1-12 of 12 results  for:

  • Writer or Scholar x
  • Ancient Rome x
  • Archaeology x
Clear all

Article

Geoffrey Waywell

(b Ilford, June 22, 1894; d Peebles, Feb 25, 1988).

English archaeologist . One of the most distinguished Classical scholars of the 20th century, specializing in Greek and Roman sculpture, he was equally well-known for his skills as an administrator and teacher. He was appointed Assistant Curator of Coins at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1922, leaving the post to become Director of the British School in Rome in 1925. Tempted by the opportunity of proximity to the British Museum collections and library, Ashmole returned to England in 1929 to take up the Yates Chair of Classical Archaeology at the University of London (1929–48), soon arranging a transfer to the university of the museum’s collection of plaster casts. As Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum (1939–56), he was largely responsible for the eventual display of the Elgin Marbles in the Duveen Gallery. He returned to Oxford in 1956 as Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology, from which post he retired in ...

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

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

Maria Adelaide Miranda

[Virgílio]

(b Régua, Oct 19, 1888; d Coimbra, June 3, 1944).

Portuguese art historian, writer, archaeologist and museum official. He studied Law at the Universidade de Coimbra but soon became involved in research in the history of art, archaeology and ethnography, and in 1921 he was appointed as a lecturer in art history and aesthetics at the university. He was also a distinguished museum official, serving as Curator of the Museu Etnológico Português and of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, in Lisbon. In 1929 he was appointed Director of the Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro, in Coimbra. Among his archaeological activities was that of directing the excavations at Conímbriga, south of Coimbra. Aware of the lack of objectivity in the study of archaeology and art history in Portugal, he investigated these disciplines thoroughly and sought to found them on direct observation and the consultation of sources. He favoured a method of research based on the study of documents, believing that only the document and the work of art remained constant, whereas aesthetic appreciation constantly changed. However, he thought that the document alone was not enough but had to be supported by material from photographic archives and by the gathering of data from museums, such that everything that might clarify the subject of study was brought together in one place. His vast body of published work includes ...

Article

John Curran

(Valéry Marie)

(b Aalst, Jan 3, 1868; d Woluwe, Brussels, Aug 20, 1947).

Belgian archaeologist and religious historian. Educated in Ghent, Bonn, Berlin and Paris, he taught at the University of Ghent from 1896 to 1910. He made a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the complexity of ancient paganism and its symbols, and he travelled widely in Syria and Turkey in search of ancient astrological drawings and symbols. Other important early works of this prolific scholar focused on the influence of ancient oriental cults, particularly Mithraism, on the Roman world and on Christianity. He developed an interest in pagan representations of the afterlife and collected widely dispersed information for his great work Recherches sur le symbolisme funéraire des Romains. This broke decisively with the tradition of romantic scholarship, which had concentrated on style, aesthetic quality and dating: Cumont marshalled his impressive archaeological knowledge to present a scientific categorization of the material remains of ancient funerary art, including sculpture, painting and sarcophagus reliefs, together with a penetrating and influential analysis of the selection and meaning of the artistic themes used....

Article

Barry Bergdoll

(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).

French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...

Article

John Curran

(b Oslo, March 2, 1903; d Rome, Dec 5, 1983).

Norwegian art historian and archaeologist. Founder of the Norwegian Institute in Rome, he played a major part in establishing late Antique art as an independent and worthy subject of research. His early work concentrated on portraiture, where he collected, published and analysed many little-known late Roman busts and portraits. In 1939 he produced with A. von Gerkan an unsurpassed study of the Arch of Constantine in Rome, which interpreted the monument as a crucial link between late Classical and early medieval art. His treatment of the composite nature of the construction and hierarchy of figures on the arch was particularly significant. His interest in art and political power led to studies on the symbolism of monarchy and the heavens in history, from the Ancient Near East to 11th-century Europe. He also studied the civic art of the later Roman empire, revealing the richness and variety of its themes. A collection of articles published on his 70th birthday (...

Article

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 ...

Article

John Wilton-Ely

[Giambattista]

(b Mogliano, nr Mestre, Oct 4, 1720; d Rome, Nov 9, 1778).

Italian etcher, engraver, designer, architect, archaeologist and theorist. He is considered one of the supreme exponents of topographical engraving, but his lifelong preoccupation with architecture was fundamental to his art. Although few of his architectural designs were executed, he had a seminal influence on European Neo-classicism through personal contacts with architects, patrons and visiting artists in Rome over the course of nearly four decades. His prolific output of etched plates, which combined remarkable flights of imagination with a strongly practical understanding of ancient Roman technology, fostered a new and lasting perception of antiquity. He was also a designer of festival structures and stage sets, interior decoration and furniture, as well as a restorer of antiquities. The interaction of this rare combination of activities led him to highly original concepts of design, which were advocated in a body of influential theoretical writings. The ultimate legacy of his unique vision of Roman civilization was an imaginative interpretation and re-creation of the past, which inspired writers and poets as much as artists and designers....

Article

Dagmar Preising

(b Berlin, Oct 16, 1886; d Berlin, April 27, 1945).

German archaeologist. He studied Classical archaeology, philology, ancient history and history of art in Berlin and Halle and in 1909 published his thesis, in Latin, on the composition of the wall paintings at Pompeii. In 1922, after a professorship at the University of Giessen, he took over the direction of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Berlin, which he brought to international recognition. In 1932 he became a professor at the Winckelmann Institut and president of the Archäologische Gesellschaft. His academic work ranged widely, from the art of the Mycenaean period (wall paintings in particular) to Late Antiquity, and included the reception of Late Antique art in classicizing revivals; there are 243 titles in the list of his publications. One of his interests was Greek relief sculpture and its polychromy. His reputation outside Germany is based mainly on his achievements in the field of Roman art and the art of Late Antiquity. He continued the work begun by his teacher, ...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....

Article

(b Glasgow, Sept 10, 1890; d London, July 22, 1976).

English archaeologist . Educated at Bradford Grammar School and University College, London, he was made Director of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, in 1924, before moving to London as Keeper and Secretary of the London Museum (now the Museum of London) in 1926, where he also established the post-graduate Institute of Archaeology (1937) within the University of London. After active military service during World War II he reorganized archaeology in India as Director General of Archaeology (1944–8). On his return to London he began to reform and reshape the British Academy as Honorary Secretary. Meanwhile, he was a tireless excavator of some of the most notable sites in Britain, including the Roman temple complex at Lydney Park, Glos (1928–9; pubd 1933), the Roman city of Verulamium (now St Albans; 1930–33; pubd 1936), Maiden Castle (1934–6; pubd 1943) and Stanwick (pubd 1951–2...