On Tuesday, 2nd May Professor of Moscow State University, Fellow of the Russian Academy of Arts and currently a Christensen Visiting Fellow Aleksey Lidov will give an open lecture at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford.

The Lecture  Byzantine Icons and Western Pictures: Two Matrices of Christian Imagery will take place within the programme of the Medieval Visual Culture Seminar and will revolve around such issues as different directions taken by the Byzantine and Medieval Western Art. The lecturer will attempt at outlining the points of contact / affinity between the two Christian cultures as well as points of their divergence. The listeners will see and analyse how Western and Byzantine visual cultures arrive at different results and maintain different focuses across the centuries.

Knowing the wide and extensive scope of Prof. Lidov’s knowledge and his original approach to art history, we are certain that this lecture will be a stimulating and thought-provoking experience.

Prof. Aleksey Lidov is an eminent Russian Byzantinist and theoretician of art who carried out a number of pioneering multidisciplinary projects and publications on early and Medieval Byzantine Art. He acted as Vice President of the Russian Academy of Arts between 2008-2009 and  has lectured at Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne universities et al. His formative work on relics and icons, stemming from his training as an art historian, follows his numerous scholarly and public lectures and more than 80 publications in Russian, English,French, Italian, Spanish, Greek and Japanese languages. Lidov’s major ground-breaking publications are his  research catalogue featuring unique collection of icons from the Monastery of St. Catherine on Sinai. He is also author of such seminal monographs as The Holy Face in Russian Icons. Moscow, 2005 (with L. Evseeva and N. Chugreeva), Hierotopy. Spatial Icons and Paradigm- Images in Byzantine Culture. Moscow, 2010. “The major scholarly contribution of the book is its outstanding attempt tostudy sacred space comprehensively by using an innovative hierotopical approach, which transcends the methodological and terminological limitations imposed by traditional humanistic disciplines”, — wrote another Byzantine scholar Jelena Bogdanovic in her review of this tome. 

Lidov has also organized international symposia that were followed by published compendia,among which are: The Iconostasis. Origins Evolution Symbolism (Moscow,2000); Eastern Christian Relics (Moscow, 2003); Hierotopy. The Creation of Sacred Spaces in Byzantium and Medieval Russia (Moscow, 2006); New Jerusalems. The Translation of Sacred Spaces in Christian Culture (Moscow,2006); and Hierotopy. Comparative Studies of Sacred Spaces (Moscow, 2009). Edited by Lidov and written by the most eminent world scholars trained in various disciplines, these volumes eventually sparked wide intellectual debate on the cultural history of the creation of sacred spaces as well as on innovative methodologies in the study of sacred space. Today, Alexei Lidov also acts as a Deputy Director of the Institute for World Culture at the Moscow State University and is best known to scholarly audience for introducing in 2001 the concept of hierotopy,  a neologism combining the Greek words hieros (sacred) and topos (place, space, notion).  Hierotopy here stands  both for veneration and tending of sacred spaces as well as for a special form of human creativity. With Lidov, hierotopy grew into an extensive academic field, which embraces such fields as art history, archaeology, anthropology, and religious studies. Hierotopy accounts not only for artistic images and the symbolic world they represent or point towards, but also refers to the the entire range of various artistic media used to transform a sacred space into a spatial icon. He also developed a method of interpretational iconography, applied in his study of liturgical themes in the Byzantine art and symbolism of the Heavenly Jerusalem. 

Tuesday 2 May 1 pm

St Catherine’s College, Oxford        

Arumugam Building

To register, please contact Prof. Gervase Rosser at: gervase.rosser@hoa.ox.ac.uk

  • Date: 02 May 2017
  • St Catherine’s College, Oxford. Arumugam Building Manor Rd, Oxford OX1 3UJ
  • Time: 1 pm
  • Website: http://www.stcatz.ox.ac.uk/