Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Byzantium 330-1453

Unknown artist,
Mosaic icon of Saint Stephen, c.1108-1113.
Mosaic, 218 x 118 x 7 cm,
National Architectural Conservation Area, St Sophia of Kiev

From 25th October 2008 until 22nd March 2009, The Royal Academy in London is hosting an exhibition entitled "Byzantium 330 - 1453"

Covering the period from 330, when Constantine inaugurated his “new Rome” with sumptuous festivities and chariot races, to 1453, when the glittering capital of Christendom finally fell to the Ottoman Turks, it takes nothing less than the entire 1,100-year history of the Byzantine civilisation as its time span.

At its zenith Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), ruled over a large area including a long belt of North Africa, Egypt, the Holy Land, Italy and Greece, large parts of the Balkans and the southern regions of Spain.

One of the main features of the exhibition will be the glimmering icons including a number from the monastery of St Catherine in Mount Sinai to Britain. In particular the Icon of the Heavenly Ladder of St John, will no doubt be a main attraction. The talk on this icon by Father Justin, the Librarian of the Monastery of St Catherine in Mount Sinai is already sold out.