Tag Archives: Byzantine Mosaics

Lecture, Prof Liz James: ‘Light and colour; dark and shadow’, 5.30pm,Tues 11th October, Courtauld Institute, London


Church of the Theotokos Pammakaristos (Liz James)

Prof Liz James (University of Sussex): ‘Light and colour; dark and shadow’

Light and colour, darkness and shadow, are all fundamental aspects of works of art in a practical way (can we see the work?), a formal fashion (what colours are used?) and conceptually (why these colours? Why this light or this lighting?). But they are also elements of the work of art that have tended to have a secondary place within the history of art. Through a discussion of Byzantine monumental mosaics, this lecture will consider some of the ways in which light, dark, colour and shade are fundamental elements in the appearance, effectiveness and function of images. 

Liz James is Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex and a Byzantinist. She has been interested in light and colour for a long time, writing her doctoral thesis on colour in Byzantium. She has just finished writing a book about medieval mosaics (provisionally entitled ‘A short history of medieval mosaics’).

Ticket / entry details:

Tuesday 11 October 2016
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN

This lecture launches the Frank Davis Memorial Series on Light/Darkness

Open to all, free admission

Publication News: New Light on Old Glass: Recent Research on Byzantine Glass and Mosaics

New-Light-on-Old-Glass-Recent-Research-on-Byzantine-Mosaics-and-Glass-British-Museum-academic-book-cmc0861591794_productlargeThis new publication brings together a range of leading scholars from around the world to discuss the most recent research in the field of Byzantine glass and mosaics in an interdisciplinary context – ranging from art history to physics and Byzantine studies.

New Light on Old Glass explores how mosaics are perhaps the most outstanding examples of Byzantine art which survive; revealing changing aesthetics and issues surrounding the technical production of glass in medieval artistic practices.

This is the first time that so many diverse papers, ranging from art history, archaeology, chemistry, physics and Byzantine studies have been assembled in one volume.

The book is the culmination of a five-year research programme on the Composition of Byzantine Glass Mosaic Tesserae, conducted by the University of Sussex in conjunction with the British Museum and sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust.

The Editors

Chris Entwistle is curator of the Late Roman and Byzantine collections at the British Museum.
Liz James is professor of Art History at the University of Sussex.


1. ‘Glass Mosaic Tesserae from the 5th to the 6th Century Baptistry of San Giovanni alle Fonti, Milan, Italy’, Elizabeth Neri, Marco Verità and Alberto Conventi
2. ‘Glass Tesserae from the Petra Church’, Fatma Marii
3. ‘Studies in Middle Byzantine Glass Mosaics from Amorium’, Hanna Witte
4. ‘Mosaic Tesserae from the Basilica of San Severo and Glass Production in Classe, Ravenna, Italy’, Cesare Fiori
5. ‘The Observation and Conservation of Mosaics in Ravenna in the 5th and 6th Centuries’ Cetty Muscolino
6. ‘A Quest for Wisdom’, Nadine Schibille
7. ‘Mosaics and Materials’, Claudia Tedeschi
8. ‘A Study of Glass Tesserae from Mosaics in the Monestareis of Daphni and Hosios Loukas’, Rossella Arletti
9. ‘Notes on the Morphology of the Gold Glass Tesserae from Daphni Monestary’, Polytimi Loukopoulou and Antonia Moropoulou
10. ‘Glass Producers in the Late Antique and Byzantine Texts and Papyri’, E. Marianne Stern
11. ‘On the Manufacture of Diatreta and Cage Cups from the Pharos Beaker to the Lycurgus Cup’, Rosemarie Lierke
12. ‘The Lycurgus Cup’, Jaś Elsner
13. ‘Making Late Antique Gold Glass’, Daniel Thomas Howells
14. ‘Gold Glass in Late Antiquity’, Andrew Meek
15. ‘Late Antique Glass Pendants in the British Museum’, Chris Entwistle and Paul Corby Finnery (With an appendix by Philip Fletcher)
16. ‘A Scientific Study of Late Antique Glass Pendants in the British Museum’, Stepan Röhrs, Andrew Meek and Chris Entwistle
17. ‘The Production and Uses of Late Antique Glass in Byzantine Thessaloniki’, Anastassios Antonaras
18. ‘To Beautify Small Things’, Ann Terry
19. ‘Experiencing the Light’ , Claire Nesbitt
20. ‘New Light on the “Bright Ages” ’, Claudine Bolgia
21. ‘The Absence of Glass’ , Maria Vassilaki
22. ‘Borders of Experimentalism, Francesca Dell’ Acqua
23. ‘Viewing the Mosaics of the Monasteries of Hosios Loukas, Daphni and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Torcello ’, Robin Cormack
24. ‘The Abbot Philotheos, Founder of the Katholikon of Hosios Loukas’, Nano Chatzidakis
25. ‘Recording Byzantine Mosaics in 19th –century Greece’, Dimitra Kotoula (With a contribution from Amalia G. Kakissis
26. ‘The Christ Head at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Apse in the Bode Museum, Berlin, and Other Fake Mosaics’, Irina Andreescu – Treadgold
27. ‘Alexandria on the Barada’, Judith S. McKenzie
28. ‘Mosaics by Numbers, Liz James, Emõke Soproni and Bente Bjørnholt
29. ‘Early Islamic and Byzantine Silver Stain’, Lisa Pilosi and David Whitehouse
30. ‘Victorian or Justinianic? Painter or Practitioner? In Situ or Reverse?’ Paul Bentley