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Jacobsthal, Paul

    Image Credit: Oxford Jewish Heritage

    Full Name: Jacobsthal, Paul

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1880

    Date Died: 1957

    Place Born: Berlin, Germany

    Place Died: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, England, UK

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): ancient, Ancient Greek (culture or style), Antique, the, archaeology, Celtic (culture), ceramic ware (visual works), Classical, Greek pottery styles, pottery (visual works), and vase


    Greek vase painting scholar; and later scholar of Celtic art. Jacobsthal studied at the Universities of Berlin and Göttingen before completing his degree at Bonn, writing his dissertation under Georg Loeschcke in 1906. In 1912 he published his catalog on the vase collection Göttingen, Göttinger Vasen, and was appointed Ordinarius Professor at the University of Marburg, 1912. He remained at Marburg until 1935, increasing the level of the archaeological department and adding a prehistoric studies concentration. With J. D. Beazley, he began publishing in 1930 an early inventory of Greek vases, known as Bilder griechischer Vasen. In 1935, he was forced to leave Germany because of Nazi persecution of Jewish-heritage citizens. Jacobsthal became lecturer at Christ Church College, Oxford, 1937-1947, where he continued to collaborate with Beazley on Greek vase series and the Oxford Monographs in Classical Archaeology, such as Greek Pins (1956). He added Celtic studies to the repertoire of his adopted country. He delivered the Sir John Rhys memorial lecture at the British academy in 194l and becoming University Reader in Celtic Archaeology at Oxford University from 1947-1950. His book on the Celts (1944) examines their relationship with the Greeks. His Greek Pins and their Connections with Europe and Asia appeared in 1956. His students included Karl Schefold. Throughout his career, Jacobsthal was associated with the other major connoisseur-scholar of Greek vases during this time, J. D. Beazley.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Der Blitz in der orientalischen und griechischen Kunst (bis zum Einsetzen des rotfigurigen Stiles). Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1906, also simultaneously published in an expanded form as, Der Blitz in der orientalischen und griechischen Kunst: ein formgeschichtlicher Versuch. Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1906; Göttinger Vasen. Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1912; Ornamente Griechische Vase. Berlin: Frankfurter Verlags-Anstalt, 1927; “Probleme des Ornaments in der Gegenwart.” Neue Schweizer Rundschau 25 (1925): 1ff.; Die Melischen Reliefs. Berlin-Wilmersdorf: H. Keller, 1931; Early Celtic Art. Oxford, The Clarendon press, 1944; “Imagery in Early Celtic Art,” Proceedings British Academy 27 (1941): 1 ff.; Greek Pins and their Connections with Europe and Asia. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956. 1956; and Beazley, J. D. Bilder griechischer Vasen (series). Berlin-Wilmersdorf: H. Keller, 1930ff.; and Langsdorff ,Alexander. Die Bronzeschnabelkannen: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Vorrömischen Imports nördlich der Alpen. Berlin: Heinrich Keller, 1929; Imagery in Early Celtic Art. Sir John Rhŷs Memorial Lecture, British Academy, 194l. London: Humphrey Milford Amen House, 1942; “Zur Kunstgeschichte der griechischen Inschriften.” in, Charites [Greek letters]: Friedrich Leo zum sechzigsten Geburtstag dargebracht. Berlin: Weidmann, 1911, pp. 453-465; and Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Ulrich von, editor. Nordionische Steine. Berlin: Akademie der Wissenschaften, in Kommission bei Georg Reimer, 1909.


    Schefold, Karl. Paul Jacobsthal. Archäologenbildnisse: Porträts und Kurzbiographien von Klassichen Archäologen deutscher Sprache. Reinhard Lullies, ed. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1988: 1-2; “Jacobsthal, Paul.” Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, vol. 1, p. 615.


    "Jacobsthal, Paul." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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