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Evidence and Context of Antiquarian Visual Culture in Late Palaiologan Mystras

Thu, March 30, 3:30 to 5:00pm, Palmer House Hilton, Floor: Seventh Floor, Clark 7


This paper analyses frescoed, sculptural and spolia artefacts produced and employed by artistic workshops active in Mystras from late 13th to middle 15th century. The paper relates these artefacts to models, standards and visual exempla from the antique repertoires found in Peloponnese in sites such as Sparta and Corinth. Textual and visual cultural inheritance of the region will be discussed in relation to ideas of the classical past that informed the interactions between intellectuals in Mystras, Morea and Italy, such as Manuel II Palaiologos, Georgios Gemistos Plethon, Bessarion, Guarino da Verona and Ciriaco d’Ancona. Ultimately this communication will explore the original cultural contribution of the Byzantine court of Mystras in the Despotate of Morea to the modern debate on antiquity and the development of classical past ideals.


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