Hellenic Studies Announcements, December 2004
- Screening and Discussion - Wednesday, December 1, 6:00 p.m. Walther Ruttmann's "Berlin, Symphony of a Metropolis"
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Humanities Program Building, Seminar Room 103
- Workshop - Friday, December 3, 2:30 p.m. Ljiljana Sevo: "Between Byzantine and Baroque Traditions: Serbian Wall Painting in the Eighteenth Century"
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Program in Hellenic Studies and Department of Art and Archaeology Workshop
Ljiljana Sevo (Institute for the Protection of Cultural-Historical Heritage, Republic of Srpska; Fulbright Visiting Fellow, Department of Art and Archaeology)
Humanities Program Building, Room 103
During the eighteenth century, especially in its second half, Serbian painting developed in two different directions. The majority of icons and wall paintings retained the Byzantine iconographic and stylistic traditions. Monuments in which wall paintings kept Byzantine characteristics in iconography and style could be considered in the context of specific social and political circumstances. Adherence to the Byzantine tradition was especially demonstrated in the elements of style. Baroque stylistic elements are always reduced to decorative details. Stylistic standardization is evident in eighteenth century Serbian wall painting created in the spirit of the Byzantine tradition, although it was the work of several separate painting workshops. Iconography of eighteenth century Serbian wall painting predominantly kept Byzantine characteristics, however, some changes appeared, due to the wider presence chiefly of Greek masters. Innovations in iconography also emerged by means of Russian icons and illustrations in printed Ukrainian books. Certain elements of these works were related to the desire on the part of donors to stress national identity, while others were related to Wallachian and Moldavian painting. Sometimes it is not possible to clearly define the sources of new elements in iconography of eighteenth century Serbian traditional wall painting. In this talk, some aspects of the last phase of Serbian post-Byzantine art will be presented. Regarding the provenance of masters, as well as the origins of new iconographic elements, a comparative investigation of eighteenth century art in the Balkans, will be proposed as the most promising approach.
Ljiljana Sevo holds undergraduate and M.A. degrees in Serbian Mediaeval Art from the Department of Art History of Belgrade University, Yugoslavia, where she earned her doctorate in December 2001. Her dissertation was a study of Serbian wall paintings created in the Byzantine tradition during the eighteenth century. Her post-doctoral research at Princeton University focuses on the determination of connections between eighteenth century wall ensembles painted across the Balkans, as well as the search for possible sources of certain innovations apparent in the last phase of post-Byzantine art. Ljiljana Sevo works at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural-Historical Heritage of the Republic of Srpska. She is also assistant professor of History of Mediaeval Art at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Banja Luka and at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). She is the author of two monographs, Monasteries and Wooden Churches of Banjaluka Eparchy (1996) and Lomnica Monastery (1999). [Last Updated 2004]
- Workshop - Tuesday, December 7, 6:00 p.m. Petre Guran: "Containment and Rollback: Key Concepts for the Seventh Century Byzantine End of History?"
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Petre Guran (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Humanities Program Building, Room 103
The preamble of the 102 canons of the Council in Trullo (691-692), addressed by the bishops to the emperor Justinian II (685-695; 705-711), describes the Empire and the emperor in joyful and triumphant eschatological overtones. Possibly exactly the same year (691), in Syria, appeared a prophetical vision about the "end of history," ascribed to Pseudo-Methodius of Patara, who would have a distinguished literary career in both Eastern and Western Christianity. This text predicted that in the immediate future a Byzantine emperor recover the eastern provinces lost to the Islamic power and reestablish of the legitimate universal roman rule. In this final restoration, the last Roman emperor hands over in Jerusalem his power to Christ, dies, and opens thus the scene for the last act of world history: the confrontation between the final Antichrist and the glorious Christ of the Second Coming. Both texts are determined by their literary genre - imperial encomium or prophecy - which covers them with a veil of biblical, patristic, and liturgical references and metaphors, and at the same time, builds through this system the new message. In 692 Justinian mounted an attack on the Islamic forces in Mesopotamia. Despite this attempt the seventh century marked the final collapse of the imperial control upon the Eastern provinces, Egypt, and North Africa, reducing the size of the Empire to the Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia. In religious matters, the Empire acknowledges one united Christianity, according to the doctrinal definition of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. How are these eschatological texts connected to the political and religious reality? How much "ideology" and "propaganda" should we expect to find in them?
Petre Guran's main research interests lie in the field of religious anthropology applied to Byzantine society and culture. More precisely, he is interested in the web of mutual influences that linked theological thought to the structures of society and political power in the Byzantine world. He has studied and taught in Romania (Lecturer in the Seminar of Political Anthropology, University of Bucharest); France (Lecturer and Managing Director for the academic program "First College of European Citizenship: Monasteries and European Identity," organised by the Council of Europe, and supervisor of the group of Romanian students; research mission at the Centre for Byzantine Studies of the Collhge de France for the research team on Constantine Porphyrogenitus De ceremoniis); and Germany (Lecturer on early Byzantine Hagiography and the concept of sainthood, sanctus versus sacer, at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich). He defended his dissertation on Royal Sanctity and Universal Power in the Orthodox Commonwealth at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (2003). During the period 1995-2004, he was research fellow at the Institute for South-East European Studies of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, Bucharest. [Last Updated 2004]
- Lecture - Thursday, December 9, 5:30 p.m. Prof. Joanna S. Smith "Excavations at Phlamoudhi, Cyprus: New Perspectives on Life in the Late Bronze Age"
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Prof. Joanna S. Smith (Columbia University)
Lecture to be held at 010 East Pyne Building, Princeton University, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture. For further information, contact Lee Ann Riccardi at 609-771-2347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America and the Princeton University Classics Department.