Book Series Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages, vol. 11

Viewing Greece: Cultural and Political Agency in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean

Sharon E. J. Gerstel (ed)

  • Pages: 364 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:6 b/w, 166 col.
  • Language(s):English, Greek
  • Publication Year:2016

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56643-6
  • Paperback
  • Available

Multidisciplinary, geographically broad, and diachronic in scope, the papers in this volume consider the cultural and political agency of Greece as part of the late antique world, the Byzantine Empire, and the early modern Mediterranean.


“Each of these essays in this volume has Hellenic riches to offer (…) Byzantinists have clear reason to mine these riches, and early modern specialists, likewise, have much to gain from journeying to the eastern Mediterranean by way of such possibilities the exhibition presents.” (Glenn Peers, in Renaissance Quarterly, 70/3, 2017, p. 1047)

“In sum, the volume under review provides a useful collection of essays which are faithful to the exhibition’s focus on Greece’s Byzantium and simultaneously they are not based solely on the objects presented in the Washington/Getty exhibition. In this respect, this publication fulfils its original aim to expand the scope of the exhibition.” (Konstantinos Roussos, in The Journal of Greek Archaeology, 4, 2019, p. 489)


SHARON E. J. GERSTEL is Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles. An art historian and archaeologist, her research focuses on the late Byzantine village and on the intersections of art and ritual. She is author of Beholding the Sacred Mysteries: Programs of the Byzantine Sanctuary (1999) and Rural Lives and Landscapes in Late Byzantium: Art, Archaeology and Ethnography (2015) and has edited numerous books including, most recently, Viewing the Morea: Land and People in the Late Medieval Peloponnese (Washington, DC, 2013).



Deriving from conferences, workshops, and lectures that took place in conjunction with "Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections," an exhibition held at the National Gallery of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Art Institute of Chicago from 2013 to 2015, the thirteen papers in this volume focus on the art, architecture, and topography of medieval and early modern Greece. Multidisciplinary, geographically broad, and diachronic in scope, these papers consider the cultural and political agency of Greece as part of the late antique world, the Byzantine Empire, and the early modern Mediterranean. The Greek lands—spread across island and mainland—are seen as parts of broad trade and political networks, as points of religious dynamism, and as regions that are simultaneously central and peripheral.  Cities and workshops, readings of monumental painting, approaches to sacred art, views of architecture and power, and printed images of the landscape are some of the main themes treated by the authors. The volume also includes reflections on the exhibition written by curators and critics.



Sharon E. J. Gerstel

Susan MacMillan Arensberg
Notes on the Presentation of Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections at the National Gallery of Art

Mary Louse Hart
Heaven and Earth at the Getty Villa

Robin Cormack
Curating Exhibitions of Byzantium and Lessons to be Learnt

Eugenia Gerousi
A New Look at the Early Christian Mosaic Pavement from Thebes

Anastassios C. Antonaras and Sharon E. J. Gerstel
Between Heaven and Earth: Views of Byzantine Thessaloniki

Maria G. Parani
“The Joy of the Most Holy Mother of God the Hodegetria the one in Constantinople”: Revisiting the Famous Representation at the Vlacherna Monastery, Arta

Michalis Kappas
Approaching Monemvasia and Mystras from the Outside: The View from Kastania

Henry Maguire
Heaven on Earth: Neoplatonism in the Churches of Greece

Fr. Maximos Constas
Poetry and Painting in the Middle Byzantine Period: A Bilateral Icon from Kastoria and the Stavrotheotokia of Joseph the Hymnographer

Annemarie Weyl Carr
Reflections on the Medium of the Miraculous

Patricia Fortini Brown
The Venetian Loggia: Representation, Exchange, and Identity in Venice’s Colonial Empire

Sean E. Roberts
From Crusade to Colossus: Rhodes in the Early Modern European Visual Imagination

Veronica della Dora
Between the Garden and the Island: Mirror Images and Imaginative Geographies of Greece in Thomaso Porcacchi’s L’isole più famose del mondo, 1572