Internationales Kolloquium am Institut für Kunstgeschichte

23. bis 25.9. 2008: "Female Founders in Byzantium and Beyond".  

This colloquium will address various issues associated with patronage in Byzantium and neighbouring states, through the perspective of gender. We shall look at processes of Stiftung from the founding of a monastery
through the building of a church to the production of a monumental programme or church furniture or icons or manuscripts or ivories or items of jewellery. We are particularly interested in ‘kleine Stiftungen’, the gifts without which society and the church could not function--like bread and light. We shall look at the relationship of different processes: at patronage and exchange as suggested by Rico Franses nearly twenty years ago, at foundation, refoundation and donation, at philanthropy and euergetism. We shall consider the differences between the patronage of art and of literature, and of the role of personal patronage. We shall look at the processes in monasteries, the secular church and the world. We shall look at the clues for patronage and how far they can lead us: literary accounts of acts of patronage, visual depictions of the act of donation, dedications, portraiture, inscriptions, epigrams and monograms. We shall consider whether commission always amounts to patronage and vice versa. Above all we shall look at the role of women and the nature of female
patronage, the exercise of female economic power, and the particular nature of ‘matronage’ as suggested by Leslie Brubaker. We are anxious that examples will be brought to bear on these issues rather than simply demonstrating an act of female founding. We shall deal with Rome, the Holy Land, Cappadocia, Mt Athos, Skyros, Rus, the kingdom of Cilicia, Macedonia, Zeta, Thessalonike, and Siena as well as Constantinople. We shall focus on objects in Vienna: the Dioskorides, ivories and other manuscripts, and there will be the opportunity to view these with Michael Grünbart in the National Library during the colloquium, as well as parties, poster and book displays, and an expedition on the Female Founders Straßenbahn to a Heuriger. We look forward to seeing you all.

Lioba Theis, Margaret Mullett, Michael Grünbart