City of Splendour : Art and Society in Constantinople, by Cecily Hennessy, Courtauld Institute, London, 20-24 July, 2009.
Constantinople was the political and artistic capital of Byzantium for over a thousand years, celebrated for its legendary wealth and ceremony. This course traces its development from the time of Constantine to its fall in 1453. Fascinating textual accounts augment exploration of the visual heritage of this renowned city, which was enriched with palaces, adorned with magnificent churches and celebrated as the centre for manuscript illumination and myriad forms of mosaic decoration, wall-painting, metal work and ivory production. Patronage in Byzantium lay often with imperial powers and the aristocracy but also with the Church and monasteries. We discuss this in relation to the complex manifestations of political and religious power in the city and its empire. Visits include a special handling session at the British Museum and a 'behind the scenes' visit to the British Library.
Dr Cecily Hennessy studied for her BA and MA in History of Art at the University of Washington and went on to gain a PhD in Byzantine art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2001. She has taught at universities in the USA and the UK and was Head of Short Courses and Adult Learning at the Courtauld Institute before joining Christie's Education as a lecturer in 2006. Her book 'Images of Children in Byzantium' was published in 2008.
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