Medieval and Byzantine Collections Between the XIX and XX Century: Fascination and Dispersion

Camilla Musci | Postgraduate Research Assistant

The project focuses on a comparative study on patterns of collecting Byzantine and Medieval Art in Italy and France between the 19th and the 20th century, when circulation as well as the displacement of many collections intensified particularly. The period taken into consideration begins in the 1830s, immediately after the age of Napoleonic plundering, and ends in 1931, the year of the international exhibition of Byzantine art in Paris. That event constituted not only a great showcase for the antiques market, but also an important moment for connecting the foremost scholars and collectors of the time. In addition to the study of collections itself I am interested in understanding how all the practical aspects linked to the formation and dispersion of Byzantine and medieval collections have had repercussions on the theoretical studies of the subject, as to give rise to a form of cultural study, which clarifies how the transmigration of objects has contributed or not to the development of an interest in geographically distant contexts, such as in Europe and the USA.


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