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Lecture: Building Identity in the Morea—Architecture and Cross-Cultural Interaction in Medieval Greece

March 20, 2014
Morton Auditorium
Free with museum admission

The churches of the 13th-century Greek Peloponnese, following the Fourth Crusade, present a unique case study in the multiple artistic, patronage, and reception practices in the medieval Mediterranean, highlighting the means by which cultural groups use architecture to create identities and to shape their interactions. 

Join Heather Grossman, assistant professor of medieval art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as she examines rural churches and monasteries built by mixed Orthodox, Byzantine Greek, and Latin-rite western European patrons and producers in the region known then as the Morea. These monuments reveal shifting and complex instances of borrowing and innovation that facilitated the coming together of a unique society in post-crusade Greece. By showing the relationships between the local and the canonical, the churches of the Morea present an additional layer of complexity to the history of medieval architecture as a whole.

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Church of the Paliomonastero, detail of doorway to the naos (nave), 13th century. Byzantine, Greece, Phaneromenis.