Antony Eastmond, A. G. Leventis Professor of Byzantine Art History and Dean & Deputy Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Saint Luke was both an evangelist and an artist: he wrote one of the four Gospels and painted the first portrait of Christ and his mother. The Cleveland Saint Luke, an exquisite portrait of the saint from an 11th-century manuscript, shows him in a very different guise: as a bureaucrat with the tools of his trade carefully laid out before him. In this lecture, Professor Eastmond will use the portrait as a starting point to consider the nature of originality in Byzantine art. The Byzantine court has long been associated with the dead hand of rigid, stultifying administration, yet it commissioned and created some of the most beautiful and complex art of the medieval world. Can bureaucracy drive creativity?