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Charles Murray

[Flavius Valerius Constantinus]

(b Naïssus [now Nish, Serbia], c. ad 285; reg 306–37; d Constantinople, 337).

Roman emperor and patron. He was the son of Constantius Chlorus (reg 293–306) and Helena (c. 248/9–328/9) and succeeded his father as Co-Emperor in ad 306. Six years later he defeated his rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge outside Rome and became sole ruler in the West. In 313, with Licinius (reg 307–24), the Eastern Emperor, he published the Edict of Milan, which openly favoured Christianity. He defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324 and united the Empire under his control. Artistic and literary sources during his reign show an imperial policy dominated by the newly authorized religion, and new artistic values gradually transformed public art into a more fully recognizable Christian form. He believed that his military successes were attributable to the Christian God, whose sign of the Cross had appeared to him, superimposed on the sun, at the Milvian Bridge. In the final battle he ordered the monogram of Christ to be painted on his soldiers’ shields, thus establishing the cross and the chi-rho in later iconography. His victory was commemorated in 315 with the construction of a triumphal arch in the Roman Forum....


Margaret Lyttleton

(b c. 79 bc; reg 37–4 bc; d 4 bc). King of Judaea and patron. By a series of successful intrigues and pro-Roman policy, he established himself as the heir of the Maccabean kings and considerably extended their territory. He more or less re-established the ancient kingdom of Judah and achieved virtual independence. With the arrival in the East of the Roman general Pompey (66 bc), the balance of power changed and Rome began to absorb this territory. Herod, by skilful diplomacy and intrigue, maintained himself as king of Judaea, with independence in local affairs. He was a great admirer of Rome and Greco-Roman culture; he set out to make his towns and cities similar to the Hellenistic towns of the Roman Empire. The historian Josephus recorded that Herod erected a vast number of buildings both in his own kingdom and as far afield as the Dodekanese, Tyre and Beirut. He refounded the city of ...


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 ...


Margaret Lyttleton

(reg 377–352 bc). Ancient Greek ruler. He was the Satrap (i.e. vassal of the King of Persia) of Caria in Asia Minor, now western Turkey, and a member of the Hekatomnid dynasty. Although Carian by birth, Mausolos greatly admired Greek culture and art. He was famous for having moved his capital from Mylassa to the coastal site of Halikarnassos, where there was a good harbour. He laid out the new capital in the natural hollow by the harbour, as described by Vitruvius (On Architecture II. 811ff), with his tomb, the Mausoleum, at the centre. He employed the most famous Greek architects and sculptors of his time to build and decorate this, but he died before it was completed. The Mausoleum was finished by his wife and half-sister, Artemisia, who reigned after him. A fine portrait statue from the Mausoleum (London, BM, 1001) has been thought to represent Mausolos, though there is no proof of this....


S. J. Vernoit

(b Kilmarnock, Aug 18, 1835; d Edinburgh, July 3, 1900).

Scottish soldier, archaeologist, diplomat and collector of Iranian art. He was educated at Glasgow University, and in 1855 he obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers. The following year he joined the expedition of Charles Newton to Halikarnassos, which resulted in the discovery of the Mausoleum and the acquisition of its sculptures for the British Museum. In 1860 with E. A. Porcher, Murdoch Smith formed at his own expense an expedition to Cyrene in Libya. From this expedition he returned with Greek sculptures and inscriptions (London, BM). In 1863 he was selected for service on the Iranian section of a proposed telegraph line from Britain to India, and in 1865 he became its director in Tehran, holding that post for the next 20 years. He initiated his collecting activities for the South Kensington (later Victoria and Albert) Museum in 1873 when he offered his services as an agent. From 1873 to 1885...


L. James

(b Constantinople, c. ad 388 or 393; d Rome, 450).

Late Roman empress and patron. She was the daughter of Theodosius I the Great and half-sister to the Emperor Honorius (reg 395–425). She was brought up in Constantinople and Rome, from where she was taken hostage by the Visigoths during the sack of 410, and was married to their leader Athaulf in 414. On his death the following year, she was returned to her own people and in 417 reluctantly married her brother’s Master of Armies, who was to become Constantius III (reg 421). After quarrelling with Honorius, she fled to Constantinople, but on his death her son Valentinian III (reg 425–55) was installed as Emperor in the West by the eastern armies. At first her influence was dominant, but she was unable to stop the increasing power of Aetius (c. 391–454), and by 438 she had been forced into virtual retirement.

Placidia’s building works reflect the piety she apparently gained while in exile in Constantinople. In Rome she commissioned the mosaics in S Paolo fuori le mura, of which only one piece survives, though much restored, above the triumphal arch. Her preference, however, was for the new court city at Ravenna, which she adorned with several ecclesiastical buildings. One building to have survived intact is the so-called Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (...


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 ...


S. J. B. Barnish

[the Great]

(b Cauca [now Coca], Spain, c. ad 346; reg 379–95; d Milan, Jan 17, 395).

Roman emperor and patron. His father, Count Theodosios, was executed in 376 under Valens (reg 364–78), but in 379 Gratian (reg 367–83) proclaimed Theodosios emperor of the eastern empire. In a series of campaigns he contained the invading Goths and crushed two rivals in the west: Magnus Maximus (reg 383–8) and Eugenius (reg 392–4), who was supported by leading pagans in the Roman aristocracy. He was a devout Nicene Christian and persecutor of heretics and was much influenced by St Ambrose of Milan (c. 339–97), who forced him to do penance for his massacre of between 7000 and 15,000 people in the Hippodrome at Thessaloniki in 390. He abolished sacrifices and confirmed the disendowment of pagan cults but gave some legal protection to statues and temples as works of art. In 384–8, however, he permitted his fanatical minister Cynegius to tour the eastern provinces destroying temples. The empire was by then becoming firmly Christian, and the resulting flowering of Christian literature, art and architecture is known as the Theodosian Renaissance. At Rome he and his co-emperors began the construction of ...


(b Italica, eastern Spain, ad 53; reg 98–117; d Selinus, Turkey, 117).

Roman emperor and patron. He was the adopted son of Nerva, whom he succeeded. From ad 101 to 107 he conducted the two Dacian campaigns that are depicted in the spiral reliefs on the great column that bears his name (ded. ad 113; see Rome, §V, 7; see fig.). It was erected as the crowning glory of the great Forum of Trajan, built between ad 107 and 113, which completed the vast urban complex of Imperial Fora (see Rome, §V, 2). Both the arch that marked its entrance and the Basilica Ulpia at its west end—the largest ever constructed in Rome—displayed a wealth of relief sculpture: a long frieze in high relief covered the attic of the basilica for its whole length, probably on all four sides of the building. On the slopes of the Quirinal Hill, which was cut to make room for the forum, Trajan built an extensive and articulated system of shops on two levels, culminating in the great hall (...