Call for Papers – Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Era

Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Era

Organised by Andrea Mattiello (University of Birmingham) and Maria Alessia Rossi (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

To be held at the University of Birmingham

24th-25th February 2017

Submission deadline: 30th September 2016

This one day and a half conference combines a symposium and a workshop. The aim is to examine and contextualise the artistic and cultural production of the geopolitical centres that were controlled by or in contact with the late Byzantine Empire, such as the Adriatic and Balkan regions, the major islands of Cyprus and Crete, and the regions surrounding the cities of Constantinople, Thessaloniki, and Mystras. This conference will explore the many intellectual implications that are encoded in the innovative artistic production of the Palaiologan Era often simplified by a rigid understanding of what is Byzantine and what is not.

In its last centuries, the political entity of the Empire of the Romaioi released cultural and artistic energies migrating towards new frontiers of intellectual achievements. The intent is to counter-balance the innovation of these works of art with the notion of decline and the narrative of decay frequently acknowledged for this period; and to promote an understanding of transformation where previous cultural heritages were integrated into new socio-political orders.

The Symposium – hosted on the afternoon of the 24 and the morning of the 25 February – will bring together established scholars, early-career scholars, and postgraduate students. Three keynotes will provide the methodological framework for the discussion; while the selected papers will focus solely on the visual expressions and cultural trajectories of the artworks produced during the late Palaiologan Era.

The Workshop, hosted on the afternoon of the 25 February, will offer the opportunity to further the discussion in a more informal setting and for a selected number of Master students to interact and offer brief presentations.

Postgraduate students and early-career scholars are invited to submit proposals for twenty-minute papers on art and architecture history, material culture, visual aspects of palaeography and codicology, and gender studies.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Gift exchange in view of diplomatic missions or dynastic marriages both within the Empire and with its neighbours
  • Visual evidence of the interaction between the Emperor and the Patriarch
  • Innovations in the visual agenda of the Palaiologan dynasty
  • Aspects of religious iconography and visual representations of theological controversies, i.e. Hesychasm
  • Artistic patronage and manuscript production as the outcome of dynastic and institutional interactions
  • Visual and material production as the outcome of political and social circumstances, i.e. the Zealot uprising or the Unionist policy
  • Evidence of artistic exchanges in the depictions of women, men, and children during the Palaiologan Era

Titles of proposed papers, abstracts of 250 words, and a short CV should be sent to Maria Alessia Rossi – m.alessiarossi@icloud.com and Andrea Mattiello – axm570@bham.ac.uk by 30 September 2016.

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Call for Papers – Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Era

GEM – Antiquarian Visual Culture in Late Palaiologan Mystras 1348-1463

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.

GEM – Antiquarian Visual Culture in Late Palaiologan Mystras 1348-1463

Diogenes -Release of the 2nd Issue

Issue 2 October 2014

Issue 2 (Whole)

Wei-sheng Lin: Editorial

Murat Issi: Οι σκέψεις των Νεο-Οθωμανών περί του Ισλάμ

Styliani Lepida: The poll tax (cizye) in Cyprus during the 17th century: A depiction for the administration of its revenue

Dimos Ntentos: Όψεις αυτοαναφορικότητας στην Expeditio Persica του Γεωργίου Πισίδη

Gözde Önder: Ceramics and Carpets: Icons of Cultural Exchange between Venice and the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century

Rebecca Darley: Review – Experiencing Byzantium: papers from the 44th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Newcastle and Durham, April 2011

Jason Fossella: Review – The Byzantine Imperial Acts to Venice, Pisa and Genoa, 10th–12th Centuries

Qiang Li: Review – Οι Τούρκοι ανάμεσα στην Κίνα και το Βυζάντιο (552-659 μ.Χ.)

Like Zhang: Review – 拜占庭帝国通史

Annika Asp-Talwar/Jeffrey Brubaker/Matthew Kinloch/Wei-sheng Lin: Supplementum – Byzantine Thirteenth Century Day Wrap-up, 13 May 2014

Matthew Kinloch: Supplementum – South-Western Turkey in the 13th and 21st Centuries

Gemma Masson: Supplementum – Outreach Workshops in Ottoman History

Andrea Mattiello: Supplementum – Cappadocia in Context 2014 – a report

Diogenes -Release of the 2nd Issue