The opulence of Byzantine art, with its extravagant use of gold and silver, is well known. Highly skilled artists created powerful representations reflecting and promoting this society and its values in icons, illuminated manuscripts, and mosaics and wallpaintings placed in domed churches and public buildings. This complete introduction to the whole period and range of Byzantine art combines immense breadth with interesting historical detail.
Robin Cormack overturns the myth that Byzantine art remained constant from the inauguration of Constantinople, its artistic centre, in the year 330 until the fall of the city to the Ottomans in 1453. He shows how the many political and religious upheavals of this period produced a wide range of styles and developments in art. This updated, colour edition includes new discoveries, a revised bibliography, and, in a new epilogue, a rethinking of Byzantine Art for the present day.
Robin Cormack, Professor Emeritus, Courtauld Institute of Art
Robin Cormack is Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He is author of Writing in Gold: Byzantine Society and its Icons (1985), The Byzantine Eye: Collected Studies in Art and Patronage (1989), Painting the Soul: Icons, Death Masks, Shrouds (1997), and Icons (2007, 2014). He co-operated in the production of the film A Window to Heaven (Getty Foundation and Metropolitan Museum of Program for Art on Film, 1990), and was the Royal Academy consultant for the exhibitions From Byzantine to El Greco (1987), The Art of Holy Russia: Icons from Moscow 1400-1660 (1998), and Byzantium 330-1453 (2008-9).
1: Rome with a Christian Face? : Early Byzantine Art 330-527
2: In the Shadow of St Sophia: Byzantine Art in the Sixth Century and its Aftermath 527-680
3: The Definition of an Orthodox Christian Empire: Byzantine Art 680-843
4: Developments and Diversions in the Consolidated Empire: Middle Byzantine Art 843-1071
5: The New Spirituality of the Eleventh Century and the World of the Twelfth Century
6: Art in the Service of a Failing Society: Late Byzantine Art 1204-1453
7: Rethinking Byzantine Art: An Epilogue for the new second edition
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List of Illustrations