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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

[CESCM]

French organization founded in Poitiers in 1953. The Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CECSM) is affiliated with the Université de Poitiers, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. The founders, among them historian Edmond-René Labande and art historian René Crozet, began CESCM as a month-long interdisciplinary study of medieval civilization, inviting foreign students to participate. CESCM has since developed into a permanent organization but maintains the international and interdisciplinary focus of its founders.

CESCM continues to hold its formative summer session, known as ‘Les Semaines d’études médiévales’, and invites advanced graduate students of all nationalities. The summer session spans two weeks and includes sessions on a variety of topics, each conducted by a member or affiliate of CESCM. CESCM supports collaborative research groups and regularly holds colloquia attended by the international scholarly community.

Since 1958 CECSM has published ...

Article

Douglass Shand-Tucci

(b Hampton Falls, NH, Dec 16, 1863; d Boston, Sept 22, 1942).

American architect and writer. Cram was the leading Gothic Revival architect in North America in the first half of the 20th century, at the head of an informal school known as the Boston Gothicists, who transformed American church design.

In 1881 Cram was apprenticed to the firm of Rotch & Tilden in Boston. His letters on artistic subjects to the Boston Transcript led to his appointment as the journal’s art critic by the mid-1880s. In 1886 he began his first European tour. In 1888 he founded the firm of Cram & Wentworth with Charles Wentworth (1861–97). With the arrival of Bertram Goodhue, the firm became Cram, Wentworth & Goodhue in 1892, and in 1899 Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, with Frank Ferguson (1861–1926) having joined the office as business and engineering partner following the death of Wentworth.

Cram was strongly influenced both by the philosophies of John Ruskin...

Article

Teresa S. Watts

(b Mulhouse, Sept 28, 1727; d Kassel, bur May 1798).

Swiss architect, painter, draughtsman and writer. He served as an engineer in the French army (1748–54) and drew Gothic monuments in Spain (1748) and copied ancient vases and painted idyllic landscapes in Rome (1749–54). He then stayed from 1755 to 1759 with Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill, where he worked as a topographical artist, portrait painter and architectural draughtsman. Having left Walpole after a domestic dispute, Müntz attempted to support himself through commissions, producing drawings of a Gothic cathedral and possibly the Alhambra for Kew Gardens, a dining room and cloister (New Haven, CT, Yale U., Lewis Walpole Lib.) for Richard Bateman, and an oval room for Lord Charlemont, to complement his vase collection. All were in the Gothic style, as were a number of architectural drawings later used in a guide by Robert Manwaring (1760). Müntz left England in 1762 and spent a year recording monuments in Greece and Jerusalem before settling in Holland, where he worked until ...

Article

Charles T. Little

(b Paris, 1931; d May 1, 2009).

French art historian of medieval art. As Professor of the University of Paris IV (Paris-Sorbonne) from 1981 until 1998, she was a leading specialist in French architecture and stained glass. She was president of the French section of Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi from 1980 to 1988. Studying at the Ecole du Louvre, she wrote initially on the sculpture of Reims, followed by a study on Notre-Dame-en-Vaux at Châlons-en-Champagne, Notre-Dame-en-Vaux. Her doctoral dissertation for the Sorbonne, under the direction of Louis Grodecki (1910–82), became an important monograph on St Remi at Reims. This was later followed by several books on Chartres Cathedral that stand out as classic studies. Aside from technical studies of the origin and development of the flying buttress, she was able to determine building sequences for a number of monuments by utilizing dendrochonological analysis of wooden beams. Her interest in Gothic architecture lead to a new series devoted to the Gothic monuments of France by Editions Picard. Her important contribution to Zodiaque publications included books on the ...

Article

Michael J. Lewis

(b Boppard, March 22, 1808; d Cologne, July 16, 1895).

German architect, writer, and politician. He was Germany’s foremost Gothic Revival theorist and publicist and a crucial figure in the completion of Cologne Cathedral. A jurist, parliamentarian, and founding member of the Catholic-oriented Zentrumspartei, he defended the interests of his native Rhineland in a political career that stretched from the 1848 National Assembly to the Reichstag. Nonetheless, art and architecture remained his first loves and played an integral role in his political programme. He helped to shift the Gothic Revival away from the pan-German nationalism and liberalism of the early 19th century and to create a movement saturated with regionalist and separatist values.

Reichensperger was educated as a lawyer in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Paris; he served the Prussian administration, becoming an appellate judge in 1841. He supported the religious and political revival that swept the Rhineland in the late 1830s and helped to establish a Catholic press and to organize a series of Catholic lay brotherhoods. His political vision was inspired by the writings of Johann Joseph von Görres, who expressed a critical view of the modern state and enthusiasm for the decentralized power structure of medieval society. Reichensperger was active, from its founding, in the Dombauverein, the association dedicated to the completion of ...

Article

(b Padua, April 27, 1803; d Padua, Feb 26, 1880).

Italian critic, art historian, architect, and teacher. He was one of the most important writers in mid-19th-century Italy on Gothic art and architecture—an interest stimulated by his support for the Catholic Revival and manifested in his Gothic Revival architectural designs.

He belonged to a noble family awarded the title of marchese by the House of Este princes in Modena, with permission to add Estense to the name Selvatico. He enrolled in the Faculty of Jurisprudence in the University of Padua, mainly to satisfy his family, but he never took his degree. Instead he began to study the history of art and culture with the Abbot Ludovico Menin, a local scholar, and took painting lessons with Giovanni Demin (1786–1859), whose work was known for its late Neo-classicism and incipient Romanticism. More important, however, was his meeting with Giuseppe Jappelli, the architect who adorned Padua with such masterpieces as the Caffè Pedrocchi and whose stylistic eclecticism was very significant at that time. Selvatico painted a few pictures, none of which survived; he also produced some architectural work, which, although not particularly remarkable, can be clearly documented. He began to participate in the cultural life of his city and entered the Accademia di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Padua while still a young man. He also visited the most famous cities and monuments in Italy and went to Paris, London, and Germany; evidence of these travels can be seen in his later practical and theoretical work. He was influenced not only by artistic movements but also by more general social and cultural developments, which, because of the Industrial Revolution, were further advanced in France and England than in Italy....