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Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Valeria Farinati

(b Casale Monferrato, Oct 24, 1795; d Florence, Oct 17, 1856).

Italian architect, archaeologist and architectural historian. He studied architecture at the University of Turin (1810–12) under Ferdinando Bonsignore (1767–1843) and his assistant Giuseppe Talucchi (1782–1863). After serving (1812–14) in the fortress of Alessandria, he resumed his studies and obtained a degree in architecture in 1814. He served a period of apprenticeship under Talucchi, who helped him obtain a three-year grant from the Court of Turin for further study in Rome, where Canina settled in January 1818. He worked on engravings of Roman monuments under the antiquarian, scholar and publisher Mariano Vasi (1744–1820), and at the end of his three-year period as pensionato, he presented a survey of the Colosseum (Anfiteatro Flavio descritto, misurato e restaurato; dispersed) to the architects of the Accademia di S Luca, including Giuseppe Valadier, who were much impressed.

In 1824 Canina was appointed to execute his scheme for the expansion of the park of the ...

Article

Massimiliano David

(b Berlin, 1858; d Florence, 1935).

German architectural historian and archaeologist. He attended the University of Berlin from 1876 to 1880 and studied archaeology with Ernst Curtius and Hans Jordan, classical philology with Emil Hübner and Johannes Vahlen, ancient history with Hans Droysen and Theodor Mommsen, and epigraphy with Johann Wilhelm Adolf Kirchhoff. In 1881 he went to Rome with the aid of a grant from the German Institute of Archaeology. From then on he devoted himself to the study of Rome from the point of view of epigraphy, topography, cartography and urban development. He was especially interested in studying the ways in which Renaissance artists approached the ancient monuments of Rome. From 1887 to 1909 Hülsen held the post of second secretary of the Institute in Rome, and he was an honorary professor at the University of Heidelberg.

Das Forum Romanum (Rome, 1904; Eng. trans., Rome, 1906, 2/1909) ‘La pianta di Roma dell’anonimo einsidlense’, Atti della Pontificia accademia romana di archeologia...

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

Jordi Oliveras

(b Mataró, Oct 15, 1867; d Barcelona, Dec 24, 1956).

Spanish Catalan architect, architectural historian, archaeologist and politician. He graduated from the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura, Barcelona, in 1891, afterwards working as a municipal architect in Mataró. In 1897 he began working as an independent architect in Barcelona, while also teaching at the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura and writing on architectural history. His first works as an architect, the Casa Martí (1896) in Carrer de Montsió, Barcelona, and the Casa Garí (1898), El Cros, Argentona, are typical of Catalan Art Nouveau (Modernismo) in that they show a neo-medieval influence, as do his slightly later projects in Barcelona, such as the improvements (1898–1900) to the Casa Ametller in the Passeig de Gràcia, the Casa Macaya (1901) in the Passeig de S Joan, the Casa Serra (1903–7; now the main seat of the Diputació de Catalunya) on the Rambla de Catalunya, the Casa Terrades or Casa de les Punxes (...

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

Eugene Dwyer, Peter Kidson and Pier Nicola Pagliara

(fl later 1st century bc). Roman architect, engineer and writer, renowned for his treatise in ten books, On Architecture (Lat. De architectura), the only text on architectural theory and practice to have survived from Classical antiquity.

Eugene Dwyer

Vitruvius is known in the earliest manuscripts of On Architecture only by this name, a nomen gentilicium or clan name. By his own testimony (I. Preface), he was already an older man at the time he dedicated his treatise to the Emperor Augustus (?27 or 14 bc). He had earlier served Augustus’ adoptive father, Julius Caesar, as a siege engineer, and at some time after Caesar’s death (44 bc) he entered the service of Octavian (after 27 bc called Augustus). He enjoyed Octavian’s continued patronage on the recommendation of the latter’s sister, Octavia, a fact that suggests a period of service under her second husband, the triumvir ...