interest in pagan representations of the afterlife and collected widely dispersed information for his great work Recherches sur le symbolisme funéraire des Romains. This broke decisively with the tradition of romantic scholarship, which had concentrated on style, aesthetic quality and dating: Cumont marshalled his impressive archaeological knowledge to present a scientific categorization of the material remains of ancient funerary art, including sculpture, painting and sarcophagus reliefs, together with a penetrating and influential analysis of the selection and meaning of the artistic themes used....

Article

T. F. C. Blagg

(b c. ad 30; d 104).

Roman administrator and writer. He was a senatorial aristocrat. During his early career he served as governor of Britain (ad 74–8). His conquest of Wales led to the establishment of Caerleon and Chester as permanent legionary fortresses. He was probably responsible for initiating the programme of Roman urban development in Britain for which Tacitus (On the Life of Agricola xxi) gave credit to his father-in-law, Agricola, who succeeded Frontinus as governor. In ad 97 Frontinus was commissioned to reorganize Rome’s water supply and in 100 was awarded the unusual distinction of a third consulship.

Frontinus wrote on the aqueducts of Rome, surveying, the art of war, stratagems and farming. In De aquis urbis Romae (On the water supply of the city of Rome) he showed his appreciation of the management of Rome’s aqueducts and revealed a typical Roman pragmatism; he contrasted the practicality of the great Roman system with ‘the idle Pyramids and the useless but famous works of the Greeks’ (...

Article

Massimiliano David

(b Berlin, 1858; d Florence, 1935).

German architectural historian and archaeologist. He attended the University of Berlin from 1876 to 1880 and studied archaeology with Ernst Curtius and Hans Jordan, classical philology with Emil Hübner and Johannes Vahlen, ancient history with Hans Droysen and Theodor Mommsen, and epigraphy with Johann Wilhelm Adolf Kirchhoff. In 1881 he went to Rome with the aid of a grant from the German Institute of Archaeology. From then on he devoted himself to the study of Rome from the point of view of epigraphy, topography, cartography and urban development. He was especially interested in studying the ways in which Renaissance artists approached the ancient monuments of Rome. From 1887 to 1909 Hülsen held the post of second secretary of the Institute in Rome, and he was an honorary professor at the University of Heidelberg.

Das Forum Romanum (Rome, 1904; Eng. trans., Rome, 1906, 2/1909) ‘La pianta di Roma dell’anonimo einsidlense’, Atti della Pontificia accademia romana di archeologia...

Article

John Curran

(b Oslo, March 2, 1903; d Rome, Dec 5, 1983).

Norwegian art historian and archaeologist. Founder of the Norwegian Institute in Rome, he played a major part in establishing late Antique art as an independent and worthy subject of research. His early work concentrated on portraiture, where he collected, published and analysed many little-known late Roman busts and portraits. In 1939 he produced with A. von Gerkan an unsurpassed study of the Arch of Constantine in Rome, which interpreted the monument as a crucial link between late Classical and early medieval art. His treatment of the composite nature of the construction and hierarchy of figures on the arch was particularly significant. His interest in art and political power led to studies on the symbolism of monarchy and the heavens in history, from the Ancient Near East to 11th-century Europe. He also studied the civic art of the later Roman empire, revealing the richness and variety of its themes. A collection of articles published on his 70th birthday (...

Article

Karolina Lanckorońska

[Karl Anton Leo Ludwig]

(b Vienna, Nov 4, 1848; d Vienna, July 15, 1933).

Polish archaeologist, writer, collector and patron, active in Austria. As an archaeologist his main interest lay in the architectural ruins of the late Roman Empire in Anatolia. In 1884 he organized an expedition of which he later published an account, Stadt Pamphyliens und Pisidiens. Sketches made by Jacek Malczewski (e.g. Warsaw, Royal Castle; mainly watercolours) are also records of the expedition. Lanckoroński and Malczewski later toured Italy and travelled to Munich together. Other artists patronized by Lanckoroński included Antoni Madeyski (1862–1939), Henryk Rodakowski and Hans Makart. During 1888 and 1889 Lanckoroński made a round-the-world voyage and subsequently published a diary of this trip, entitled Rund um die Erde. He brought back to Vienna various works of art, mainly sculptures and textiles. Between 1890 and 1895 a Baroque Revival palace was built for him in Vienna to designs by Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Hellmer (1849–1919). In it Lanckoroński installed paintings, mainly Dutch and French, that he had inherited and Italian paintings he had purchased (e.g. Masaccio’s ...

Article

Charles T. Little

(b Berlin, March 5, 1924; d London, May 19, 2003).

German curator and art historian of medieval art, active also in England. Born in Berlin, Lasko arrived in London in 1937 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. His first teacher was Professor Nikolaus Pevsner at Birkbeck College at the University of London. After continuing his studies at the Courtauld Institute, Lasko was appointed in 1950 as an Assistant Keeper at the British Museum in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities, a post he held until 1965. This position launched his interest in metalwork and ivories, which ultimately matured into his volume for the Pelican History of Art devoted to Ars Sacra: 800–1200. This volume was enriched by his involvement in a number of the Council of Europe exhibitions: Romanesque in Barcelona, European Art around 1400 in Vienna, Byzantine Art in Athens and Charlemagne in Aachen.

In 1965, Lasko became the founding Dean of Fine Arts and Music at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. As a brilliant administrator, he secured the gift of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts designed by Norman Forster. With his long time friend, George Zarnecki, he established the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland. Possessing a ...

Article

Mark D. Fullerton

(fl Rome, 1st century bc).

Greek sculptor and writer from South Italy. He is generally regarded as the head of a school producing eclectic, neo-classical statuary related to Neo-Attic decorative reliefs. Virtually everything known about Pasiteles is derived from a few literary references. No signatures of his are extant, although a marble statue of a youth (c. 50 bc; Rome, Villa Albani) is signed by Stephanos as his pupil. Pasiteles received Roman citizenship around 89–88 bc, when enfranchisement was extended as a result of the Social War (Pliny XXXIII.lv.156; XXXVI.iv.40). He is mentioned as an expert in the chasing of metal (caelatura), especially elaborately decorated silver vessels (Pliny XXXV.xlv.156; Cicero: On Divination I.xxxvi.79). Despite being both a sculptor and metalworker, Pasiteles is never mentioned by Pliny in his section on sculptors in bronze. Rather, he is specifically identified as a modeller and ivory carver (XXXV.xlv.156; XXXVI.iv.40). He must have worked in marble as well, since his name occurs twice in book XXXVI, where marble sculpture is treated, and his student ...

Article

John Wilton-Ely

[Giambattista]

(b Mogliano, nr Mestre, Oct 4, 1720; d Rome, Nov 9, 1778).

Italian etcher, engraver, designer, architect, archaeologist and theorist. He is considered one of the supreme exponents of topographical engraving, but his lifelong preoccupation with architecture was fundamental to his art. Although few of his architectural designs were executed, he had a seminal influence on European Neo-classicism through personal contacts with architects, patrons and visiting artists in Rome over the course of nearly four decades. His prolific output of etched plates, which combined remarkable flights of imagination with a strongly practical understanding of ancient Roman technology, fostered a new and lasting perception of antiquity. He was also a designer of festival structures and stage sets, interior decoration and furniture, as well as a restorer of antiquities. The interaction of this rare combination of activities led him to highly original concepts of design, which were advocated in a body of influential theoretical writings. The ultimate legacy of his unique vision of Roman civilization was an imaginative interpretation and re-creation of the past, which inspired writers and poets as much as artists and designers....

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....

Article

Eugene Dwyer, Peter Kidson, and Pier Nicola Pagliara

(fl later 1st century bc). Roman architect, engineer and writer, renowned for his treatise in ten books, On Architecture (Lat. De architectura), the only text on architectural theory and practice to have survived from Classical antiquity.

Eugene Dwyer

Vitruvius is known in the earliest manuscripts of On Architecture only by this name, a nomen gentilicium or clan name. By his own testimony (I. Preface), he was already an older man at the time he dedicated his treatise to the Emperor Augustus (?27 or 14 bc). He had earlier served Augustus’ adoptive father, Julius Caesar, as a siege engineer, and at some time after Caesar’s death (44 bc) he entered the service of Octavian (after 27 bc called Augustus). He enjoyed Octavian’s continued patronage on the recommendation of the latter’s sister, Octavia, a fact that suggests a period of service under her second husband, the triumvir ...

Article

(b Glasgow, Sept 10, 1890; d London, July 22, 1976).

English archaeologist . Educated at Bradford Grammar School and University College, London, he was made Director of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, in 1924, before moving to London as Keeper and Secretary of the London Museum (now the Museum of London) in 1926, where he also established the post-graduate Institute of Archaeology (1937) within the University of London. After active military service during World War II he reorganized archaeology in India as Director General of Archaeology (1944–8). On his return to London he began to reform and reshape the British Academy as Honorary Secretary. Meanwhile, he was a tireless excavator of some of the most notable sites in Britain, including the Roman temple complex at Lydney Park, Glos (1928–9; pubd 1933), the Roman city of Verulamium (now St Albans; 1930–33; pubd 1936), Maiden Castle (1934–6; pubd 1943) and Stanwick (pubd 1951–2...