Syllabi of CEU Medieval Studies, 1995-96 second trimester


The Symbolism of Church Decoration in Byzantium and Medieval Rus

Alexei Lidov



Seminar - 1 credit

4 lectures between February 21 - March 1

The aim of this sequence of lectures is to provide an introduction to the symbolic language of Eastern Christian Culture. Church decoration will be regarded as a historical source which contains unique information.

The Middle-Byzantine iconographic program from the 9th to the 13th centuries provide the most interesting examples. In that period after the victory over iconoclasm the type of the cross-domed church and the new system of decoration were established in Byzantium and the specificity of the Eastern Christian approach as principally distinct of the Western one, was implemented in its most evident form.

The topics of the lectures

will be devoted to the church decoration in its four basic aspects:

1) as the Heavenly Jerusalem;

2) as the Liturgical Commentary;

3) as the Theological Treatise;

4) as the Space for the Miracle-Working Icons

Reading list

I. Required

Belting, H. Likeness and Presence. A History of the Image before the Era of Art. Chicago and London, 1994, pp. 144-183.

Demus, O. Byzantine Mosaic Decoration: Aspects of Monumental Art in Byzantium. London, 1948 (reprint N.Y. 1976)

Spieser, J.-M. "Liturgie et programmes iconographiques," in Travaux et Mémoires, 11. Paris, 1991, p. 575

Taft, R. F. The Byzantine Rite: A Short History. Collegeville, Minnesota, 1992.

Walter, Ch. Art and Ritual of the Byzantine Church. London, 1982, pp. 164-249

II. Suggested

Babi, G. "Les dicussions christologiques et le décor des églises byzantines au XIIe siècle" in Frümittelalterlichen Studien, 2 (1968), pp. 368-386.

Bornert, R., Les commentaires byzantines de la divine liturgie. Paris, 1966.

Cormack, R. Writing in Gold: Byzantine Society and Its Icons. London, 1985.

Djuric, V. Byzantinische Fresken in Jugoslavien. Munich, 1976.

Grabar, A. Martyrium. Recherches sur le cult des réliques et l'art chretien antique, t. 1-2. Paris, 1943-46.

Grabar, A. L' Iconoclasm byzantin. Dossier archéologique. Paris, 1957 (1984).

"The Kariye Djami", 4. Studies in the Art of the Kariye Djami and its Intellectual Background. Princeton, 1975.

Kitzinger, E. "Reflection on the Feast cycle in Byzantine Art" in Cahiers Archeologiques, 36 (1988), pp. 50-73.

Kitzinger, E., "Mosaic Decoration in Sicily under Roger II and the Classical Byzantine System of Church Decoration" in Italian Church decoration of the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance, ed. W. Tronzo, 1989, pp. 147-165.

Lafontaine-Dosogne, J. "L'évolution du programme decoratif des églises de 1071 á 1261" in Actes du XVe Congres international d'études byzantines, I. Athens, 1976, pp. 287-329.

Lazarev, V. Old Russian Murals and Mosaics from the XIth to the XVIth Century. London, 1966.

Lidov, A. "The Schism and Byzantine Church Decoration" in Vostochnokhristianskij khram. Liturgia i iskusstvo, ed. A. Lidov. Moscow, 1994, pp. 17-35.

Maguire, H. Art and Eloquence in Byzantium. Princeton, 1981.

Mango, C. The Art of the Byzantine Empire 312-1453. Sources and Documents. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1972.

Mathews, T. "The Transformation Symbolism in Byzantine Architecture and the Meaning of the Pantokrator in the Dome" in Church and People in Byzantium, ed. R. Morris. Birmingham, 1990, pp. 191-214.

Schulz, H.-J., The Byzantine Liturgy. Symbolic Structure and Faith Expression. New York, 1986.

Wessel, K. "Apsisbilder, Bildprogramm" in Reallexikon zur byzantinischen Kunst, vol. I. Stuttgart, 1966, col. 268-293, 662-690.

Back Back to CEU Medieval Studies homepage

Back to top of document

Homepage maintenance:
Sajó Tamás, sajot@ceu.hu