The art and archaeology of the Latin East have regularly been marginalised in broader accounts of medieval material culture, largely because they cannot fit within the restrictive parameters established for either the Byzantine East or the Latin West. Over the years, the art and archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus (1192-1571) have attracted both western medievalists and Byzantinists, each group bringing its own methodological prejudices to the study of the subject. In the last twenty years, a number of international conferences, collaborative research initiatives and other events, culminating in last year’s exhibition Chypre entre Byzance et l’Occident IVe-XVIe siècle (2012-3) at the Louvre, have paved the way for a more fruitful interchange between scholars coming at the art and archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus from a Byzantine or western medieval background.
Increasing specialisation within any given field being a virtual necessity in the modern academic world, students of medieval material culture West and East are called upon to broach the issue with an open mind to neighbouring fields, and to cooperate among themselves to bring about a synthetic, integrated vision of the complex history of Cypriot material culture in the later Middle Ages and of the society that produced it. Nevertheless, there is still much ground to cover. The brisk pace of current research activities has overtaken that of publication; a number of important excavations are still ongoing or under preparation for publication; and a host of new doctoral theses are in development. Now, more than ever, there is urgent need for the sustained exchange of new ideas and information regarding fresh discoveries, as well as for the rethinking of received knowledge and the renewal of approaches that this may entail.
This conference is the third in a series focusing on recent archaeological and art historical research on Cyprus from the Hellenistic period onwards. It aims at providing a forum for the discussion of the art and archaeology of Cyprus during the Lusignan and Venetian periods. Art historians and archaeologists engaged in research on this particular topic, both of the ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ persuasions, are encouraged to contribute by presenting the results of their recent work. We invite papers on subjects ranging from archaeological excavation, post-excavation finds analysis and field survey to monumental art (architecture, sculpture, painting), metalwork, ceramics, numismatics and other aspects of the island’s material life in the late medieval period.