ARTH 4351/6351 Problems in Byzantine Art, Topic: Portraiture (ARKEO 4351/ 6351, CLASS 4752/ 7752, MEDVL 4351/ 6351, NES 4351/ 6351, RELST 4351/ 6351, VISST 4351/ 6351)
M 9:05 -11
Byzantine artists produced a wide variety of images that modern interpreters have recognized as “portraits.” These images illuminate individual identity and visual representation in Byzantium. On the one hand, the constituent elements of a portrait (such as physiognomy, gesture, dress, and attributes) illuminate cultural understandings of personhood. On the other hand, those elements are assembled and displayed through means (composition, medium, and context) that illuminate cultural understandings of images and their ability to extend personal energy. We will focus on the primary sources, including preserved monuments (manuscripts, mosaics, sculptures, etc.) and literary witnesses (epigrams, historians’ accounts, etc.), supplemented by selections from the secondary literature on identity, individuality, and subject formation in Byzantium.