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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

Michael Gullick

Term used to describe the study of physical aspects of the medieval handwritten book or manuscript. Codicological studies are also described, or referred to, as the archaeology of the book. As a discipline or science the fundamental philosophical and methodological principles of codicology are still being debated. For some, codicology is an area of study more or less complete in itself: the examination of materials, tools, and techniques. For others, codicology only supports the older disciplines of textual analysis, criticism, and transmission, the study of scribes and scripts, the history of illumination and decoration, and the history of book collections and libraries.

The essential concern of codicology is to identify and record the quantifiable physical features of manuscripts, and to identify the tools, techniques and conditions of manuscript production (see Manuscript). Its essential premise is that physical features and techniques varied, in large and small ways, from place to place and from century to century. The systematic observation and analysis of physical features and techniques, therefore, either in isolation or in conjunction with other kinds of internal and external evidence, can aid in the more precise dating and localization of a manuscript. Who did what, when, where, and how are still the fundamental questions asked by scholars of every kind of manuscript. Codicological studies are supported, wherever possible, by the evidence of written texts, and this includes inscriptions and colophons found within manuscripts themselves. Evidence has been collected and continues to be discovered from a wide range of literary texts and archival sources. Visual evidence of book production techniques is found depicted in manuscript miniatures as well as in sculpture and painting....

Article

Olle Granath

(b São Paulo, Dec 28, 1928; d Stockholm, Nov 8, 1976).

Swedish painter. Following a childhood spent in Brazil, he moved to Sweden in 1939. He studied archaeology and the history of art, specializing in pre-Columbian manuscripts, and he showed an interest in the theatre. In the early 1950s he worked as a journalist, wrote plays and poems and in 1952 began to paint his first composite pictures. In 1953 Fahlström published a manifesto, Hipy Papy Bthuthdth Thuthda Bthuthdy: Manifesto for Concrete Poetry (Stockholm), which manipulates language irrespective of the meanings of words. He saw an unexploited wealth, both sensual and intellectual, in its phonetic materials and in the distortions that occur when letters are transposed. In the following years he worked mainly on a large painting entitled Ade-Ledic-Nander II (oil, 1955–7; Stockholm, Mod. Mus.), where little hieroglyphic signs are arranged in major, antagonistic groups. Next, he appropriated images from such comic strips as Krazy Kat (for illustration see Comic-strip art...

Article

David Leatherbarrow

(b London, 1771; d London, Dec 1843).

English architect, writer and illustrator. A brilliant draughtsman, speculative archaeologist and an avid reader of ancient myth, he was one of England’s most remarkable visionary architects. His career began in 1787, when he was apprenticed to James Wyatt. Two years later he entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, and won the Silver Medal in his first year and the Gold in the next. He then left for Italy, where he visited all the important Classical sites as well as less well-known sites in the Roman Campagna. He usually travelled with painters and architects, most often with C. H. Tatham and G. A. Wallis (1770–1847). Gandy won a special medal in an Accademia di S Luca competition in 1795 but was forced to return to London in 1797 because of the advance of Napoleon’s army into Italy and the bankruptcy of his financial supporter John Martindale.

Gandy was unable to set up an architectural practice when he returned to England owing to financial difficulties and worked for ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[ Yeh Kung-ch’uo ; zi Yufu, Yuhu ; hao Xiaan, Juyuan ]

(b Panyu, Guangdong Province, 1881; d 1968).

Chinese calligrapher, painter, archaeologist, collector, poet and government official. He was born into a wealthy, scholarly family, received a classical education and as a youth of 16 founded a school in Guangzhou (Canton) and a publishing company in Shanghai; at 17 he enrolled in law school at the Imperial University in Beijing. His studies were interrupted two years later by the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, whereupon Ye moved to Wuchang, Hubei Province, and taught history, geography and modern languages for four years. In 1906 he began his official career as a specialist in railways and communications. After 1911, Ye held various positions in the Republican government and was instrumental in the establishment of Jiaotong University in Shanghai; he also served as director of classics for several years at Peking [Beijing] University. After the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), he gave up his government career and devoted himself to the arts and research, although he continued to serve on educational and cultural committees for the rest of his life. In particular, he became involved in the committee to organize the simplification of Chinese characters. In ...

Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Site in Tajikistan, 70 km east of Pendzhikent, where the Kum River falls into the Zarafshan. After a chance find on a high cliff (Mt Mug) of a basket containing fragments of manuscripts written in an unknown language, excavations were begun in November 1933 by the USSR Academy of Sciences and by the Tajik section. The remains of a castle (19.5×18.5 m; 7th century–early 8th) were uncovered, with a corridor on the north side providing access to five narrow (2 m) vaulted rooms used to store provisions. An upper residential storey was destroyed. The microclimate of the high location helped to preserve organic materials that would have had no chance of preservation under normal conditions. Some 500 objects were retrieved, the majority of which are in the Oriental Department of the Hermitage, St Petersburg. The 150 fragments of cotton, silk (local and Chinese), linen and woollen textiles included a few entire items (children’s stockings, socks, swaddling cloths and a purse for an amulet) and three patterned hairnets. Everyday wooden utensils included footed dishes, a ladle, cups, a large trowel, a two-sided comb, a box, willow baskets and boxes, loom fittings and brightly painted arrowshafts. A leather-covered and painted wooden shield had a mounted Sogdian warrior wearing a coat of mail and carrying a mace depicted on the outer side; the inner side was painted to resemble leopard skin (...

Article

Alison Stones

French town in the Dordogne that grew up on the site of Roman Vesunna. Roman remains include the arena, temple and villa, the latter now the site of a museum of Roman art designed by Jean Nouvel. Several medieval houses preserve fragments of 13th-century wall paintings. The former medieval cathedral dedicated to St Etienne is located between the temple and arena and preserves several bays of its early 12th-century choir with a flat east end vaulted with domes on pendentives. Similar domes are found at the 12th-century abbey church of St Front, originally outside the walls and since 1669 the cathedral. St Front has a Greek-cross plan like that of the Holy Apostles (destr.) in Constantinople and St Mark’s in Venice. It was restored by Paul Abadie, architect of Sacré-Coeur, Paris, who endowed both buildings with ‘pepper-pot’ turrets. Fragments of early 12th-century sculpture from St Front survive at the Musée du Périgord in Périgueux, some from the tomb of St Fronto described in the mid-12th-century Pilgrims Guide to Santiago de Compostela, where it is claimed that Fronto was sent to Périgueux by St Peter. Other medieval holdings in the museum include the Diptych of Rabastens (Tarn), the founding charter of the Confraternity of the Assumption, containing the names of the founding members beneath scenes of the ...

Article

Gretchen G. Fox

[Virginio]

(b Rome, Feb 12, 1808; d Rome, Dec 4, 1882).

Italian architect. As a young draughtsman he contributed illustrations to books popularizing Roman archaeology, such as Edward Dodwell’s I sette colli di Roma (London, 1829). Vespignani trained under Luigi Poletti and worked with him (1837–69) on the reconstruction of S Paolo fuori le mura, continuing the work on Poletti’s death. Three sides of the great quadriporticus were finished (1893) to his designs after his own death. A favourite of Pope Pius IX (reg 1846–78), he benefited from the many papal commissions generated during his reign. He applied historical revival styles to his work, for instance in his Madonna dell’Archetto Chapel (1851) in the Via di S Marcello, and the Confessio (1864) in S Maria Maggiore, both in Rome. Three early works were public monuments in Rome, including the new façade of the Porta Pia (1852–68), an eclectic work with elements borrowed from the Arch of Titus. In contrast, his Porta S Pancrazio (...