Constantinople, Ravenna, Rome and the year 500

May 3, 2018

After the introductory words by prof. Kroupa, the Head of the Center for Early Medieval Studies, Ivan Foletti, presented his inaugurating professor-to-be lecture titled Step out of the Shade. Constantinople, Ravenny, Rome and the year 500 in the premises of the Moravian Gallery in Brno, on May 3, 2018. By his contribution, in which he attempted to draw a picture of the monumental and votive art of Constaninople around the year 500, Foletti also started a new lecture series in honor of Albert Kutal, which has been organised under the auspices of the Department of Art History and the Circle of Friends of the Moravian Gallery.

In view of the historic context, there are almost no artistic remains of the former capital of the Roman Empire. Still however, based on the example of George Kubler, who compared the lost medieval art with a black hole identified by the deformation of space in her vicinity, it may be possible to reconstruct the forms of the lost Byzantine art, according to Foletti.

By studying the art of Rome, Ravenna, and the monumental production originating in northern Italy during the same period, it is possible to literally trace the new artistic morphology which had taken birth in the capital of the Empire. The beauty of the art production of Constanople was, apparently, so overwhelming that it became desired to be imitated by both Theodoric the Great, the then Italian king, and the Pope in Rome. And so came into being and grew a legend of the city, which was to last as least another thousand years. A legend of the city in which one of the wonders of the world, Justinian's Hagia Sofia, was about to be created only a few years later.

Katarína Kravčíková & Ivan Foletti