2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Byzantine Traveling Icons: A Hands-On Study at Iconography, Manufacture, and Provenance
Natalie T. Hall
Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentor

One of the characteristics of the Byzantine Empire, which fell in 1453 CE, was the fusion of art and the Eastern Orthodox religion. This synthesis influenced art production for centuries after the fall of the empire, and can be seen especially in Christian traveling icons. These traveling icons were created to promote individual worship when traditional methods were impossible or unavailable, such as during pilgrimages to holy sites. This paper summarizes a hands-on research project on a traveling icon that was purchased in Cairo, Egypt. Although the icon follows the typical Byzantine style, it was created several centuries after the fall of the empire and contains iconography associated with Russia, an area that was never under control of the Byzantines. Research for this project focused upon the religious iconography of the icon as well as possible reasons behind why the Christian icon ended up in Egypt, a predominantly Islamic society.

Keywords: Byzantine Empire, traveling icons, iconography, Eastern Orthodox religion, Cairo

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 3-2
Location: OP 2210
Time: 8:30

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