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Title: Miejsce ekfrazy w bizantynistycznej historiografii artystycznej
Authors: Smorąg Różycka, Małgorzata
Keywords: Ekphrasis; Michael Psellos’ ekphrasis; visualising dogmatic content; ekfraza Michała Psellosa; wizualizująca treści dogmatycznych
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Wydawnictwo KUL
Citation: "Vox Patrum" 70 (2018), s. 471-484
Abstract: In Byzantium, writing ekphrases was one of the standard literary skills, de­veloped during school instruction. Yet, in Byzantine art history, the analysis of Byzantine ekphrases had long been beyond the scope of researchers who favoured rather the iconographic and formal comparative methods. It was not until the dis­covery of the role of rhetoric in the shaping of pictorial formulae and iconographic programmes of paintings, by H. Maguire, that the importance of ekphrases was fully recognised – especially as far as interpretation of the contents of art works and the understanding of mechanisms governing the development of iconographic and compositional programmes that ‘defied’ the canon were concerned. The examples of ‘reversed’ compositional schemes in the Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem scene in the Church of the Virgin at Daphni or the Holy Myrrhbearers at the Sepulchre in the Mileševa Monastery, discussed in the present paper, consi­dered within a broad context of architectural space and the liturgy, have demons­trated that the Byzantine artist was able to freely shape his pictorial formulae while looking for new ways of visualising dogmatic content, especially in the period after the Iconoclastic Controversy (726-843). An example of Michael Psellos’ ekphrasis of an image of the Crucifixion fur­ther proves that also Byzantine writers were faced with a similar problem of fin­ding adequate forms for expressing dogmatic content in keeping with the literary canon. In his description of the image, Psellos not only identified its particular elements (schemata) but also referred to the experience and knowledge of the recipient who was supposed to be able to discern in the picture also the reality that could not be represented using artistic means. Thus, the above affinity between the artistic and literary stances seems to re­lease the researchers of Byzantine art from strict adherence to stereotypical inter­pretations in keeping with the methodological canon.
Appears in Collections:Vox Patrum, 2018, Vol. 70

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