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Gold to Dark - Talk by Professor Henri Franses (American University of Beir...

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CVAR/Severis Foundation

285 Ermou Street

1017 Nicosia

Cyprus

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Professor Henri Frances (American University of Beirut) will talk on "Gold for Dark in Byzantine Art".


In this talk Professor Franses will suggest that the way in which scholars have traditionally viewed Byzantine images has been to concentrate on the figures and to consider the gold field as nothing much more than background. However, this does not do justice to the images themselves. The gold background, which consists either of gold leaf or gold tesserae, is a highly reflective surface, and this reflective capacity is an integral part of the structure of the image itself. When this reflective property is properly highlighted under the correct lighting conditions, the image is radically transformed. The gold background, which had previously been an inconspicuous element of the image, now begins to glow brightly and attracts attention to itself as the most prominent part of the image. The figures, meanwhile, which had previously been the centre of attention, darken and drop below the threshold of visibility, drowned out by the brilliant gold surface. This talk will introduce the subject, and consider some of the consequences of this new way of looking at Byzantine art.

The lecture will be in English.

Presented as part of the Othello's Island Conference on Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, and the Nicosia Medieval Festival 2018

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CVAR/Severis Foundation

285 Ermou Street

1017 Nicosia

Cyprus

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