Antiquarian Visual Culture in Late Palaiologan Mystras 1348-1463
Presented by Andrea Mattiello
The Whitting Room (Arts 436), University of Birmingham
5:15 PM 8th June 2016
This communication analyses a series of frescoed, sculptural and spolia artefacts produced and used by artistic workshops active in Mystras from the late 13th to the middle of the 15th century. The analysis relates these artefacts to models, standards and visual exempla from the antique repertoires found in Morea in sites such as Sparta and Corinth. Particular attention will be given to the textual and visual cultural inheritance of the region, partially linked to the idea of the classical past, which, in the late 14th and 15th century, informed some of the interactions between intellectuals in Mystras, Morea and Italy, such as Manuel II Palaiologos, Georgios Gemistos Plethon, Bessarion, Guarino da Verona and Ciriaco d’Ancona. Ultimately this communication will explore the original cultural contribution of the Byzantine court of Mystras in the Despotate of Morea to the modern debate on antiquity and the development of the classical past ideal.