IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 1715: Byzantines and the Others: Art and Religion at a Crossroads in Late Antiquity

Thursday 6 July 2017, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Ancient World Research Cluster / Lorne Thyssen Research Fund for Ancient World Topics, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Organiser:Maria Lidova, British Museum, London / Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Maria Lidova, British Museum, London / Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Paper 1715-aCreating Transitions under the Dome: Byzantine and Iranian Shapes in the Work of 7th-Century Armenian Architects
(Language: English)
Armen Kazaryan, State Institute for Art Studies, Moscow
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - General, Byzantine Studies, Religious Life
Paper 1715-bCrossing the Boundaries of Religious Identity: An Early Byzantine Amulet from Egypt
(Language: English)
Maria Lidova, British Museum, London / Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Decorative Arts, Byzantine Studies, Religious Life
Paper 1715-cNew Perspectives on Qusayr 'Amra’s Decoration: Art and Religion in Early Islamic Syria
(Language: English)
Nadia Ali, Empires of Faith Project, British Museum, London
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Painting, Byzantine Studies, Islamic and Arabic Studies
Abstract

The proposed panel session focuses on the material evidence that is reflective of cultural and artistic interaction between different religions and imperial powers in the Early Middle Ages (6th-8th century). The aim of the session is to demonstrate that art forms and imagery were constantly migrating. The visual and architectural language of the ‘other’ was often purposefully adopted in Byzantium or taken by ‘others’ from Byzantium, presupposing that non-Christian visual and architectural language could be used within a Christian environment and vice versa. The existing testimonies to this kind of transition and appropriation make a strong case for a certain transparency of the boundaries between different faiths and states at the time. The papers in this panel will focus on three artistic media (architecture, painting, and metalwork), introducing detailed and specific approaches to the overall problem in order to demonstrate the full diversity of interactive pathways. The ultimate goal of the session is to pose new questions and call for the re-evaluation of our assumptions regarding the political austerity and religious isolationism of Early Byzantium in light of existing material evidence.