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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

Daniela Campanelli

(b Lugano, March 26, 1787; d Naples, Dec 6, 1849).

Italian architect and archaeologist, of Swiss origin. He was a pupil of Luigi Cagnola and attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan, graduating in architecture at Pavia in 1806. He lived in Rome and between 1810 and 1814 was superintendent of the excavation of the Colosseum, which was being directed by Giuseppe Valadier. In 1812 Bianchi published the Osservazioni sull’arena e sul podio dell’Anfiteatro Flavio … in Rome, and he also carried out excavations on the Forum Romanum.

As a member of the Accademia di S Luca, Bianchi was put forward to design the layout of the Largo di Palazzo (now the Piazza del Plebiscito), Naples; the commission was awarded him by Ferdinand I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (reg 1759–1825). Ferdinand had in fact announced a competition in 1817 for the completion of this work, which had been initiated by Joachim Murat, King of Naples, in ...

Article

Alessandro Conti

(b Venice, April 25, 1859; d Rome, July 10, 1925).

Italian archaeologist. He was educated in Venice at a time when there was great controversy over the conservation of original works of art, especially in connection with the restorations (1875) in S Marco. In 1888 he moved to Rome, where he became an inspector of monuments and advocated the establishment of a photographic archive and a catalogue of monuments as a basis for restoration programmes. Having collaborated on excavations inside the Pantheon in 1892, from 1895 he superintended new excavations in the Forum Romanum (see Rome, §V, 1); the latter uncovered fundamental evidence concerning the origins of Rome, including the Lapis Niger (1st century bc; in situ), an archaic Latin inscription (c. 500 bc; Corpus inscriptionum latinarum, Academia Litterarum Borussicae, Berlin, 1863–, vi, 36840) and ‘pre-Romulan’ burial grounds. He was influenced by John Ruskin’s philosophy of art and argued that the prime function of restoration is to preserve original materials. In ...

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

Thomas J. McCormick

(b Paris, baptAug 28, 1721; d Auteuil, Jan 19, 1820).

French architect, archaeologist and painter. He was an important if controversial figure associated with the development of the Neo-classical style of architecture and interior design and its dissemination throughout Europe and the USA. He studied at the Académie Royale d’Architecture, Paris, under Germain Boffrand and won the Grand Prix in 1746. He spent the years 1749 to 1754 at the Académie Française in Rome but left after an argument with the director Charles-Joseph Natoire over his refusal to make his Easter Communion; this may have been due to his Jansenist sympathies. He nevertheless remained in Italy until 1767. During these years he became a close friend of Piranesi, Winckelmann, Cardinal Alessandro Albani and other members of the international circle interested in the Antique.

In his early student days in Rome, Clérisseau became acquainted in particular with English travellers and began to sell them his attractive topographical drawings of Roman architecture. Initially these were influenced by his studies with ...

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

John Turpin

(b London, March 5, 1761; d Rome, Aug 26, 1816).

English painter, archaeologist and dealer, of Irish origin. A Roman Catholic, he was the son of a prosperous London baker, originally from Cork. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1781; two years later he travelled to Italy via Flanders and Paris, reaching Rome in January 1784. There, under the influence of Andrea Appiani and François-Xavier Fabre, he evolved an individual and original Neo-classical style of portrait painting, with an emphasis on contour, clear colour and psychological penetration. By the early 1790s he had become a fashionable painter of English visitors and a prominent member of Roman artistic society. His portraits often include evocative Italian landscape settings, as in Elizabeth, Lady Webster (1793; priv. col.), which shows Mt Vesuvius in the background, and the double portrait of his friend Sir Corbet Corbet with his Wife and Dogs in the Roman Campagna (c. 1797; priv. col., see Crookshank and Glin, ...

Article

Luca Leoncini

(b Pigna, Liguria, June 4, 1753; d Rome, March 17, 1836).

Italian archaeologist and churchman. He went when young to Rome, where he studied philosophy and civil and canon law at the Sapienza. He took priestly orders, but after working briefly as a lawyer devoted himself entirely to archaeology. His first written work was Sulle rovine di Roma, a dissertation appended to the third volume of his translation (Rome, 1783–4) of Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums. He became librarian of the Biblioteca Chigiana and was appointed by Pope Pius VII (reg 1800–23) commissioner for Roman antiquities. Numerous excavations were carried out under his direction: he took a particular interest in those on the Roman Forum. Apart from his many writings about Roman antiquities, Fea published editions of Horace, G. L. Bianconi’s Descrizione dei circhi particolarmente di quello di Caracalla and the works of Anton Raphael Mengs. He was one of the founders of the modern law for the protection of artistic ...

Article

Barry Bergdoll

(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).

French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...

Article

E. Clay

(b Hopton, Derbys, April 1, 1777; d Naples, Feb 4, 1836).

English Classical scholar, archaeologist and topographer. Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools, was elected Fellow of learned societies in London and, later, honoured by academic institutions abroad. Gell began his travels in Greece and the Troad in 1801, followed rapidly by exemplary publications. His travels continued until 1806, broken only in 1803 when he was sent on a diplomatic mission to the Ionian islands. The Society of Dilettanti appointed him to lead its third Ionian mission (1811–13), instructing him to make architectural measurements of Classical sites in Attica and Asia Minor, the results subsequently being published by the Society in The Unedited Antiquities of Attica (1817) and revised editions of Ionian Antiquities (1821 and 1840; see Chandler, Richard).

Gell was knighted in 1814, and accompanied Caroline, Princess of Wales, as one of her chamberlains when she set out on her foreign travels. He left her entourage after its arrival in Italy and resumed his archaeological studies, in particular at the site of Pompeii, which was his main interest throughout his life. His ...