A historian of Christian art, b. at Naples, 22 January, 1812; d. at Rome, 5 May, 1885. He belonged to a wealthy family, entered the Society of Jesus at the age of fifteen and was professed on 19 March, 1853. He devoted himself to the study of the Christian Fathers, also to profane and Christian antiquities; both he and the celebrated De Rossi became the principal disciples of Father Marchi. On his many journeys through Italy, France, Germany, and Spain, he collected much valuable material for his archaelogical publications. In 1854 he wrote for Father Cahier's "Mélanges d'Archéologie" a study on Phrygian syncretism. Soon after he edited the notes of Jean L' Heureux on the Roman catacombs (in manuscript since 1605); later an essay on the gilded glasses of the catacombs (1858), and another on the Jewish cemetery at the Villa Randanini. In 1872 he began the publication of a monumental history of early Christian antiquities, entitled "Storia dell' arte cristiana". It was destined to include all works of sculpture, painting, and the minor and industrial arts, during the first eight centuries of the Christian Era . It is, in fact, a general history of early Christian art, and contains five hundred finely engraved plates and explanatory text. Five of the six volumes contain respectively, the catacomb-frescoes--and paintings from other quarters--gilded glasses, mosaics, sarcophagi, and non-sepulchral sculptures. The first volume is devoted to the theoretical part of the work, i.e. to a history of Christian art properly so called.
In this vast collection Garrucci re-edited to some extent materials taken from earlier works. For hitherto unedited materials he used photographs or reproductions of some other kind. His engravings are not always very accurate, and in point of finish are inferior to those obtained by more modern processes. His reproductions of catacomb-frescoes, in particular, have lost much of their value since the publication of the accurate work of Mgr. Wilpert (Pitture delle catacombe romane, Rome, 1903). on the whole, however, it must be said that the "Storia dell' arte cristiana" is yet far from being superseded by any similar work. Father Garrucci had more erudition than critical judgment; in this respect his fellow-student De Rossi was far superior to him. Hence the text of Garrucci's publications is now of doubtful authority. The list of his publications covers 118 numbers on Sommervogel, "Bibliothèque de la compagnie de Jésus" (Brussels 1902), III. Among them are the aforementioned "Storia dell' arte cristiana nei primi otto secoli delta chiesa" (6 vols. Prato 1872--81); "Dissertazioni archeologiche di vario argomento" (2 vols., Rome 1864-65); "Le monete dell' Italia antica, Raccolta generale" (Rome, 1885).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online