Stefani, L. E.

Minister of Education Sergei Uvarov invited the Leipzig-educated Stefani to head the department of classical philology at Dorpat University in 1846. Trained in Greek epigraphy, Stefani moved to St. Petersburg four years later, to the Hermitage, where he studied artefacts sent from the Black Sea littoral. His methodology of not interpreting beyond what was in his hand influenced his students to be scrupulous and careful about what claims they could make.

Vasilchikov, A. A.

As the grandson of Kirill Razumovskii, A. A. Vasilchikov shared familial ties to Uvarov, but the two men led very different lives, and even the archeological connection, if there was one, would have been strained. Vasilchikov had served in the Russian mission in Rome, and had become very familiar with western museums. He returned to Petersburg to direct the Hermitage, 1879-1889, and he developed a talent for transferring art from imperial palaces to the museum. In terms of archeological additions, he acquired P. A. Saburov’s collection of Greek terracotta, and Antonina Bludova’s rich familial collection of antiquities. Kondakov worked there briefly under him, advising on Byzantine art. When Stroganov died in 1882, Vasilchikov replaced him at the Archeological Commission. This did not last long. Vasilchikov was so seriously in debt that Alexander III set up a guardianship for him in 1886, and he left the Commission, replaced by a genuine archeologist, though one with no better relations with the Uvarovs: Bobrinskii.

Smirnov, Ia. I.

Smirnov’s most notable role was as the curator of the medieval section of the Hermitage, 1897-1918. His most remarkable find was the reproductions of the series of drawings of Kiev drawn by Dutch artist Abraham Van Westerfeld for the Lithuanian Hetman Janusz Radziwill in 1651, during the uprising launched by Bogdan Khmelnytskii, Hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. Smirnov presented on this at the 13th congress in Ekaterinoslav. In 1918, he died of starvation, which M. I. Rostovtsev said made him the first victim of the Bolsheviks from this circle.

Makarenko, N. E.

Like his friend and colleague Nikolai Roerich, Makarenko was an artist with a passion for archeology, and the Archeological Commission dispatched him all around the empire to sketch the excavations. During the Great War, when the Russian army briefly occupied Trapezond and Fedor Uspenskii went there to see what could be gained, the Commission sent Makarenko to sketch. After the war he became actively involved in Ukrainian archeology, only to be murdered in Stalin’s purges. His only son drowned during an expedition in 1927.

Orbeli, I. A.

An Armenian student who joined Marr on his excavations at Ani, Orbeli became one of the most prominent archeologists of the Armenian Caucasus, also conducting digs at Van and Urartu. However, his best known for his post-revolutionary career, when as director of the Hermitage he made its eastern collection among the best in the world. Skillfully, he managed to navigate the museum through the Stalinist repressions.

Kondakov, N. P.

A student of Buslaev’s at Moscow University, Kondakov trained in art history which transformed him into an archeologist. A member of the Imperial Archeological Commission from 1876 to 1891, he became a world renowned expert on Byzantium, and his pioneering methodology in iconography still retains value. With I. I. Tolstoi, he published six volumes of “Russian Antiquities in Monuments of Art” (Русские древности в памятниках искусства, 1889-1899). D. V. Ainalov, S. A. Zhebelev, M. I. Rostovtsev, E. I. Redin, and Ia. I. Smirnov counted among his students. Moreover, he was also helpful in establishing the Institute in Constantinople. Exiled to Prague after 1917, he established the Seminarium Kondakovianum, an important intellectual exchange for emigrants, and which for a few years maintained ties with archeologists left behind.

Brosse, M. I.

Brosset began studying to join the Jesuits in Paris, but then realized the priesthood was not his calling. He had studied Hebrew there, and then began adding Chinese and other eastern languages to his repertoire. When he added Georgian and Armenian, the Paris Asiatic Society took notice; in order to learn more about Georgia, he studied Russian. When the French political turmoils of 1830 disrupted his plans, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Uvarov brought him to St. Petersburg, where he became renowned as an Orientalist. He served as director of the Eastern Section of the IRAO, 1859-67. His voyage to the Zakavkaze in 1847-48 produced a book of marvelous etchings.