Jan Bołoz Antoniewicz (1858–1922)
Divisions of PAS
This article aims at portraying the figure of Jan Bołoz Antoniewicz (1858–1922), Professor of Art History at the University of Lviv, and one of the founding fathers of Polish art history. The paper focuses on two periods of his life: Bołoz’s ‘birth’ as an art historian and the ‘decline’ of his career. Regarding the former, a historical and artistic ‘ first text’ by Bołoza was subjected to analysis (The medieval sources for the sculptures found on the ivory casket in the treasury of the Cathedral on Wawel Hill, 1885), as were the cir- cumstances of his appointment to the Chair of History of Art in Lviv (1893). Regarding the second period, his ‘final text’ (Opatowski Lament and its creator, 1922) and the events of his last few years of university work were examined. In the text, emphasis is placed on characterizing Bołoza’s attitude which resulted from his general outlook on life, and belongs to the realm of psychology of academic scholarship, rather than methodology of research. Bołoz as a scholar–creator was fully formed, and it is from this that other separate scholarly personalities were born, sometimes in keeping with his research interests (the Italian and Polish Renaissances, eight eenth and nineteenth century art, contemporary art, Armenian art) and his intuitive approach to art, with direct experience of the wo rk of art at its core, and sometimes quite the opposite – relating to other areas and research approaches. Nevertheless, Bołoz’s ‘methodology’ can be contained within well–known categories: form–genesis–source–influence–development–originality–genius–masterpiece. It fits well within its time, when the old tradition of great scholars who were culturally and historically oriented was being dismant led in favour of the new trend, fitting for researchers of his generation, which aimed at developing one’s own paradigm of an increasingly autonomous discipline, emancipated from history, philology and aesthetics. Although Bołoz’s path to art history seems to mimic, several decades later, the career of Hermann Grimm (law and philology, fascination with the Renaissance); although the thought of a historically rooted cultural unity of all forms of art in an era was dear to him; although, just like Jacob Burckhardt, the concept of an ‘objective’ historical science was alien to him; yet he was far closer to the dominant Wölfflinian trend of his generation, in line with contemporary institutional interest in art history as an academic discipline, all the while fighting for the strengthening of its autonomy in regards to its older „sister” disciplines: history and philology.