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Getty Heaven Earth

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Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections 
Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections
April 9–August 25, 2014 at the Getty Villa

Head of AphroditeTable Support with the Good Shepherd
Table Support with the Good Shepherd, about A.D. 350, made in Asia Minor; from Corinth, Greece; marble. Courtesy of the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens
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Spanning the Bosporus Strait that links the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) became the new capital of the Roman Empire in A.D. 330. The ancient name of the former Greek colony now refers to the entire Byzantine Empire, which lasted for more than a millennium. As the state religion, Christianity permeated all aspects of life, profoundly influencing architecture and the visual arts. 

This exhibition traces the development of Byzantine visual culture from its roots in the ancient pagan world through the opulent and deeply spiritual world of the new Christian Byzantine Empire and its broad influence across diverse regions. Featured are mosaics, icons, frescoes, sculpture, manuscripts, metalwork, jewelry, glass, embroideries and ceramics drawn from Greek collections. 
Explore key cities of the Byzantine empire in a selection of short (approximately 2-minute) videos: 



Watch Five Byzantine Churches, a 12-minute film produced by the National Gallery of Art that evokes the original context of many works of art in this exhibition. 


Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads, on view at the Getty Center through June 22, 2014. 

This exhibition was organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Athens, with the collaboration of the Benaki Museum, Athens, in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The U.S. tour was made possible by major funding from OPAP S.A. Financial support was also provided by the A. G. Leventis Foundation.


Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads 

Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads
March 25–June 22, 2014 at the Getty Center

he Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil
The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil (detail), liturgical scroll, Byzantium (Vermion), 1100s. Courtesy of the National Library of Greece, Athens
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The Byzantine Empire (A.D. 330—1453) was greatly admired for its courtly splendor and rich visual arts. Inspired by the legacy of Greco–Roman antiquity, Byzantine manuscript painters in Greece and Asia Minor (most of present–day Turkey) focused on the human figure while creating a deeply spiritual art form. 

The Christian Middle Ages is often conceived of as divided between East (including Byzantium, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Armenia) and West (churches that looked to Rome and the pope for authority). Although Western Christianity differed from Eastern Christianity—theologically, linguistically, and politically—the circulation of ideas among artists, patrons, and audiences in the two halves of the Christian world had a fundamental impact on manuscript painting. Trade, intermarriage, and military expeditions allowed for the dissemination of images and techniques across the expanse of the empire and beyond. 

This exhibition explores the tradition of illumination in Byzantium as well as its influential role in both Eastern and Western Christian cultures. Six masterpieces on loan from Greece are shown alongside works drawn from the Getty Museum's collection, (illustrated exhibition checklist, 3 PP, 1.2 MB)


Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections, on view at the Getty Villa beginning April 9 through August 25, 2014. 

This exhibition was organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Athens, with the collaboration of the Benaki Museum, Athens, in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The U.S. tour was made possible by major funding from OPAP S.A. Financial support was also provided by the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

 

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