[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies Workshop: October 21, 2011

Dimitri H. Gondicas gondicas at Princeton.EDU
Fri Oct 14 09:30:29 PDT 2011


Hellenic Studies


A Byzantine Basileus in Renaissance Italy:

The Image of John VIII Palaeologus

and its Iconographic Mutations

Theodore Koutsogiannis

tkoutsog at princeton.edu<mailto:tkoutsog at princeton.edu>

Hellenic Parliament Art Collection

Visiting Fellow, Hellenic Studies

Respondent: Patricia F. Brown, Art and Archaeology

After Byzantine emperor John VIII Palaeologus sojourned in Italy for the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438-39), his image was reproduced in various works of art and broadly disseminated in miscellaneous iconological contexts in Renaissance art. The image of John VIII Palaeologus created the figure of the Byzantine basileus par excellance. However, in a number of works the figure of John VIII lends its features and represents other personas, but in such a way as to justify these metamorphoses. As the model of a Greek man, the Byzantine emperor was used to embody figures of eponymous Greeks, gods and mortals. Furthermore, as the model of an Oriental leader too, John's features were lent to King Balthasar, to the founder of Byzantium Constantine the Great, even to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II and, in an even more drastic transformation, to Pontius Pilate. The thorough study of these iconographic mutations produces a rich, solid iconographic yield, with many interpretations and iconological contexts, which describes in an exemplary fashion the artistic paths through which the visual output of the Renaissance embodies and utilises portrait types and historical themes that then claim a place in the visual culture of the era.

Theodore Koutsogiannis is an art historian, currently serving as curator of the Hellenic Parliament Art Collection, Athens. His particular field of interest is the influence of Classical antiquity on the visual culture of modern Europe.  His Ph.D. dissertation (University of Athens) was on "The drawings of Cyriacus of Ancona and their influence on the antiquarianism and art of the Renaissance." He has also and studied at La Sapienza University, Rome; the Warburg Institute, London; the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa; and the Istituto di Studi Umanistici, Florence. He is co-editor of the Greek-language catalogue of the exhibition In the light of Apollo: Italian Renaissance and Greece (National Gallery, Athens 2004). He has taught History of Modern European Art at the University of Athens, the Hellenic Open University and the University of Thessaly.

Friday, October 21, 2011

1:30 p.m.

Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

The HELLENIC STUDIES WORKSHOP provides an opportunity for post-doctoral fellows, visiting fellows, and graduate students to present their work-in-progress or recently published research. The aim is to encourage exchange of ideas across disciplines among Classical scholars, Byzantinists, and Modern Greek Studies specialists.

DATES:  Most Fridays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., during the term.  Dates, speakers and titles will be announced in advance via e-mail.

PLACE:  Room 103, Scheide Caldwell House, Princeton University

For further information about current events in Hellenic Studies, please refer to the calendar posted on our website:  http://www.princeton.edu/~hellenic/

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