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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

(b Liège, May 25, 1849; d Toulon, Sept 17, 1918).

Belgian administrator, historian and art historian. During his early career Bayet spent some years at the French schools of archaeology at Athens and Rome (1871–74), where he developed a special interest in Byzantine studies. In 1874 he was sent with Father Duchesne on an archaeological expedition to Mt Athos. Their study of the mosaics, inscriptions and manuscripts found there and elsewhere in Greece was published in 1876. Bayet became Professor of the Faculty of Literature at Lyon in 1876, but he was compelled to widen his field and cover medieval art and history, since Byzantine art and archaeology were still considered very narrow and negligible subjects. From 1896 he took a succession of administrative posts and was forced to give up his research altogether. Despite the brevity of his career as a Byzantinist, Bayet contributed works of meticulous scholarship that rejected the hypothesizing of previous scholars, laid solid groundwork for further study and established him as master in his field. The culmination of his research, and the first complete survey of the subject, was his ...

Article

Stephen Hill

(Margaret Lowthian)

(b Washington, Co. Durham, July 14, 1868; d Baghdad, 11/July 12, 1926).

English archaeologist and architectural historian. The first woman to achieve a first-class honours in modern history at Oxford University, she travelled widely in Europe, Japan and especially the Middle East in the 1890s, achieving fluency in a number of European languages as well as in Persian, Turkish and Arabic. She developed an interest in archaeology and architecture that was reflected in an authoritative set of articles on the Early Byzantine churches of Syria and southern Turkey, based on her travels in 1905. Her first major travel book, The Desert and the Sown, contains a mixture of travellers’ tales and archaeological information, as does her Amurath to Amurath. Between 1905 and 1914 she made archaeological studies of the Early Byzantine and Early Islamic monuments of Turkey, Syria and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). In 1905 and 1907 she surveyed Binbirkilise with Sir William Ramsay; their book, The Thousand and One Churches, remains the authoritative account of this important site. The architectural recording by survey and photography at Binbirkilise was carried out by Bell and is a lasting monument in its own right. Bell’s interest in Anatolia was inspired by Josef Strzygowski and his book ...

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

Joseph R. Kopta

(b Neenah, WI, June 28, 1894; d Bedford, MA, March 4, 1984).

American architectural historian. Conant was the leading 20th-century American architectural historian specializing in Romanesque architecture, and was the primary archaeologist of the monastic complex at Cluny. He earned his degrees from Harvard, including a BA in Fine Arts in 1915, an MArch. in 1919, and a PhD with a dissertation on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, supervised by Arthur Kingsley Porter, in 1926. He trained in archaeological practices in 1926 at the excavations of Chichén Itzá and Pueblo Bonito before directing excavations in earnest at Cluny starting in 1928. He was Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Harvard University, retiring from teaching in 1954.

An active member of the Medieval Academy of America (which funded his excavations after initial funding from the Guggenheim Foundation), Conant published frequent field reports documenting the excavations of Cluny as articles in Speculum. Additionally, Conant published a monograph on the sum of the excavations in ...

Article

(b Cardiff, Jan 3, 1866; d Holford, Somerset, Feb 2, 1945).

British Classical scholar and Byzantine archaeologist. He entered the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities at the British Museum under Sir A. W. Franks in 1896, and became Keeper of that department in 1921. His early interest in ethnography shifted to archaeology with the publication of his Catalogue of Early Christian Antiquities and his Guide to Early Christian and Byzantine Antiquities, which accompanied an exhibition that he organized. The Byzantine collections of the British Museum had not until then received much attention, and Dalton’s scrupulous research gained him recognition as one of the leading early Byzantinists. Until his retirement in 1927 he regularly published and re-edited official guides and catalogues to the Early Christian and Byzantine antiquities in the British Museum, all of which became standard works on the subjects concerned. He also produced catalogues of the medieval collections and works of Byzantine art history. His most distinguished publication was the vast survey work ...