ICMA lecture: Professor Robert Nelson

749cb3794d5209fa75b9e5f63ce223dfICMA at the Courtauld Lecture 2013/14
Series made possible through the generosity of Dr. William M. Voelkle

Wednesday 19 February 2014
5.30pm, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Professor Robert Nelson (Robert Lehman Professor, Department of the History of Art, Yale University): Patriarchal Lectionaries of Constantinople

The Greek Gospel lectionary, containing those passages
read during the liturgy and arranged according to the church
calendar, has long been of interest to art historians. Earlier
attempts to study it did not produce lasting results until the
basic text of these manuscripts began to be explored. That
research has gathered momentum in recent years, thanks
especially to the work of Professor John Lowden, and has
coalesced around the concept of the Patriarchal lectionary,
created for the use of Hagia Sophia during the eleventh
century. This lecture will look further into history of that
lectionary before, during, and after this period.

Robert Nelson studies and teaches medieval art, mainly in
the Eastern Mediterranean. He was the co-curator of Holy
Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai at the J. Paul
Getty Museum in 2006-2007. His book, Hagia Sophia, 1850-
1950, 2004, asks how the cathedral of Constantinople, once
ignored or despised, came to be regarded as one of the great
monuments of world architecture. Current projects involve
the history of the Greek lectionary, illuminated Greek
manuscripts in Byzantium and their reception in Renaissance
Italy, and the collecting of Byzantine art in twentieth-century
Europe and America. The last involves the publication of the
letters between Royall Tyler and Robert and Mildred Bliss,
the founders of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., which
has just begun to be published online.

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