Stephen Walsh (Stravinsky biographer)
Robert Fripp (musician)
Saturday 4th June: The Art and Architecture of the Russian Orthodox Church
Speaker: Dr Rosamund Bartlett
11:00 – 17:30
When the Emperor Constantine sought to establish a new Roman capital which would be free of pagan influence, he looked to the East. Constantinople, founded in 324, arose on the site of ancient Greek Byzantium, Along with its differing rites and doctrines, the Byzantine Church also gradually developed an approach to art which was different to that of Western Christianity, its chief form of visual expression being the icon.
This day of lectures is devoted to the religious art which evolved after Prince Vladimir brought Eastern Orthodox Christianity to Kiev in 988, by which time the Byzantine church had already weathered its great iconoclastic controversies. We will assess the architectural style of the early churches built in cities like Chernigov, Novgorod and Pskov, before the Mongol invasion in 1380, and of those built after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when Moscow claimed the mantle of Byzantium and the title of the "third Rome".
It was in Russia, and particularly in Moscow, that the art of icon painting reached its greatest heights. We will explore the evolution of a national style through discussion of Theophanes the Greek, Andrey Rubylov, Dionisy, and the icon painters of the Stroganov school. We will also consider the theology of icons, and the materials and techniques involved in painting them.
The final part of the day will be devoted to a discussion of the revival of the Byzantine style in Russian religious art which began in the middle of the 19th century, and a consideration of the influence of icons on the early 20th-century avant-garde.
Tickets: £60 (including buffet lunch and afternoon tea). Overnight accommodation with dinner is also available; please enquire.
Friend of The Great Britain-Russia Society
Stonehill House is a comfortable and spacious family home with extensive grounds, in rural Oxfordshire. Within easy reach of Didcot Parkway and Oxford stations, Stonehill can accommodate up to 12 people in a variety of uniquely decorated, mostly double, bedrooms.
The house and grounds are home to an interesting collection of artworks by Andrew Logan, several with a Russian influence.
Rosamund Bartlett is a writer, scholar and translator who has lectured on Russian cultural history at universities, museums, and public institutions around the world. The author of several books, including Wagner and Russia, Chekhov: Scenes from a Life, and Tolstoy: A Russian Life, which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, she has a particular interest in the intersection between politics, history and the arts. She has also received recognition as a translator, having published two volumes of Chekhov's stories and the first unexpurgated edition of his letters. Her new translation of Anna Karenina will be published by Oxford World's Classics in August 2014. She is a Trustee of the Anton Chekhov Foundation, set up to preserve the writer's house in Yalta, and in 2010 was awarded the Chekhov 150th Anniversary Medal by the Russian government in recognition of her educational and charitable work.
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