A conversation with Paroma Chatterjee on the power that ancient statues still had in Orthodox Constantinople. In many contexts, they were more prominent than icons. We talk about some of their functions, but also why Byzantine art history is so focused on icons, which were secluded objects, in comparison.
Paroma Chatterjee is a Professor at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on artistic encounters in the medieval Mediterranean, medieval image theories, ekphrasis, relics and icons, and Byzantine sculpture. Click here to view her university profile. She also appeared in Episode 9: From India to Byzantium and Episode 55: If you could meet and interview one person from Byzantine history, who would it be and why?, Part 2
The conversation is based on Paroma’s recent book Between the Pagan Past and Christian Present in Byzantine Visual Culture: Statues in Constantinople, 4th-13th Centuries CE (Cambridge University Press 2021).
Byzantium & Friends is hosted by Anthony Kaldellis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics at The Ohio State University. You can follow him on his personal website.
Top Image: Detail from a map of Constantinople by Cristoforo Buondelmonti / Wikimedia Commons