Artificial Light in Medieval Churches between Byzantium and the West, Zoom, February 9, 2023
Throughout the Middle Ages, artificial illumination was used to draw attention to and enhance certain areas, objects, and persons inside Christian sacred spaces. The strategies usually found in Latin and Byzantine churches have been analyzed in recent decades. However, the cultures that developed at the crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic spheres, particularly in regions of the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathian Mountains, have received less scholarly attention. The uses of artificial light in churches were likely shaped by aspects such as inherited practices, the imitation of other societies, as well as by local climatic, economic, and theological parameters.
Following a similar workshop that focused on natural light, which showed how uses of sunlight reveal patterns of knowledge transfer and cultural interaction between Byzantium, the West, and the Slavic world throughout the Middle Ages, this workshop hosts papers on the economy of artificial light in medieval churches with a focus on examples from Eastern Europe and other regions of the medieval world that developed at the crossroads of competing traditions. Whether innovative or inspired by the more established traditions on the margins of the Mediterranean, local customs are examined to understand how artificial light was used in ecclesiastical spaces, and how it brought together and enhanced the architecture, decoration, objects, and rituals.
Advance registration required.
Alice Isabella Sullivan, Tufts University
Vladimir Ivanovici, University of Vienna | Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, USI