DICTIONARY OF ART HISTORIANS
A Biographical Dictionary of Historic Scholars, Museum Professionals and Academic Historians of Art
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January 1, 1800
January 1, 1866
Early discoverer that Greek architecture had been brightly colored. Angell studied architecture at the Royal Academy in London. He and another architectural student, William Harris (d. 1823) went to Sicily to find evidence for colored architecture among ancient Greek monuments. They excavated temple C, the main temple, at Selinus (Seliunte). Both men were among the circle of the architect Charles Cockerell (q.v.), who had visited Sicily and made archaeological digs in the 1810's. Neither Angell nor Harris secured permission to excavate. While digging on the steps of the facade, they discovered the remains of the Doric frieze. But local police discovered their activities and forbade their continuance. Undaunted, the two moved to the Eastern Hill, and uncovered metopes from temple F. Harris and Angell intended, like Lord Elgin, to take the metopes back to England, but were apprehended before their departure from Mazara harbor. The authorities took the sculptures to Palermo for safe keeping in the Olivella monastery antiquary museum in Palermo. Angell met Jacques Ignace Hittorff (q.v.) probably in the Palermo Museum in 1822, while both were searching for polychromed architectural fragments. Harris died while in Sicily and Angell returned to Rome and announced his discovery before Hittorff. Hittorff publicized his findings earlier in an German art journal in 1824 before Angell's 1826 book, Sculptured Metopes. The metopes they discovered form some of the most important finds of Hellenism.
Sources: Schneider, Donald David. The Works and Doctrine of Jacques Ignace Hittorff, 1792-1867. 2 vols. New York: Garland Pub., 1977, pp. 124-29; Middleton, Robin. Viollet-le-duc. Ph.D., Cambridge University, 1958, vol. I pp. [ca.] 159 ff; Hammer, Karl. Jakob Ingnaz Hittorff: Ein pariser Baumeister, 1972-1867. Stuttgart: , 1968, p. 54; Columbia University, Department of Art History and Archaeology. 826 Schermerhorn [newsletter] fall 2004. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/arthistory/pdf/ah_info_newsletter04.pdf ; Marconi, Clemente. Selinunte: le metope dell'Heraion. Modena: F.C. Panini, 1994.
Bibliography: and Harris, William and Evans, Thomas. Sculptured Metopes Discovered Amongst the Ruins of the Temples of the Ancient City of Selinus in Sicily . . . in the Year 1823. London: Published for the authors by Priestley and Weale, 1826.