Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections
October 6, 2013 – March 2, 2014
In 330 Emperor Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Italy some thousand miles to the east, near the site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium on the Bosphorus Strait linking the Aegean and Black Seas. Renamed Constantinople (now Istanbul), the city became the largest and wealthiest in the Christian world. It remained the dominant power, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, for more than 1,000 years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. In the first-ever exhibition of Byzantine art at the Gallery, some 170 works of art, many never before lent to the United States, will be on view—among them mosaics, icons, manuscripts, jewelry, and ceramics. The works include newly discovered and unpublished objects and reveal the rich and multifaceted culture of Byzantium. Divided into five thematic sections, the exhibition explores the coexistence of paganism and Christianity, spiritual life in Byzantium, secular works of art used in the home, the intellectual life of Byzantine scholars, and the cross-influences that occurred between Byzantine and Western artists before the fall of Byzantium.
Organization: The exhibition was organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Athens, with the collaboration of the Benaki Museum, Athens, and in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Sponsors: The exhibition’s international tour is made possible by major funding from OPAP S.A.
Financial support is also provided by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.
Indemnity Credit: The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, April 9–August 25, 2014
Five Byzantine Churches
This film presents still and original moving footage of historically significant Byzantine churches in Greece.
Gifts and Gift Exchanges between Byzantium and Islam
December 10 at 3:30