This two-lecture course explores the function and symbolic meanings associated with the architecture, painting and sacred metalwork objects of the churches, shrines and baptisteries of the early-Byzantine Empire in the East from the 4th and 10th centuries: In Turkey, Constantinople (Istanbul) the great capital of the Empire with its focus on the great domed church of Hagia Sophia, along with the carved tufa cave churches and wall paintings of mountainous Cappadocia (Turkey) are examined for their Pre-Iconoclastic and post-Iconoclastic age. In Syria, we turn to the fascinating centres known as the ‘Dead Cities’ in the north around Aleppo, along with the great cities of Damascus, and Resafe in the Syrian desert. Here architecture developed a distinctive local tradition found nowhere else in the world.
Presented by Dr Ursula Betka
Dr. Ursula Betka is an art historian and writer who specialises in the early to late Medieval periods of Art History in Europe and the Levant. Ursula teaches Art History at La Trobe University and the CAE. Her research and publications focus on Italian panel painting, manuscript illumination and devotional practices of lay confraternities in the regions of Tuscany and Umbria. Ursula is also a practicing artist and iconographer who regularly exhibits her work. Her work was featured on the 2018 Christmas stamp series.