Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Byzantium not Forgotten: Constructing the Artistic and Cultural Legacy of an Empire between East and West in the Early Modern Period
by Spratt, Emily L., Ph.D., Princeton University, 2020, 601; 27832334
Abstract (Summary)

Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, fell to the Ottomans on May 29, 1453, a date that has come to symbolize the end of Eastern medieval grandeur in Europe and to inspire a shift in interest to the burgeoning Italian Renaissance. While Byzantium as a political entity had indeed expired by the end of the fifteenth century, its dissolution had begun much earlier. Nonetheless, its cultural legacy, most notably Orthodoxy, tenaciously survived as is evidenced by the uninterrupted tradition of icon painting from the fall of the empire to the Balkan independence movements of the early nineteenth century (and beyond). Largely neglected or examined in isolation due to the limited accessibility of objects from this period and the lesser-known languages in which they have been published, if at all, the material culture of Byzantium as it continued and transformed in the early modern period has received insufficient scholarly attention and has lacked methodological consideration. This study proposes a model of Post-Byzantine art history to address the lacuna in our knowledge of the perpetuation of Byzantine visual culture and the response of Orthodox art to drastically different socio-political and religious contexts than had existed in Byzantium. By examining the various trends in religious art that developed across the former empire’s lands under Venetian, Ottoman, and Slavic rule, the role of Orthodoxy in the historical remembrance of Byzantium is examined, and is demonstrated to have significantly affected the creation of Christian community identities under differing colonial circumstances. In this analysis, modern constructions of Byzantium are challenged and the role of the development of Post-Byzantine iconographies for our understanding of the Byzantine legacy in the early modern world is underscored. By extension, the need for a new resource on Post-Byzantine icons, one that allows for the examination of iconographic types and their dissemination patterns, is made evident. The catalogue of icons organized according to iconographic type presented in Volume Two, which provides the groundwork for Volume One, offers a foundation for a new approach to Post-Byzantine art history.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brown, Patricia Fortini, Curcic, Slobodan
Commitee: Brown, Patricia Fortini, Barber, Charles, Greene, Molly, Patton, Pamela
School: Princeton University
Department: Art and Archaeology
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art history, Religious history, European history
Keywords: Byzantine art, Early modern Venice, Ottoman history, Post-Byzantine art History, Renaissance art, Venetian Stato da Mar
Publication Number: 27832334
ISBN: 9798662417212
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