Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title Ancient Portraiture in the Studies of Oscar Waldhauer and Mikhail Rostovtsev
Author email
About author Trofimova, Anna Alekseevna — Ph. D., Head of the Department of Classical Antiquities. The State Hermitage Museum, Dvortsovaia nab., 34, 199000 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. ORCID: 0000-0003-1614-9224
In the section Art of the Ancient World DOI10.18688/aa2111-01-10
Year 2021 Volume 11 Pages 107123
Type of article RAR Index UDK 7.032; 7.037; 7.038 Index BBK 85.103(0)32

The main trends of the Russian classical studies which developed and gained its international recognition in the early 20th century. They are presented by the works of Vasilii Latyshev, Vladislav Buzeskul, Mikhail Rostovtsev, and Thaddeus Zielinski. These were historical-philological and cultural-historical studies, as well as those of social history. History of the art of antiquity represented by the names of Oscar Waldhauer, Vladimir Malmberg, Boris Farmakovsky, and Mikhail Rostovtsev evolved from description of iconography to the research of historical and artistic problems. Russia, following European countries, demonstrated gradual separation of the history of ancient art as an independent discipline from archaeology, philology, and history. A good example of this process is the research of antique portraiture. This topic became one of the key ones for Oscar Waldhauer. A student of Adolf Furtwängler and Ludwig Curtius, the representatives of German school in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Hermitage scholar created his sculpture catalogue based on the method of “Kopienkritik”. This method, which up to now underlies the attribution of monuments, was substantially supplemented with his studies. Logic of the research led Waldhauer to Heinrich Wölfflin’s thesis about “the history of art without names”. In the essays on the history of portrait, Waldhauer was guided by the concept that the history of art presents the history of spirit, as well as the concept of “Kunstwollen”. It was adopted by him from the works of Franz Wickoff and Alois Riegl, art historians of the Vienna School. In Waldhauer’s understanding, portrait style is an expression of “spirit of the times”. While in Germany Ludwig Curtius and Hans Delbrück adhered to a physiognomic interpretation, those who followed the Vienna school came to a conclusion that portrait had never imitated the appearance of a model. The evolution of portrait is a subject to its own laws, autonomous from social development. Another significant contribution to the study of ancient portrait, undertaken in this period was Mikhail Rostovtsev’s work, dedicated to the bust of the Bosporan Queen Dynamis. M. Rostovtsev compared attributes and symbolic signs that cover the bust with the iconography of statues of Iranian gods and rulers originating from the Nemrud Dag mound. Identification of the monument was carried out thanks to its historical interpretation. M. Rostovtsev’s discovery of the dual nature of the Bosporan monarchy, which was a symbiosis of Greek and Iranian elements, is a brilliant analysis of various historical materials that laid grounds to defining the personage. General interest in the portraiture characteristic of historiography at the beginning of the 20th century, rethinking of concepts and the search for new methods lead to several discoveries. Later, Russian historiography followed a different autonomous path. While for Western European and Anglo-American science the 20th century became the “century of portraiture”, Soviet art history returned to this topic many years later, only in 1970–1980s.

Reference Trofimova, Anna A. Ancient Portraiture in the Studies of Oscar Waldhauer and Mikhail Rostovtsev. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 11. Eds A. V. Zakharova, S. V. Maltseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova. — St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Univ. Press, 2021, pp. 107–123. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
  • Bažant J. Roman Portraiture: A History of Its History. Prague, Koniasch Latin Press Publ., 1995. 209 p.
  • Bongard-Levin G. M. (ed.). Scythian Novel. Moscow, Rosspen Publ., 1997. 623 p. (in Russian).
  • Farmakovskii B. V. Bosporan Spartocids in Athenian reliefs. Bosporskie spartokidt v Afinskom refliefe. Iuvіleinii zbіrnik na poshanu akademіka D. І. Bagalіia (Collection of Articles in Honor of the Anniversary of D. I. Bagaliy). Kyiv, Z drukarnі Ukraїns’koї Akademії nauk Publ., 1927, pp. 1133–1139 (in Ukrainian).
  • Fittschen K. Herschbild und Zeitgeist. Probleme mit der Forschung in der Klassischen Archäologie. Forschung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Beispiele, Kritik, Vorschläge. Schneider Ch. (ed.). Weinheim, Deerfield Beach, Basel, Chemie Publ., 1983, pp. 23–30 (in German).
  • Fittschen K. Die Bildnisse des Augustus. Saeculum Augustum, 1991, no. 3, pp. 149–186 (in German).
  • Iskusstvo Portreta. Sbornik statei (The Art of Portraiture. Collection of Articles). Moscow, Gosudarstvennaia Akademiia khudozhestvennykh nauk Publ., 1928. (in Russian).
  • Khrenov M. A.; Migunov A. S. (eds.). Estetika i teoriia iskusstva XX veka. (Aesthetics and Theory of Art of the 20th Century). Moscow, Progress-Traditsiia Publ., 2007. 688 p. (in Russian).
  • Mavleev E. V. O. F. Val’dgauer (O. F. Waldhauer). St. Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum Publ., 2005. 172 p. (in Russian).
  • Neverov O. Ia. Mithridates and Alexander. To Iconography of Mithridates VI. Sovetskaia Arkheologiia (Soviet Archaeology), 1971, no. 2, pp. 86–95 (in Russian).
  • Nizshe F. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 4 vols. Moscow, Moskovskoe knigoizdatel’stvo Publ, 1909–1912. (in Russian).
  • Peredol’skaia A. A. Oskar Ferdinandovich Val’dgauer. Val’dgauer O. F. Etiudy po istorii antichnogo portreta (Studies on the History of Ancient Portraits). Leningrad, Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo izobrazitel’nogo iskusstva Publ., 1938, pp. 3–42 (in Russian).
  • Riegl A. Stilfragen: Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik. Berlin, Siemens Publ., 1893. 346 p. (in German).
  • Riegl A. Die spätrömische Kunstindustrie nach den Funden in Österreich-Ungarn. Wien, Staatsdruckerei Publ., 1901. 222 p. (in German).
  • Rostovtsev M. I. The Kingdom of Bosporus and the Tumuli of South Russia. Vestnik Evropy (Courier of Europe), 1912, no. 6, pp. 101–120 (in Russian).
  • Rostovtsev M. I. Concept of the Monarchical Power in Scythia and in Bosporus. Predstavlenija o monarchicheskoi vlasti v Skifii I na Bospore. Izvestiia Imperatorskoi Arkheologicheskoi Komissii (Proceedings of the Imperial Archaeological Commission), 1913, no. 49, pp. 1–62 (in Russian).
  • Rostovtsev M. I. A Bronze Bust of a Queen of Bosporus and the History of Bosporus at the Time of Augustus. Drevnosti (Antiquities), 1914, vol. 25, pp. 1–23 (in Russian).
  • Rostovtsev M. I. Iranism and Ionism in South Russia. Peterburgskii arkheologicheskii vestnik (Saint Petersburg Archaeological Herald), 1993, no. 5, pp. 19–21 (in Russian).
  • Rostovtsev M. I. In memoires. Kondakov N.P. Vospominaniia i dumy (Memoires and thoughts). Moscow, Indrik Publ., 2002, pp. 211–216 (in Russian).
  • Saprykin S. Iu. Mithridates Eupator or Aspourgos? To the Identification of the Bosporan King’s Portrait. Drevnosti Bospora (Antiquities of Bosporus), 2014, vol. 18, pp. 308–324 (in Russian).
  • Savostina E. A. Mithridates of Pergamon in the Hermitage Collection and the Question on “Classicism of Asia Minor” in Pantikapaion Sculpture. Drevnosti Bospora (Antiquities of Bosporus), 2012, vol. 16, pp. 307–321 (in Russian).
  • Schlögel К. Jenseits des Grosse Oktober. Das Laboratorium der Moderne. Petersburg (1900–1921). Berlin, Siedler Publ., 1988. 541 p. (in German).
  • Smith R. R. R. Hellenistic Sculpture. London, Thames and Hudson Publ., 1991. 287 p.
  • Smith R. R. R. Hellenistic Royal Portraits. Oxford, Clarendon Press Publ., 1988. 198 p.
  • Stewart A. F. Attika. Studies of Athenian Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age. London, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies Publ., 1979. 192 p.
  • Stewart A. Faces of Power. Alexander’s Image and Hellenistic Politics. Berkley, Los Angeles, Oxford, University of California Press Publ., 1993. 507 p.
  • Trofimova A. The Sculpted Portrait in the Bosporus. Greeks on the Black Sea. Ancient Art from the Hermitage. Exhibition Catalogue. Los Angeles, Getty Publ., 2007, pp. 46–55, 182–185, 186–190.
  • Trofimova A. (ed.). The Immortal Alexander the Great. The Myth, the Reality, His Journey. His Legasy. Exhibition Catalogue. Amsterdam, Stichting Winkel de Nieuwe Kerk Publ., 2010. 309 p.
  • Trofimova A. A. Did Portraiture Exist as a Genre in Classical Antiquity? About One of the Problems in Art Theory. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art, 2017, vol. 7, pp. 39–50 (in Russian). DOI: 10.18688/aa177-1-4
  • Trofimova A. The Renovation Program of the Galleries of Classical Antiquities in the State Hermitage Museum (2000–2019). Archeologia Classica, 2020, vol. 81, pp. 523–549.
  • Trofimova A. A. Portrait Statues of Socrates and Demosthenes in the Collection of G. P. Campana. Trofimova A.; Dmitrieva E.; Gaultier F.; Haumesser L. (eds.). Mechta ob Italii. Kollektsiia markiza Kampany (A Dream of Italy. The Marquis Campana Collection. Exhibition catalogue). St. Petersburg, 2021, pp. 292–294 (in Russian).
  • Tunkina I. V. M. I. Rostovtsev at the Crossroad of Russian and German Classical Archaeology before the First World War. Scripta antiqua: Voprosy drevnei istorii, filologii, iskusstva i material’noi kul’tury. Al’manakh (Scripta antiqua: Ancient History, Philology, Arts and Material Culture. The Almanac), 2015, vol. 4, pp. 231–262 (in Russian).
  • Val’dgauer O. F. Studies on the History of Ancient Portraits, part 1. Ezhegodnik Rossiiskogo Instituta Istorii Iskusstv (Annals of the Russian Institute of Art History), vol. 1, 1921. 87 p. (in Russian).
  • Val’dgauer O. F. Rimskaia portretnaia skul’ptura v Ermitazhe (Roman Portrait Sculpture in the Hermitage). Petrograd, Brokgauz and Efron Publ., 1923. 111 p. (in Russian).
  • Val’dgauer O.F. Etiudy po istorii antichnogo portreta (Studies on the History of Ancient Portraits). Leningrad, Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo izobrazitel’nogo iskusstva Publ., 1938. 95 p. (in Russian).
  • Vel’flin G. Klassicheskoe iskusstvo (Classical Art). St. Petersburg, Brokgauz-Efron Publ., 1912. 212 p. (in Russian).
  • Voshchinina A. Le Portrait Romain. Musée de L’Ermitage. Leningrad, Aurore Publ., 1974. 213 p. (in Russian and in French).
  • Waldhauer O. Die antiken Skulpturen der Ermitage. Teil 1–3. Berlin; Leipzig, de Gruyter Publ., 1928–1936. 84 p. (in German).
  • Waldhauer O. Über einige Porträts Alexanders des Grossen. Inaugural-Dissertation. München, Kastner and Callwey Publ., 1903. 91 p. (in German).
  • Wickhoff F. Römische Kunst (die Wiener Genesis). Berlin, Meyer & Jessen Publ., 1912. 222 p. (in German).
  • Zanker P. Prinzipat und Herrshbild. Gymnasium, 1979, iss. 86, pp. 353–368 (in German).
  • Zanker P. Augustus und die Macht der Bilder. Munich, S. H. Beck Publ., 1990. 369 p. (in German).