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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

Donald F. McCallum

[Mokujiki Gogyō; Mokujiki Gyōdō; Mokujiki Meiman]

(b Marubatake, Kai Province [now Yamashi Prefecture], 1718; d 1810).

Japanese sculptor and Buddhist monk. He was an ascetic priest of the Shingon sect (see Buddhism §III 10.) during the Edo period (1600–1868) and apparently functioned as an itinerant monk (hijiri) in early adulthood. At the age of 45 he took vows as a ‘wood-eater’ (mokujiki), one who abstained not only from meat, fish and fowl but also from grains, eating only nuts, roots and berries. In 1773, after taking an additional vow to travel throughout Japan, he embarked on a programme of missionary activity that took him from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south. Mokujiki was already in his early 60s when he began sculpting devotional images for the communities he visited, apparently following the example of his predecessor Enkū. Interestingly, he avoided localities where Enkū had made images. Mokujiki enjoyed excellent health and continued to produce sculptures until he was over 90 years old....

Article

Japanese, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 19 March 1852, in Edo (Tokyo); died 10 October 1934, in Tokyo.

Sculptor. Buddhist subjects. Wood carving, bronze and metalwork.

Takamura Koun exhibited in Paris including at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, where he received a bronze medal. He sought to preserve the art of traditional Japanese wood carving....