On June, 28-29, the Italian city of Bari will play host to the international academic conference St Nicolas, Bari and Russian Icons’ .
The conference will coincide with the final days of the exhibition Russian Icon. Prayer and Mercy, and will be attended by the leading historians, philologists and art historians from Russia, Italy and USA.
The Organizing Committee is run by Dr. Alexei Lidov, famous Russian art historian who has introduced the concept of Hierotopy (creating and transferring of sacred spaces) into the history of art and Yulia Buzykina, head of the research and educational department at the private Museum of Russian Icon, founded by Mikhail Abramov. Among other invited scholars are Engelina Smirnova and Alexander Preobrazhenskiy — the leading experts in Russian Medieval art; father Gerardo Cioffari, the senior priest at St.Nicolas Basilica in Bari and a recognised authority on St. Nicholas studies; Italian slavists Marcello Garzaniti and Stefano Garzonio, as well as the American scholar Nancy Sevcenko, author of the fundamental monograph on St. Nicholas iconography.
The speakers will be discussing various aspects of St Nicholas worship and veneration in Russia. They will also concentrate on subjects of rare icons, the iconography of St Nicholas life and its representations in Russian Art, cultural contacts between Russia and Italy. Another theme of scholarly discussions will be the image of Italy, as handed down in the accounts of Russian travellers and pilgrims. Among the speakers is also listed Russian contemporary artist Dmitriy Gutov, author of the ‘Oranta’ object displayed at the exhibition. This artwork reproduces a 13th century Russian icon, constructed of metal pieces. His paper will focus on links between Russian iconography and Russian avant-garde art.
The conference will take place at the Castello Svevo di Bari. The final day of the conference will become also the final day of the exhibition, and will conclude with the official closing ceremony.