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Diez, Ernst

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture What is This? Provides in-depth historical and cultural information on over a thousand years of Islamic art and architecture

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Diez, Ernst

b. Lölling, 27 July 1878; d. Vienna, 8 July 1961).

Austrian historian of Byzantine, Islamic and Indian art. He studied art history and archaeology at the universities of Vienna and Graz and in 1902 completed his doctorate at Graz under Josef Strzygowski and Wilhelm Gurlitt, a study of the paintings in a manuscript of Dioscurides’ De materia medica (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. med. gr. 1) copied for the Byzantine princess Juliana Anicia before 512. After military service (1902–3), Diez pursued further research in Rome and Istanbul and worked in Vienna as a volunteer (1905–7) at the Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie. From 1908 to 1911 he worked in Berlin at the Kaiser- Friedrich Museum with Max Jacob Friedländer, Wilhelm Bode and friedrich Sarre. He was then appointed lecturer at the University of Vienna. From 1912 to 1914 he made trips to Iran, India, Egypt and Anatolia, which led to articles on Islamic art and architecture and Die Kunst der islamischen Völker. After World War I he continued at the University of Vienna, where he was appointed professor in 1924. He wrote about Buddhist and Islamic art in India and Afghanistan, publishing Die Kunst des Islam in 1925. From 1926 he taught at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and traveled to China, Japan, India and Java (1930–31). In the 1930s he wrote about Byzantine mosaics in Greece and contributed articles on Islamic art to the Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Survey of Persian Art. At the outbreak of World War II he resumed work at the University of Vienna, publishing Entschliertes Asien and Iranische Kunst. From 1943 to 1948 he taught art history at the University of Istanbul, where he researched Ottoman and Byzantine art. He returned to Vienna for the remainder of his life.

Writings

  • Die Kunst der islamischen Völker (Berlin, 1915)
  • Churasanische Baudenkmäler (Berlin, 1918)
  • with H. Glück: Die Kunst des Islam (Berlin, 1925)
  • Entschliertes Asien: Alte Kulturen vom Zweistromland bis zum gelben Fluss (Berlin, 1940; Vienna, 1954); Eng. trans. as The Ancient Worlds of Asia (London, 1961)
  • Iranische Kunst (Vienna, 1944)
  • with O. Aslanapa: Türk Sanatı (Istanbul, 1955)

Bibliography

  • O. Aslanapa, ed.: Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte Asiens: In Memoriam Ernst Diez (Istanbul, 1963)
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