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Article

Nicholas Penny

Term used between the 15th and the 18th century to refer in a general way to the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. It was used to appeal to qualities and standards common, or thought to be common, to the art of that period. It was widely believed that such qualities should be revived, should inspire and (no less important) should control the productions of the modern artist. Progress in taste involved a return to the Antique. Such a vague index of excellence could not have survived for centuries had it not commanded general consent, and for this very reason it is fundamental to any understanding of European culture in this period. The Antique was indeed in many respects equivalent to the Classics—a category, quite as vague, that constituted the body of generally admired ancient Greek and Roman literature. These were also recommended as models, but for modern literature in the modern languages. Implicit in the pedagogic invocation of the Antique as a standard was the assumption that antique art was generally superior: it was not believed that all ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture were of the highest quality, but it was assumed that most of it was of high quality and worthy of special study. Moreover, within the four or more centuries of Greek and Roman civilization held up for special admiration, little development or variation was allowed for. This was certainly a false picture, but it is based on one important truth: patrons of high art of the Roman Empire and of the Hellenistic kingdoms seem to have acknowledged that certain models of excellence in art and architecture had been achieved that should be faithfully imitated and that could never be surpassed. It was indeed precisely because the concept of the superior ancient model was so powerful in antiquity that the Antique could reassume an equivalent role in the modern world....

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

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

(b Glasgow, Sept 13, 1885; d Oxford, May 6, 1970).

British scholar and archaeologist. He is best known for his life-long study of Athenian figure-decorated vases. His career at Oxford began in 1903, when he went up to Balliol College as a student. From 1907 to 1920 he was a lecturer at Christ Church College, from 1920 to 1925 University Lecturer in Classical Archaeology, and in 1925–56 Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology. He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1949 and a Companion of Honour in 1959.

Beazley contributed significantly to many aspects of Classical scholarship. His extensive work on Athenian vase painting of the 6th, 5th and 4th centuries bc includes such publications as Attic Black-figure Vase-painters (1956) and, in 1963, the expanded edition of his Attic Red-figure Vase-painters (1942). These volumes together list over 50,000 vases, which he assigned to more than 1000 artists, classes and groups. Further attributions followed in Paralipomena (1970...

Article

V. Ya. Petrukhin

(Dmitriyevich)

(b St Petersburg, Sept 12, 1899; d Moscow, Nov 10, 1980).

Russian archaeologist and art historian. He graduated from the social sciences department at Moscow University in 1923 and joined the staff of, first, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and then the State Academy of Art Sciences (later the Research Institute for the Theory and History of Fine Art), taking part in several archaeological expeditions. From 1925 to 1929 he was a postgraduate student at the Russian Association of Social Sciences Research Institutes and took part in excavations of Ol’viya under the direction of Boris Farmakovsky. In the 1930s he was on the staff of the State Academy for the History of Material Culture, teaching and conducting excavations at the ancient cities of Charaxes, Panticapaeum (now Kerch) and Phanagoreia. His general works on Classical architecture and Greek sculpture were published in this period. In 1943 he defended his doctoral thesis on the techniques of Classical sculpture and became a professor of archaeology at Moscow University. In ...

Article

Donald F. Easton

(William)

(b Minneapolis, Jan 27, 1887; d Athens, Aug 24, 1971).

American archaeologist. From 1911 to 1927 he held posts at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens; from 1927 onwards he was Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Cincinnati. Early surveys and soundings around Corinth led to excavations at Korakou (1915–6), which established a full Bronze Age sequence for the Greek mainland, a sequence then confirmed at Zygouries (1921–2). Excavations at Nemea (1924–6) and Acrocorinth (1926) dealt mainly with Classical periods. But at Prosymna in the Argolid (1925–8) Blegen exposed a large Middle and Late Helladic cemetery. Further study of burial customs and of the distribution of prehistoric sites convinced him that Greek-speakers entered Greece c. 1900 bc, a view long influential but now doubted. His excavations at Troy (1932–8) greatly refined previous findings by Heinrich Schliemann and Wilhelm Dörpfeld and suggested that Troy VIIa, not VI, was destroyed in the Trojan War (...

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

V. Ya. Petrukhin

(Vladimirovich)

(b Vyatka, Feb 12, 1870; d Pargolovo, Leningrad [now St Petersburg] province, July 29, 1928).

Russian archaeologist and art historian. He graduated from the historical philology department at Novorossiysk University in 1892 and then visited museums and studied the results of excavations in Greece, Italy, France and Turkey (1894–7). From 1896 to 1900 he was academic secretary of the Russian Archaeological Institute in Istanbul. From 1901 to 1918 he was a member of the Archaeological Commission in St Petersburg (Petrograd from 1914) and academic secretary of the Russian Archaeological Society (1906–19). He became a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1914 and a professor at Petrograd University in 1919. In 1921 he was appointed academic secretary of the State Academy for the History of Material Culture and curator of the State Hermitage Museum in 1924. He began independent excavations of the necropolis at Ol’viya and on Berezan’ Island in 1896 and followed this with a systematic study of Ol’viya in ...

Article

(Michael)

(b Freiburg im Breisgau, June 30, 1854; d Athens, Oct 10, 1907).

German archaeologist. His pioneering work transformed the study of Greek art from dependence on literary sources into a discipline based on a comprehensive knowledge of artefacts. Furtwängler was descended from a Black Forest family of peasants, wood-carvers and clockmakers; he attended Freiburg school, where his father was headmaster, studied Classics at Freiburg and Leipzig, and Classical archaeology under Heinrich Brunn (1822–94), the first professor of the subject at Munich. At the newly established Deutsches Archäologisches Institut at Rome (1877–8), he acquired mastery of the vast quantity of Greco-Roman sculpture in Italian collections. In Greece (1878–9) he studied original Greek artefacts, plentifully unearthed in recent excavations. He and Georg Loeschke (1852–1915) classified and published the pottery excavated by Heinrich Schliemann at Mycenae. Furtwängler’s work on 14,150 small bronzes from Olympia culminated in his authoritative fourth volume of the German excavation reports (1890...

Article

W. Eugene Kleinbauer

(b Munich, Dec 12, 1912; d Poughkeepsie, NY, Jan 22, 2003).

German art historian of late antiquity, Byzantium and Norman Sicily, active also in the USA. Kitzinger was a prominent medievalist who went to Rome in 1931 to begin doctoral work in medieval art history under the supervision of Wilhelm Pinder. Within three years he earned his PhD at the University of Munich. His dissertation, Roman Painting from the Beginning of the Seventh to the Middle of the Eighth Century, analysed the style of mosaics and frescoes in church buildings and catacombs, and convincingly demonstrated that no linear development can be traced in this period in part because different ‘styles’ can sometimes be shown to have coexisted. He effectively refuted the thesis advanced by Charles Rufus Morey of Princeton University that the Greek Hellenistic style had been transplanted by Alexandrian refugees to Rome in the earliest Middle Ages. Kitzinger pursued this research in major papers—his exacting analysis of texts related to the cult of images before Iconoclasm (...

Article

Alison Stones

Legends and myths in medieval art are often symbolic rather than narrative, appearing as isolated representations on monuments and portable objects and following the tradition of Greek vase painting where individual subjects are depicted and rely on prior knowledge of the stories for recognition and understanding. World histories celebrated great heroes of the past, starting with Creation and biblical history, then the ancient and medieval world with the exploits of the Trojan heroes, Alexander the Great, King Arthur and the campaigns of Charlemagne and his nephew Roland. Northern gods such as Thor were depicted in cult statues (c. 1000; Reykjavík, N. Mus.) or through such ornamental hammers as those from north Jutland in the Copenhagen Nationalmuseum, and Freya, head of the Valkyries, was painted riding a cat on the walls of Schleswig Cathedral.

The Fall of Troy is most celebrated in the early 13th-century copy of Heinrich von Veldecke’s ...

Article

Phyllis Pray Bober

(b Rostock, Sept 27, 1894; d Basle, Dec 17, 1960).

German art historian and archaeologist. He was educated at Tübingen, Göttingen and Munich, and in 1922 he received his PhD from Berlin and became a Fellow of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Athens. He pursued his archaeological career first at Berlin and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Rome (1922–5), then at Heidelberg. In 1929 he was appointed to the chair at Munster and served as the director of the university museum. Under pressure from the Nazi regime, Lehmann left to reside in Rome, subsequently joining the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, then being developed as a premier research centre in archaeology and the history of art. By 1938 Lehmann had founded and was directing the Institute’s Archaeological Research Fund, its primary objective being the study of ancient mystery cult and excavation of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace. His scholarship and teaching reflected the wide interests of a modern humanist, including, for example, the study of ancient buildings as represented by die-cutters for coins and the transformation of such ancient ship-fountains as the ...

Article

Article

Mark D. Fullerton

(fl Rome, 1st century bc).

Greek sculptor and writer from South Italy. He is generally regarded as the head of a school producing eclectic, neo-classical statuary related to Neo-Attic decorative reliefs. Virtually everything known about Pasiteles is derived from a few literary references. No signatures of his are extant, although a marble statue of a youth (c. 50 bc; Rome, Villa Albani) is signed by Stephanos as his pupil. Pasiteles received Roman citizenship around 89–88 bc, when enfranchisement was extended as a result of the Social War (Pliny XXXIII.lv.156; XXXVI.iv.40). He is mentioned as an expert in the chasing of metal (caelatura), especially elaborately decorated silver vessels (Pliny XXXV.xlv.156; Cicero: On Divination I.xxxvi.79). Despite being both a sculptor and metalworker, Pasiteles is never mentioned by Pliny in his section on sculptors in bronze. Rather, he is specifically identified as a modeller and ivory carver (XXXV.xlv.156; XXXVI.iv.40). He must have worked in marble as well, since his name occurs twice in book XXXVI, where marble sculpture is treated, and his student ...

Article

Plato  

Martha C. Nussbaum

(b ?Athens, c. 429 bc; d 347 bc).

Ancient Greek philosopher. He was the son of a distinguished and wealthy Athenian family and grew up in turbulent times; the Peloponnesian War and the bitter struggles between local oligarchic and democratic factions made life unstable and justice difficult. In 399 bc the restored democracy put to death Plato’s beloved teacher Socrates (469–399 bc), reinforcing his dislike of democratic institutions. During the following years Plato travelled widely, beginning his friendship with Dion of Syracuse (409–353 bc). Around 385 bc he returned to Athens, where he remained for most of the rest of his life. He began teaching in a school that was later the first to be called an ‘Academy’, after the grove in which it stood. Plato made two further visits to Syracuse, attempting at Dion’s request, but without success, to make a philosopher of the young ruler Dionysius II (reg 367–343 bc)....

Article

Flemming Johansen

(Sigfred)

(b Dalsgaard, Denmark, May 7, 1876; d Copenhagen, Nov 8, 1950).

Danish archaeologist and writer. He studied in Göttingen and Munich 1886–97, was a private tutor in Poland 1901–2, received a PhD from the University of Copenhagen in 1904 and was director of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, from 1926 to 1943. Throughout much of the latter period (1926–32) he excavated at Kalydon. He wrote novels, short stories and travel sketches and contributed articles on the history of art and the ancient world to Danish newspapers for many years. His memoirs describing life in Europe around 1900 are still readable. His book Der Orient und die frühgriechische Kunst was a pioneering work, and his scholarship in Greek and Roman iconography was innovative. He studied the Greek and Roman portraits in English country houses and had a special interest in Etruscan art. As director of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek he made many important acquisitions, such as the statue of Demosthenes...

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

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

(b Stendal, Dec 9, 1717; d Trieste, June 8, 1768).

German art historian. His writings on the sculpture of ancient Greece and Rome redefined the history of art and provided a theoretical apologia for Neo-classicism. Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums (1764) was a standard reference on the art of the ancient world until well into the 19th century. Winckelmann revolutionized archaeological studies by providing a framework for stylistic classification of antiquities by period of origin, whereas previous antiquarian scholars had concerned themselves almost exclusively with questions of subject-matter. His analysis of the aesthetics of Greek art and his account of the conditions that encouraged its flowering, which highlighted the importance of climate and the political freedom of the ancient Greek city states, had a major impact in the art world of his time. His scholarly celebrations of masterpieces of ancient sculpture were particularly popular and were widely quoted in travel books and artistic treatises.

The son of a cobbler, Winckelmann studied Greek and Latin, as well as theology, mathematics and medicine, at the universities of Halle and Jena. After five years as a Classics teacher in Seehausen, he was employed in ...

Article

( fl Athens, c. 280 bc). Greek sculptor and writer. Though none of his work has survived, three statue bases signed by a Xenokrates and dating from the early 3rd century bc are extant. According to Pliny (Natural History XXXIV.lvxxxiii) he was a pupil either of Euthykrates, the son of Lysippos, or of Teisikrates, the pupil of Euthykrates (thus closely associated with the Sikyonian school of sculpture headed by Lysippos; see Greece, ancient §IV 2., (iv) ), and he ‘surpassed them both in the number of his statues, and wrote volumes about his art’. In the only other mention of Xenokrates in the text of the Natural History (he is also cited in the index to book XXXIV as having written a treatise on the working of sculpture in metal) Pliny named him, along with Antigonos of Karystos, as the source for the observation that the painter Parrhasios was a master draughtsman (XXXV.lxviii). In fact, Pliny’s whole discussion of the history of sculpture and painting is generally regarded as having been heavily influenced by Xenokrates. In this system, both arts gradually evolved towards perfection as each succeeding artist added something new, such as proportion or the rendering of certain details. In both cases the sequence culminated in a great master of the Sikyonian school, Lysippos in sculpture and Apelles in painting. Perhaps because he was a practising sculptor himself, Xenokrates seems to have used formal and technical criteria, rather than a work’s subject-matter or moral effect, to evaluate artistic achievement. Numerous references to the history of painting and sculpture in writers other than Pliny are thought to derive from Xenokrates’ accounts: he was the art critic best known to the Romans of the late Republic, whose taste he greatly influenced....