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date: 17 September 2019

Demus, Ottolocked

(b nr St Pölten, 1902; d Vienna, 1990).
  • Robin Cormack

Extract

(b nr St Pölten, 1902; d Vienna, 1990).

Austrian art historian. A highly influential scholar of Byzantine art, he was also concerned with western medieval painting, particularly Romanesque, and with the restoration of Austrian monuments. He studied art history under Josef Strzygowski at the University of Vienna (1921–8). From 1930 to 1936 he worked for the Austrian monuments service as keeper of monuments in Carinthia. In 1939 he emigrated to England where he worked as librarian of the Warburg Institute in London and taught at the Courtauld Institute. In 1946 he returned to Austria as president of the reconstituted monuments service, and from 1963 to 1973 held the chair of art history in the University of Vienna, where he taught medieval and Byzantine art.

Although he often demonstrated an unerring ability to set a medieval monument in the context of its artistic tradition, he appears sometimes to have been inattentive to detail and to historical textual issues. Yet, even in his earliest work (...

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