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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

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

Annemarie Weyl Carr

(b Berlin, Aug 11, 1909; d London, Nov 10, 1996).

German scholar of Byzantine, East Christian and European illuminated manuscripts. He took his degree in 1933 at the University of Hamburg in the heady community of the Warburg Library (later Institute) under the tutelage of Erwin Panofsky and Fritz Saxl. Immigrating with the Warburg staff and library to London in 1934, he served from 1940 to 1949 as the Institute’s Librarian and from 1944 to 1965 as Lecturer, Reader and then Professor of Byzantine art at the University of London. In 1965 he came to the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, becoming in 1970 the first Ailsa Mellon Bruce Professor. He retired in 1975 to London, where he died in 1996.

Buchthal is best known for his Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1957), which laid the foundation for the now well-established art-historical field of Crusader studies. It exemplifies both his originality and the methods that made his scholarship so durable. Fundamental among these were his holistic approach to manuscripts, giving as much attention to ornament, liturgical usage, text traditions, palaeography and apparatus as to miniatures, and his relentlessly keen visual analysis. Aided by a powerful memory, he worked from original monuments, developing exceptional acuity in dissecting the formal components of their images. Mobilized in his dissertation, published in ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Katrin Kogman-Appel

Hebrew Bible (Jerusalem, National.. Library of Israel., MS. Heb 4°790, and a single page in Toledo, El Transito Synagogue and Sephardic Museum), copied c. 1260, perhaps in Toledo by Menachem ben Abraham ibn Malikh for Isaac bar Abraham Hadad, both members of known and documented Toledan families. At some later stage further decorations were added, apparently in Burgos. The Damascus Keter is an outstanding exemplar out of approximately 120 decorated Bibles from Iberia and belongs to a group of three very similar codices from the middle of the 13th century, produced in Toledo. It thus represents a rich tradition of Jewish art flourishing between the 13th and the 15th centuries. These Bibles were used either by scholars for private study, or for biblical readings during synagogue services.

Typical of numerous Bibles from the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula, the decoration consists of numerous carpet pages executed in Micrography and enriched by painted embellishments. This is a technique typically used in Hebrew decorated books and harks back to Middle Eastern manuscripts of the 10th century. Apart from the carpet pages, the Damascus ...

Article

L. Glynne Davies

(b Amsterdam, Feb 24, 1897; d London, July 16, 1954).

Dutch archaeologist and cultural historian. After studying at the University of Amsterdam and under Flinders Petrie at University College, London, he directed the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at Akhenaten’s city of Amarna, (Tell) el- and elsewhere (1925–9). He was Field Director of the Iraq Expedition of the Oriental Institute of Chicago from 1929 to 1937 and conducted excavations at the Assyrian site of Khorsabad and in the Diyala region; the latter made an important contribution to knowledge of the art of the Sumerians, particularly of their architecture and of the Early Dynastic period (c. 2900–2500 bc). He held professorships at Chicago, Amsterdam and London and was Director of the Warburg Institute from 1949 to 1954. In 1954 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and he was also Corresponding Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.

Frankfort was a scholar of immense range, insight and artistic sensibility, with an abiding concern for the interrelations of the cultures of the ancient Aegean, Egypt and Mesopotamia, and he was instrumental in defining a structure for the integrated study of early Near Eastern civilizations. It was characteristic of his approach to see artefacts as works of art that could lead to a deeper understanding of ancient cultures, rather than merely as sources of historical data: his ...

Article

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

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 10, 1897; d New Haven, CT, Nov 14, 1966).

American theologian, historian, and archaeologist. From 1920 to 1941 he taught theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary and at Yale University, but afterwards he began to shift his attention to archaeology and Middle Eastern studies. He became an authority on the Middle East, teaching for the latter part of his career at the University of Chicago, where he was Professor of Oriental Archaeology. His reputation was firmly established in 1938 with his publication of the results of excavations at Gerasa in Jordan, which was followed by other writings on Hellenistic, Roman, and Early Christian archaeology and Middle Eastern art. In 1946–7 he was Henri Focillon Scholar at the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington, DC, where he was in charge of research and did much to build up the Center’s scholarly programme. In 1955 he directed a symposium there entitled Palestine in the Byzantine Period. His best-known work is the authoritative volume on the synagogue at Dura Europos (...

Article

D. Evely

(b London, Nov 3, 1894; d Borden Wood, W. Sussex, Sept 16, 1963).

English archaeologist and writer. Coming from a landed and educated family, she was taught first at home. Lamb went on to read Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge (1913–17), and served with Naval Intelligence (1917–18), before beginning her career as a Greek and Near Eastern archaeologist. Her first association was with Greece (1920s–30s), where she worked with Alan Wace at Mycenae and with A. M. Woodward at Sparta, assisted in publication and investigated sites on Ithaka and Chios: her contacts with the British School in Athens were never broken. She was Honorary Keeper (Greek and Roman) of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, from 1919 to 1958, but her attentions increasingly turned eastwards. In 1929 she visited Troy, and then conducted a self-financed campaign (1929–33) on the Early Bronze Age site of Thermi on Lesbos. In Anatolia exploration work was made on the Bronze Age site of Kusura. These achievements were recognized by election to the Society of Antiquaries (...

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

Jaynie Anderson

(b Paris, March 5, 1817; d London, July 5, 1894).

English archaeologist, politician, diplomat, collector and writer. From his boyhood in Florence, where he grew up in the Palazzo Rucellai and knew Seymour Kirkup (1788–1880) and Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864), he was inspired by a love of Italian art and culture. He returned to England at the age of 12 and, unable to go to university, was apprenticed as a solicitor from 1833 to 1839. He continued to pursue his Italian studies informally, however, and contemplated writing a history of Italy. In 1839 he interrupted an overland journey to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to visit ancient archaeological sites in remote and dangerous areas of Turkey, Iraq and Iran, where he copied cuneiform inscriptions and Assyrian reliefs, described in his Early Adventures (1887). From 1842 he was employed in Constantinople (now Istanbul) by Sir Stratford Canning on various diplomatic missions.

In 1845 Layard began his first systematic archaeological work (...

Article

Dominique Collon

(Howard Frederick)

(b Edgbaston, Birmingham, May 30, 1902; d Oxford, Jan 7, 1996).

English excavator, architect, writer and teacher. He qualified as an architect (RIBA) 1926, working for two years for Sir Edwin Lutyens before setting up his own practice. His employment as architect during the 1929 excavations at Tell el-Amarna led to a change in career, and until 1937 he worked for the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago excavations in the Diyala region of Iraq, north-east of Baghdad, at Khorsabad in northern Iraq and on the aqueduct built by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (reg 704–681 bc) at Jerwan; Lloyd helped perfect techniques for tracing mud-brick architecture and made innovative use of kite photography. Between 1937 and 1939 he excavated with Sir John Garstang at Mersin in southern Turkey and carried out a key survey of sites in the Sinjar district of northern Iraq. Between 1939 and 1948, while working as Adviser to the Directorate General of Antiquities in Baghdad, he excavated Hassuna, Tell Uqair, Tell Harmal and Eridu. In ...

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....

Article

Herbert Kessler

(b Jerusalem, Dec 14, 1926; d Jerusalem, June 29, 2008).

Israeli art historian of Jewish art. Educated first at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he moved to London and earned an MA in art history at the Courtauld Institute (1959) and a PhD at the Warburg Institute (1962). Returning to Jerusalem, Narkiss rose steadily through the ranks from 1963 when he began teaching at the Hebrew University and, in 1984, was appointed Nicolas Landau Professor of Art History. He also held fellowships and visiting positions at: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, DC (1969–70); the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1979–80); the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (1983), Brown University in Providence, RI (1984–5); the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris (1987–8); the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC (Samuel H. Kress Professor ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Phoenix, RI, Feb 7, 1881; d Warren, CT, Sept 3, 1969).

American art historian and archaeologist. He was educated at Brown and Cornell universities and taught at the University of California and Amherst College. In 1920 he married Phyllis Ackerman, who shared his scholarly interests in Persian art. By 1923 he was director of the San Francisco Museum. In 1925 he began research in Iran and from that year acted as art adviser to the Iranian government. From 1930 he was director of the American Institute for Iranian Art and Archaeology (subsequently renamed Iranian, then Asia, Institute and transferred to Pahlavi University of Shiraz). He lectured widely and organized various exhibitions and congresses of Persian art in the USA, Great Britain, and Russia. His greatest achievement was editing the multi-volume Survey of Persian Art. In 1939 he was chairman of the Committee for Chinese War Orphans and from 1940 to 1948 chairman of the Committee for National Morale. From 1960 he was president of the International Association of Iranian Art and Archaeology. In ...

Article

Walter B. Denny

(b London, March 2, 1900; d Beckley, March 8, 1978).

English collector, archaeologist and writer. Trained as an artist, Reitlinger travelled widely, taking part in two Oxford University archaeological expeditions to Iraq in the 1930s. After World War II he wrote three studies on the history of the Nazi period in Germany and many articles on art, both as a scholar and a journalist. His best-known work is the seminal three-volume study of the art market from 1750 to the 1960s. His residence at Woodgate House at Beckley, E. Sussex, was the site of almost legendary social gatherings and housed the major passion in his life, his art collection, which comprised some 2000 pieces, mainly Far Eastern and Islamic ceramics. Although a fire ravaged Woodgate House in February 1978, the collection was spared, and after Reitlinger’s death a few weeks later, it came to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Some of the most important pieces in the collection were published in the catalogue accompanying a memorial exhibition....

Article

Pascale Linant de Bellefonds

(b Paris, Oct 18, 1829; d Paris, Nov 10, 1916).

French archaeologist and diplomat. He initially worked as a diplomat in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in 1850, but he soon resigned and from 1853 to 1854 travelled around Greece, Turkey, Syria and Palestine, where he collected material for his work on Christian buildings. In 1861 he was sent to Cyprus by the historian Ernest Renan, with William Henry Waddington (1826–94), the epigrapher, and Edmond-Clément-Marie-Louise Duthoit, the architect, in order to explore the island systematically and organize large-scale excavations. Vogüé and Waddington continued their research in Syria and Jerusalem in 1862, enabling Vogüé to publish a detailed study of the Temple of Jerusalem two years later. Following Waddington’s departure in late 1862, Vogüé stayed a little longer in the East with Duthoit, exploring central Syria and Ḥawrān; this trip provided him with the material for the three-volume Syrie centrale. From 1868 Vogüé was a free member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and he was involved in producing the ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

( Kyrle )

(b London, Oct 13, 1897; d Sharon, CT, April 18, 1986).

American archaeologist, curator and collector . Trained as an artist at the Slade School, University College, London, in 1920 he joined the graphic section of the Egyptian Expedition to Thebes, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. During the 1920s and 1930s Wilkinson painted facsimiles of Egyptian tomb paintings in the museum collection, and he joined museum excavations in the Kharga Oasis (Egypt) and Qasr-i Abu Nasr and Nishapur (Iran). Transferred to the curatorial staff of the museum in 1947, he became curator in 1956 of the new Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, which merged with the Department of Islamic Art in 1957. Through his energetic collaboration on major excavations at Hasanlu, Nimrud and Nippur, Wilkinson greatly expanded the Ancient Near Eastern collections at the Metropolitan Museum. After his retirement from the museum in 1963, he taught Islamic art at Columbia University and was Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Middle Eastern Art and Archaeology at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (...

Article

T. C. Mitchell

(b Upper Clapton, Apr 17, 1880; d London, Feb 20, 1960).

English archaeologist . He was educated at New College, Oxford, where he took a First in Literae Humaniores (1903) and a Second in Theology (1904), and he became an assistant in the Ashmolean Museum under Arthur Evans in 1905. In 1907 he joined D. Randall McIver in excavating at Karanog and Buhen in Nubia. After a brief period excavating in Italy, he was chosen in 1912 to succeed Reginald Campbell Thompson as Director of the British Museum excavations at Carchemish in north Syria, working there until 1914 and also in 1920.

In 1920–21 Woolley directed the excavations at Amarna, (Tell) el- on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Society, but his most significant work began in 1922, when he was invited by the British Museum and the Museum of the University of Philadelphia to direct excavations at Ur in southern Iraq. During his 12 seasons there, and at the small neighbouring temple site of ...