Veranstaltung des Instituts für Kunstgeschichte und Musikwissenschaft,
Abteilung Christliche Archäologie und Byzantinische Kunstgeschichte
Dr. Anastasios Tantsis (Thessaloniki, Greece)
Questions of Western Identity in Mistras' Monuments and their Patrons
Mittwoch, 9. November 2016, 18:15 Uhr, Hs 02-521, Georg-Forster-Gebäude, J.-Welder-Weg 12
Mistras is the ultimate Byzantine site in Greece. It was the administrative centre of Palaiologan Peloponnese after 1261. Its seven major churches form the last chapter in the history of Byzantine architecture. Modern scholars have described three different currents when studying Mistras' architecture: the local tradition of the Greek School, the influence of Constantinople and western features shaping both ecclesiastic and secular buildings. The western elements in Mistras' architectural production are usually attributed to the presence of persons of western origin such as consorts of the Despots ruling the Peloponnese. Thus these features are treated as foreigner to Byzantium's culture in the same manner with the patrons they are linked to.
A closer look at the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society that evolved in the lands of Byzantium in the aftermath of the fourth crusade reveals an altogether different story. The boundaries between eastern and western both in society and culture are far less clear than at first look. This applies both to the national identities of the individuals examined and also to the culture they promoted and the artefacts they sponsored. In reality it is not a question of East and West but of the way Byzantium assimilated both the people established in the lands east of it (that were of western origin) and the culture that was created as a result of this osmosis.
The lecture will address the question of identity of persons usually connected to being the agents of western culture in Palaiologan Mistras.
Anastasios Tantsis, Lecturer on Byzantine Archaeology, School of History and Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Studied Architecture, then Byzantine Archaeology and got his PhD (Thesis: Galleries on Byzantine Church Architecture) in Byzantine Archaeology in 2008. During 2005–7 he was an International Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (Working with R. Ousterhout). He teaches Byzantine Archaeology, Museology, Architectural History and Architectural Preservation both on undergraduate and graduate level in the School of History and Archaeology and the School of Architecture at AUTH, Greece. He authored Architectural Synthesis in Byzantium: An introduction (2012), and several papers focusing on church architecture and issues of patronage and ideology. He has published on the monuments of Mistras and is currently preparing a book on its church architecture.
Selected bibliography: G. MILLET, Inscriptions byzantines de Mistra, Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 23.1 (1899) 97–156; G. MILLET, Monuments byzantins de Mistra. Matériaux pour l'étude de l'architecture et de la peinture en Grèce aux XIVe et XVe siècles, (Monuments de l'art byzantin II) Paris 1910; CH. DELVOYE, Considérations sur l'emploi des tribunes dans l'église de la Vierge Hodigitria de Mistra, in Actes du XIIe Congrès International d'Etudes Byzantines, III, Belgrade 1964, 41–47; Μ. ΧΑΤΖΗΔΑΚΗΣ, Μυστράς. Η μεσαιωνική πολιτεία και το κάστρο, Αθήνα 1987; The Monuments of Mystras. The Work of the Committee for the Restoration of the Monuments of Mystras, ed. ΣΤ. ΣΙΝΟΣ, Αθήνα 2009; ΣΤ. ΣΙΝΟΣ, Η αρχιτεκτονική του καθολικού της Μονής της Παντάνασσας του Μυστρά, Αθήνα 2012; Α. ΤΑΝΤΣΗΣ, Παλαιολόγοι και Καντακουζηνοί ως χορηγοί εκκλησιών στον Μυστρά, Βυζαντιακά 32, 2015, 257–290.