Das ist wahrlich kein rundum erfreuliches Thema, mehr ein Drama, das sich rund um das Mittelmeer abspielte und bis in die heutige Zeit nachwirkt. Jahrhundert unterschiedliche Entwicklungen. Auch bei der Auslegung des christlichen Glaubens war man sich zusehends uneinig. Wie kommunizierte man miteinander, mit welchen Medien, und wie verschoben sich die Blickwinkel im Laufe der Zeit?
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Lange war das westliche Streben gerade auf byzantinisches Gold, Seide und Elfenbein gerichtet, vieles ist davon auf der Schallaburg zu sehen. Byzanz, der lateinische Westen und die slawische Welt«. Auch der reich bebilderte Katalog wendet sich an alle Interessierten. Auf dass wir es besser machen! Kommunikation ist alles! Mainz, im Februar Falko Daim.
They are suitable to study mechanisms of exchange in a different way than static art such as architecture and their decoration with their own research questions, or the exchange of coins 1. Thus goldsmiths works are ificant, yet understudied witnesses of cultural transfer processes in the late Middle Ages.
Menschen, bilder, sprache, dinge wege der kommunikation zwischen byzanz und dem westen 1: bilder und dinge
However, it is exactly these luxury items, donated by emperors and their families, by aristocrats and the high clergy, testifying to the legendary splendour of Byzantium that can reveal valuable information on the exchange of fashions and taste between ruling and non-ruling elites and their mutual contact, not only between Byzantium and the West but also for the whole Mediterranean and beyond, such as the Kievan Rus, Moscow and the Golden Horde.
Goldsmiths works were exchanged as diplomatic gifts and trade goods, were brought home by travellers and pilgrims or changed ownership as war booty and through theft and thus could have an impact on other cultural spheres. Not only the objects themselves but also craftsmen producing goldsmiths works stimulated exchange and inspired changes in fashion through their work in different areas.
Furthermore, there is circumstantial evidence that drawings would have served as means of exchange, especially in the Late Byzantine period 2. The underestimation of goldsmiths works as examples for the material culture of imperial and, in general, elite representation is rooted in three main areas: first, the state of research, which leaves a lot to be desired 3 ; second, the comparatively small amount of surviving goldsmiths works due to a high of losses over the centuries, and also a smaller production in the Late Byzantine period; and third, the fact that the written sources, especially with regard to diplomatic missions, are usually vague, thus only very few objects can be related to literary evidence 4.
Nevertheless, many surviving goldsmiths works attest to an intensive exchange between Byzantium and its neighbours, in the East and the West, which finds reflections on different levels, such as their form, decoration, technique or function. There are Western objects with Byzantine elements and Byzantine objects with Western elements in their ornamentation or iconography.
However, the definition of»byzantine«and»western«elements is not always clear, to say the least. An object that long eluded a clear attribution for these reasons is a large medieval silver-gilt casket, today in the Cathedral Treasury Trier, Germany 5 fig.
Hitherto it has been dated by different authors to various periods between the 12 th to 15 th centuries and attributed to different areas: Byzantium, Moscow, the Golden Horde on the Volga, Syria, Mamluk Egypt, Sicily and Spain.
Comparable spiral filigree, for example, also appears on the 14 th -century Byzantine Bessarion Cross, the so-called Crown of Monomakh in the Moscow Kremlin from the same century, attributed to the Golden Horde, and also the 15 th -century frame of the Vladimir Icon in Moscow, made by Greek and Russian craftsmen. My research has shown that it was in all probability made in 13 th -century Sicily 6, but it remains noteworthy, that such a valuable object 1 Korn, Review, last paragraph no pagination.
Especially architectural drawings have been discussed: see the essay by Hadjitryphonos, Presentations, for the employment of drawings in Byzantine architecture. For the most comprehensive overview on Palaiologan goldsmiths works see the essay by J. Only certain areas are hitherto well researched and published, although partly in need of revision: for enamels see Wessel, kunst.
Durand, Icon Revetments. The study is a valuable compilation and analysis of the relevant sources. A study on this casket is in preparation by the author.
However, she had assumed that the bottom plate must have been attached somewhat later. A recent autopsy by the author and two goldsmiths February has proved that this is not the case and that the casket and the bottom plate belong together.
Hohe Domkirche Trier, Domschatz. Medieval studies have for some time focused on the processes of cultural transfer in the Mediterranean and beyond. The nomenclature has been intensively discussed and especially the last two decades have seen a large amount of publications, some as collections of essays from different perspectives and thus accommodating the necessary interdisciplinary approach Researchers have proposed a variety of terms, such as transcultural entanglement, exchange, interchange, transfer, transmission or hybrid cultures.
The result was often labeled»influence«.
All these terms try to capture the mobility of ideas, concepts, people, and most important for art history objects and their decoration, the traces they have left and the mutual inspiration they have kindled. However, the term»influence«has been dismissed because of its underlying concept of a mathematical vector, ignoring the reciprocal and multi-facetted processes that have actually taken place Koenen suggested 12 that»influence«was not merely stimulated by sheer aesthetics or a vague appeal of the exotic, but often adapted purposefully and dependent on parameters such as the object s function and the commisof the highest quality and workmanship published long ago 7, has remained understudied for such a long time due to the fact that it eluded a clear classification and attribution.
This is just one example which can enlighten us on exchange and entanglement that also demonstrates how much is left to do for research:»having elicited much attention in the humanities in recent years, transcultural phenomena will, in all probability, remain a topic of debate in the near future«8. Studies will have to focus on the object history, the biography of the object and its function 9 to come to a better understanding of exchange in the Middle Ages in general.
The aim of this essay is to provide examples of goldsmiths works that shed light on the relations between Byzantium and the West before and afteralthough this cannot be a complete overview. Some new examples of material witnesses of exchange in precious metal enlarge the hitherto known portfolio of objects. Parisno.
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Durandhere attributed to a 15 th -century workshop in Moscow. Christ et al. See also Spieser, Influence.
Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck. Therefore, studies have first of all to focus on single objects or object groups and their»biographies«.
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The elites in the Middle Ages were constantly communicating, and many examples demonstrate that there were similar tastes and fashions all over the medieval world. Ousterhout described the common visual expressions in art, understood by the elites in the West, Byzantium and also the East as a»visual language of power«14, and O.
Grabar coined the»shared culture of objects« An example is the Artukid Bowl fig. The iconography as such see belowknown in the West, Byzantium and the Arabic world, has not helped attributing this object, the enamel of which was considered Byzantine, but the inscriptions are Arabic and Persian, and thus puzzled researchers for a long time.
However, despite not knowing the bowl s exact provenance this image and the iconographic programme of the bowl were»legible«in the whole Eastern Mediterranean, as U. Koenen has pointed out Although after Koenen s study N. Asutay-Effenberger suggested a more concrete lo- cation for the production Seljuk Anatolia 17, Koenen s statement remains the same: there were common iconographies and ornaments, found on art from and understood by the elites of the time. Brubaker has, however, pointed out that caution with these concepts is due since»culturally conditioned reactions to the same phenomenon could result in diametrically opposed material responses« Before An extensive exchange before the Fourth Crusade, not only between Byzantium and the West, but also with the pre-islamic e.
With regard to the relations of East and West, Ch. Wickham stated that»there was never a moment in historic times when embassies were not moving from East to West, from West to East« The sources document at least one embassy per year for the 9 th to 11 th century with an increase two to three embassies 13 Although Koenen s study is very conclusive, one example is not convincing in my opinion: the glass bowl with metal handles in Venice with Kufic inscription around the inner rim and roundels with imitations of Antique gems has been interpreted by A.
Walker as a tool for hydromancy Walker, Meaningful Minglingin which Koenen follows her. One of the reasons for being critical of this interpretation is that the only Byzantine depiction of a vessel for hydromancy is to my knowledge in the Skylitzes Matritensis Matrit.
She referred particularly to the 8 th and 9 th centuries. After Cat. New Yorkno.
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The sources mostly Latin rarely report on the exchange of gifts which would have surely accompanied such diplomatic activities, and if they do, the descriptions are vague i. Schreiner assumed that these were listed in separate documents now lost The exchange between East and West goes back to at least the Merovingian period, but especially in Ottonian times, an increased influx of Byzantine arts-and-crafts objects can be noted, either as trade goods, souvenirs of travellers and pilgrims or as diplomatic gifts In the 9 th century longer-distance traffic was rekindled, especially between the Carolingian Empire and the Abbasid caliphate, considered the most important powers at the time This»laid the ground plan for a larger-scale trade cycle« The relations did not end with the 10 th century, an example for which is the abbot Wibald of Stavelot Monastery present-day Belgium.
He was an ambassador in Constantinople for Frederic Barbarossa in and and probably commissioned the famous Stavelot Triptych probably fig. It houses two small Byzantine cross reliquaries incorporated in what is the first surviving reliquary in the shape of a triptych in the West. This might have been a direct reflection of the incorporated Byzantine triptychs although the shape of the Stavelot Triptych is so different that inspiration through other imported Byzantine objects, such as ivory diptychs, might have played a role Nevertheless, the adaption of two Byzantine cross reliquaries is probably rather a»pseudo-authentic«composition with the aim of proving the authenticity of the relics from the East.
Their new display in the Stavelot Triptych seems to emphasize the»otherness«of the Byzantine relics rather than imitating their shape Other examples were apparently incorporated in the sense of spolia: two probably late 10 th -century enamels with Christ Pantocrator and Mary on the Samuhel Gospels in Quedlinburg 31 and the Byzantine enamels on the Pericopes of Henry II king of the regnum Francorum orientaliumemperor in Munich or 32 must have come to the west in the 10 th or early 11 th century.
Also the famous silver-gilt Anastasios Reliquary 33 fig. Munichno.
Cathedral Treasury, Aachen. Metropolitan Museum, New York.
The relations between the Ottonians and Byzantium have been in the focus of research for a long time. Although she was not a porphyrogenneta, a purple-born princess, the Byzantines finally recognized the Western»Roman«Empire through this marriage. Theophanou s legendary dowry, the exact dimensions of which are not known, has inspired much research on Byzantine influence in the West, even to the degree that basically every Byzantine object in Germany was attributed to this dowry This has been relativised in the meantime, and we know of other ways of exchange through written sources and objects.