26th Annual Lecture in Memory of Constantine Leventis

The Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation and the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia organize the 26th annual lecture in memory of Constantine Leventis, titled “Finding a Place in History: The Chora Monastery and its Patrons”. The speaker is Dr Robert Ousterhout, Professor Emeritus at the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.


The Chora Monastery in Constantinople is one of the oldest (1077-1081) and best preserved monastic establishments in the Byzantine capital, founded and supported by members of the imperial family and the Byzantine aristocracy. It constitutes one of the masterpieces of Byzantine Art and is renowned for its rich mosaics and mural decoration.


The surviving mosaics in the nave and the wall-painting in the burial chapel point to the ingenuity and aesthetic sensibility of the Monastery’s last ktitor, Theodore Metochites. Metochites (1270-1332) had been a pioneering intellectual and one of the most powerful and richest men in the Empire. Himself an author and patron of the arts, and a man with a strong personality, he contributed decisively to the formulation and establishment of a new visual art vocabulary in the time of the Paleologues.


Ousterhout looks at Metochites’ achievements in relation to the previous patrons of the Chora Monastery: Isaak Komnenos, son of Alexios I (1081-1118), and nun Melania, sister of Andronikos II Paleologue (1282-1328). The two patrons, and Metochites, are depicted in the narthex of the church.


The speaker will take us to a journey in a world where the dynamic interchanges between patrons and artisans led to the creation of an unparalleled, aesthetically engaging monument of Byzantine art. 


The 26th lecture in memory of Constantine Leventis will be delivered in English on Wednesday, 1 November 2017, at 19:30, in the premises of the A.G. Leventis Foundation at 40, Gladstone Street, 1095, Nicosia.


Due to the limited availability of seats, early reservation is strongly recommended. Please call 22661475 or email info@leventismuseum.org.cy



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