Vorlesungsverzeichnis Wintersemester 2021/22

Veranstaltungsnr.: 040638 (Hauptseminar B.A. / M.A.)

Venice and the East: Cross-cultural encounters and artistic exchanges between the Republic of Venice, Byzantium, and the Islamic world

Jun.Prof. Dr. Margarita Voulgaropoulou

Präsenz, Do. 10-12
GA 03/49
60 h, 120 h, 240 h oder 300 h
2, 4, 8 oder 10 CP

This course examines the evolution of Venetian art and architecture from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Republic in 1797, with a particular emphasis on Venice’s mutual exchanges with the Byzantine and Islamic worlds. Since its foundation in the seventh century Venice was geographically and culturally situated at the crossroads of Eastern and Western civilizations, bringing together the contrasting and complementary worlds of the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Europe. Born as a Byzantine province, the Republic of Venice grew to become one of the Byzantium’s greatest rivals, eventually supplanting the Empire as the dominant naval and maritime force in the Eastern Mediterranean. After the sack of Constantinople by the fourth crusade in 1204, Venetian imitation of Byzantine artistic forms culminated in a full-scale appropriation of the Byzantine cultural heritage. The looting of Byzantine treasures and their incorporation in the Venetian civic fabric, as well as the Republic’s rule over former Byzantine territories forever shaped the future development of Venetian artistic production and cultural identity. At the same time, as Byzantine territories were gradually taken over by the emerging Islamic Empires, Venice fostered close diplomatic and commercial contacts with Muslim societies, in particular with the Mamluks of Syria and Egypt, the Ottomans of Anatolia, and the Safavids of Iran. These cross-cultural contacts gave rise to an intense mobility of people and objects through the channels of trade and migration, forging Venice into an international emporium and a multicultural metropolis, and shaping the city’s cultural, artistic, and architectural heritage.

By looking into different periods of Venetian history, this course will introduce students into Venetian art and architecture, while helping them to interpret key monuments and artworks in their historical context. Upon completion of this course students will be able to identify notable works of Venetian art and architecture, as well as elements of Byzantine and islamic art; develop skills to analyze artworks in their technical aspects and visual symbolisms; prove their familiarity with different periods of Venetian art and the works of renowned Venetian masters; recognize a wide range of historical, political, socio-economic, and cultural forces that contribute to the formation of artistic forms, styles and iconographic choices; challenge conventional perceptions of the Italian Renaissance as a purely European phenomenon.