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S. J. Vernoit

(b Chaumont, Haute-Marne, Jan 21, 1881; d Paris, July 31, 1965).

French archaeologist and art historian, active in Iran. Godard qualified as an architect at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and in 1910 became involved with the urban planning of Baghdad. At this time, he began to develop an interest in the archaeology and art of the Middle East. He visited Egypt and Syria and, in 1923, went to Afghanistan to research Buddhist remains. In 1928 he settled in Iran, where he lived until 1960, except for the years 1953–6. During his years in Iran he directed the College of Fine Arts, Tehran, and the Department of Antiquities, founded the Archaeological (Iran Bastan) Museum and drew up plans for the museums of Mashhad and Abadan. He also initiated the documentation and restoration of many ancient monuments and archaeological remains and gained access to sites previously forbidden to non-Muslims. He published many of the principal monuments of Iran in such learned journals as ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Emil)

(b Celle, July 23, 1879; d Basle, Jan 21, 1948).

German architect, archaeologist, historian and philologist. He was educated at the universities of Munich and Berlin and at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, where he trained as an architect. In 1903 he visited the Middle East by participating as field architect in the excavation of Assur by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft. The expedition was led by Friedrich Delitzsch, Herzfeld’s instructor in Assyrian and Arabic, and it enabled him to learn the techniques of excavation and to develop his interest in early Islamic culture. After returning to Germany, he made a journey through Luristan to visit Pasargadae and Persepolis, and following the acceptance of his doctoral thesis on Pasargadae by the University of Berlin in 1907, he travelled with Friedrich Sarre, his lifelong colleague and friend whom he had met in 1905, from Istanbul via Aleppo and Baghdad to the Gulf to find an Islamic site suitable for excavation. The choice fell upon ...

Article

Yuka Kadoi

(b. Vienna, 6 Nov. 1941; d. Berlin, 10 Jan. 1995).

German art historian, archaeologist and museum curator of Islamic art. Meinecke already developed an interest in Islamic art and architecture during his stay in Istanbul at an early age. He read art history, archaeology and Islamic studies in Vienna and Hamburg and completed his dissertation on the ceramic architectural decoration of Saljuq monuments in Anatolia in 1968. A year later he joined the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, where he undertook an architectural survey of historical buildings in the old city. His magna opus on the study of Mamluk architecture, which was accepted as Habilitationschrift by the University of Hamburg in 1978 and published in 1992, remains a standard in the field of Islamic architectural studies. After a short teaching period at the University of Hamburg between 1977 and 1980, he returned to the Middle East and became involved in the foundation of the German Archaeological Institute in Damascus. He left Syria in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

b Milan, Jan 16, 1881; d Rome, Nov 4, 1954).

Italian archaeologist, art historian and epigrapher. Descended from a French noble family from Burgundy that had moved to Piedmont at the time of the French Revolution, he trained as an architect and then taught medieval architecture at the Politecnico in Milan. His early writings (to 1920) were devoted mainly to the art and architecture of Italy, especially Lombardy; his interests then turned to the Christian and Islamic Orient. In 1923 he published a work on the sculpture at Ahnas (see Herakleopolis Magna [anc. Egyp. Henen-nesut; Copt. Ahnas; Arab. Ihnasya el-Medina]), in which he showed how Coptic art developed out of Hellenistic and Egyptian traditions. This was followed in 1930 by a monograph on the Islamic necropolis at Aswan, and archaeological research in Nubia led him to explain the political and cultural significance of that region in the medieval period. In 1934 he moved to Rome and, after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia 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....