“Don’t praise artists, praise administrators!” Byzantine Bureaucracy as Cultural Creativity, lecture by Antony Eastmond (The Courtauld Institute of Art), The Courtauld - Vernon Square, January 15, 2019, 6:30–7:30 pm
Prof. Antony Eastmond will present a manifesto for the creative power of administration. Byzantium is synonymous with labyrinthine bureaucracy, underpinning a convoluted and devious political machine; its artistic culture is too often characterised as one in which innovation and change were stifled by faceless officeholders. He will argue that bureaucracy was a force for inventiveness in the medieval Mediterranean, shaping ideas about how art is created and interpreted, and playing a major role in establishing the visual world of Byzantium.
Antony Eastmond is Dean and Deputy Director and A. G. Leventis Professor in the History of Byzantine Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art. His research focuses on topics in Late Antique and Byzantine art and topics relating to the Caucasus (Georgia and Armenia), and relations between the Christian and Islamic cultures there.