Medieval Art, Architecture, and Visual Culture in Eastern Europe
Call for Papers:What is Eastern European Art? – SHERA-sponsored session at the 111th Annual College Art Association Conference – New York City | 15-18 February 2023
NoB Lecture:Dr. Ivan Drpić, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania – “The Gold of Banjska” – Dumbarton Oaks | 24 March 2022
Abstract: Midway through the quick succession of brief biographical notes about Serbian monarchs and potentates that comprise the so-called Genealogy of Karlovci, a fifteenth-century text, the reader comes across a passage of considerable art-historical import. Writing about the great works of royal and clerical patronage, the anonymous author declares that “the pavement of the church at Prizren, the church of Dečani, the narthex of Peć, the gold of Banjska, and the paintings of Resava are to be found nowhere else.” This lecture takes the peculiar reference to “the gold of Banjska” as the point of entry into an exploration of a little-studied phenomenon—the extensive use of gilding in medieval Serbian wall painting. The results of recently conducted technical analyses will be used to illuminate this phenomenon and clarify its significance for finding the place of Serbia on the artistic map of the later Middle Ages.
Abstract: The artistic production of medieval Dalmatia has long been interpreted as the outcome of artistic interactions between different cultures. The present paper will propose a reconsideration of the conceptual grounds on which the “Adriatic” has been construed as a liminal, or hybrid, artistic context. Emphasis will be laid on a relatively large number of 14th-century paintings which came to be attributed to the Adriatic Eastern coast on account of their distinctive mixture of Venetian and Byzantine forms. It will investigate the extent to which an unconventional combination of forms was understood as a clue to the origin from an area deemed to be the site of overlapping artistic geographies. At the same time, it will delve into the analysis of some distinctive case studies that may shed light on the multifarious approaches toward styles and pictorial traditions encountered in the multi-layered societies of Dalmatia’s port towns in the late Medieval period.