Evening lecture

Ivan Drpić: Between Painting and Mosaic – Serbian Gilded Murals

The most important royal churches in thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century Serbia were adorned with what may be described as "fictive" mosaics. The murals of these shrines originally featured backgrounds covered with gold leaf and patterned in imitation of mosaic tesserae—an expensive and fragile form of decoration only traces of which now survive. This lecture addresses the technology, aesthetics, and politics of fictive mosaics and their significance within the broader context of Mediterranean visual culture in the later Middle Ages. Further attention is given to the gilded wall surface as a site of intermedial dialogue, a space within which painting confronted and defined itself in relation to mosaic. 


Ivan Drpić is Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in the art, architecture, and material culture of Byzantium and its Slavic neighbors in Southeastern Europe. Drpić's first book, Epigram, Art, and Devotion in Later Byzantium (Cambridge University Press, 2016), the winner of the 2017 Runciman Prize, explores the nexus of art, personal piety, and self-representation in the last centuries of Byzantium, focusing upon the evidence of verse inscriptions, or epigrams, on art objects. Drpić is currently at work on a second book project, The Enkolpion: Object and Self in Medieval Byzantium, which investigates the dynamics of subjectivity formation through the lens of material culture. His scholarship has received recognition from a number of sources, including the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

27 September 2018, 6:00pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai 
Via dei Servi 51 
50122 Firenze


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).


Our Newsletter provides you with free information on events, tenders, exhibitions and recent publications from the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please enter your name and e-mail address:

*required field

Notes on the content of the newsletter and transit procedures

This letter is sent via MailChimp, where your e-mail address and name will be saved for sending the newsletter.

Once you have completed the form, you will receive a "Double-Opt-In-E-Mail," in which you are asked to confirm your registration. You can cancel your subscription to the Newsletter at any time ("Opt-out"). You will find an unsubscribe link in every Newsletter and in the Double-Opt-in-E-Mail.

You will receive detailed information about transit procedures and your withdrawal options in our privacy policy.