28:09:2008 - 01:09 EEST
  • News in English
    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis held 40-minute talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in New York yesterday, saying afterwards that discussions covered all matters of special Greek interest, and also broader issues.

  • News in English
    The Head of the Chaos & Innovation Research Unit at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Ioannis Antoniou was awarded the 2008 Prigozhin Prize for his contribution to the theory of chaos and the complex open systems, which was first developed by his mentor and Nobel laureate Ilya Prigozhin.
  • News in English
    On September 28 and 29, world-renowned composer Ennio Morricone will present two concerts with references to his entire work but also with the world premiere of his Greek-inspired work “Sicilo e altri frammenti”.

  • News in English
    The major exhibition, MegaGreek, which is hosted by the Zoom Children’s Museum in Vienna, Austria, opened its doors on Wednesday.
  • News in English
    An exhibition entitled “Tribute to Greece of the Resistance 1940-1944” will be presented at the Mémorial Leclerc - Musée Jean Moulin in Paris from October 1 to November 2.
Sep 12 2008
Byzantium 330-1453-Rare Byzantine Art at London's Royal Academy of Arts
Γράφει ο/η Θεόφιλος Δουμάνης   
"Byzantium 330-1453" describes the art and culture of the Byzantine Empire through objects from collections in Europe, the United States, Russia, Ukraine and Egypt.

On view at London's Royal Academy of Arts (October 25, 2008-March 22, 2009), this ticketed exhibition brings together more than 300 detached wall paintings, icons, enamels, ivories, liturgical manuscripts and their elaborately decorated covers, miniature mosaics and gold and silver metalwork. Arranged chronologically, the works on view date from the founding of Constantinople to its capture by the Ottoman Turks. The United Kingdom's first international loan exhibition of Byzantine art in 50 years is organized by the Royal Academy of Arts and Athens' Benaki Museum.


Among the themes covered by this monumental presentation are the:

-origins of Byzantium

-founding of Constantinople by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in 330??? A.D. and its rise to prominence

-two periods of iconoclastic threats to Christian figurative art by Byzantine emperors and the post-iconoclast revival and

-flowering of Byzantine art and its relation to that of early Renaissance Italy, the Balkans and Russia.

The exhibition concludes with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottoman forces of Sultan Mehmed II. Some of the show's objects are being publicly displayed for the first time. And included are a number of significant works from the marvelous Treasury of San Marco in Venice. The world of artists and their patrons is thoroughly addressed. The emotional, intellectual and religious energies apparent in Byzantine art are interpreted by modern scholars as expressions of a prevailing belief by these members of a Christian Roman Empire that their achievements represented the apogee of human civilization.

Highlights of the Exhibition

On special loan from The Cloisters Collection of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is the famous silver gilt Antioch Chalice (500-550 A.D.). After its ca. 1911 discovery, the artifact was erroneously interpreted by many to have been the Holy Grail or cup used by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. The work is recognized today as a 6th-century chalice or possibly a standing lamp whose exterior decoration is a visual representation of Christ's words in the New Testament Gospel of John (8:12): "I am the light of the world."

Also on display are the Chalice of the Patriarchs (ca. 10th-11th Century) from the Treasury of San Marco and the double-sided icon of the Virgin Hodegetria and Man of Sorrows (12th Century) from the Byzantine Museum, Kastoria.

Byzantium 330-1453 at the Royal Academy of Arts is destined to evoke sentiments of spirituality as well as encourage a general interest in medieval art within many of its visitors in London. Most of the artworks on display had the same effect when exhibited stateside in recent years.
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