Exhibition: “Routes of Icons 17th-20th century” at Benaki Museum, Athens

Exhibition: “Routes of Icons 17th-20th century”
Benaki Museum, Athens
December 8, 2022 – February 5, 2023

The exhibition explores the iconographic, stylistic and technical diversity of icons that circulated in the Greek Orthodox space between the 17th and 19th centuries, sourcing material from the collections of the Benaki Museum.

The concept of ‘Greek Orthodox space’ is approached not merely as a geographical entity but, above all, as a social construction, sustained by the close community ties generated by the Orthodox identity that was shared by populations with different traditions, political loyalties, even language. The shared Byzantine background created a uniform legacy of iconographic themes and technical solutions that were constantly enriched in each centre of production in a variety of ways. However, these common components were not dissolved; rather, they allowed the transfer of icons from place to place and their coexistence within the same places of worship, from Russia to the Ionian Islands, Crete, the Aegean and Asia Minor.

A special section of the exhibition presents new technical data that emerged from the ongoing ERC RICONTRANS research project, granting the public unique in-depth access to selected works through the stereomicroscope.

This exhibition is part of RICONTRANS Project, which has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 818791).

Organised by the Benaki Museum

Curated by Anastasia Drandaki

Opening night:
December 5, 2022, at 20:00

Pireos 138, Athens

Duration:
December 8, 2022 – February 5, 2023
Please check museum opening times for the day you intend to visit the exhibition

Free admission

Talk by Dr. Yuliana Boycheva at the 13th International Congress of Cretan Studies

Talk by Dr. Yuliana Boycheva at the
13th International Congress of Cretan Studies

Dr. Yuliana Boycheva, Principal Investigator of the RICONTRANS Project gave a talk on “Russian ecclesiastical vestments in Crete: from imperial donations to the vast circulation of mass-produced vestments” during the 13th International Congress of Cretan Studies, organised by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies.

The 13th International Congress of Cretan Studies was hosted this year in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, at the Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay Hotel. Dr. Yuliana’s talk was given in room ZEUS/Γ (C. Modern and Contemporary Period) on Friday, 7 October, 2022, on 19:00.

It is possible to watch it online here.

Lecture by Dr. Lora Gerd: “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century” Panteion University (KENI-Research Centre for Modern History), October 13, 2022, 7:30 PM

Lecture by Dr. Lora Gerd: “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century”
Panteion University (KENI-Research Centre for Modern History) October 13, 2022, 7:30 PM

Lecture by Dr. Lora Gerd, Foreign correspondent of the CéSoR (Centre d’ études en sciences sociales et religieux) at EHESS, Paris, with the topic of “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century”

October 13, 2022, 7:30 PM

Panteion University (KENI-Research Centre for Modern History),
Saki Karagiorga II amphiteatre


On Thursday, 13 October, 2022, 7:30 PM, at Panteion University (KENI-Research Centre for Modern History), Saki Karageorga II amphiteatre, Dr. Lora Gerd gave a lecture on “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century”

ABSTRACT:

In the churches and monasteries of the Balkans one can find vessels, garments, icons and decor brought from Russia during the 19th century. What is the history of these donations? Were they made occasionally or according to a certain plan? The archival documents help us to answer these questions.

The Russian support for the Orthodox Greek population of the Ottoman Empire started already in the 16th century, and steadily increased during the 17th century. Beginning with the 1830s, the contacts between Russia and the Greek world were related to the so called Eastern question. Continuing its support to the Orthodox Patriarchates of the East, the Russian government aimed at strengthening its influence among the Orthodox population. In the 1850s a new period of ecclesiastical and cultural relations with the church of Greece started: both the Russian and the Greek Synods were interested in matters of canon law and liturgical practices, attitude to non-Orthodox Christians, etc. The ideas of the church politicians of that period were about creating a big “Orthodox home”, where different nations could learn the traditions, carry out educational projects and reform their church life. 

Thanks to the activities of the priest of the Russian mission in Athens, Archimandrite Antonin Kapustin, the restοration of St. Trinity church was finished in 1855. Another small church in Athens, Agia Zone, was also restored by Antonin.

In the 1860s and 1890s along with donations to the Slavonic monasteries and churches of the Balkans, the Greek Orthodox institutions also enjoyed support from Russia. Special attention was paid to the region of Trebizond and the Theological school in Halki island, and to those which suffered from wars or earthquakes.

CV:

Dr. Lora Gerd graduated from St. Petersburg State University (Classics, 1992). Her PhD was on “Questions of Canon Law in the Tacticon of Nikon of Black Mount (XI-th Century)”. The title of her Dr. hab. Thesis was “Constantinople and Petersburg: Russian ecclesiastical policy in the Orthodox East (1878-1898)” (2006). She is a specialist in Russian policy in the Ottoman Empire and Greek-Russian relations in the 19th and early 20th century (Russian church policy in the Near East and the Balkans, history of Byzantine studies, confessional and cultural relations). She has participated in the projects: “Open Jerusalem”; “The church of England and its relations to the Orthodox East”; director of the project “Russia and Mount Athos in the 19th and 20th centuries”. A regular participant in international conferences and invited lecturer at EHESS (Paris), Cyprus University (Nicosia), Lund University (Sweden), Dr. Lora Gerd is foreign correspondent of the CéSoR (Centre d’ études en sciences sociales et religieux) at EHESS, Paris. During the last years she has been working on projects concerning the Russian policy in the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch (19th and 20th centuries). Dr. Lora Gerd was a member of the research team of RICONTRANS project [Visual Culture, Piety and Propaganda. Transfer and Reception of Russian Religious Art in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean (16th to early 20th century)] and her lecture is part of the project’s activities.

RICONTRANS has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 818791).

The lecture was in Greek.

Lecture by Dr. Lora Gerd: “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century”, IMS-FORTH, October 11, 2022, 8:30 PM

Lecture by Dr. Lora Gerd: “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century”
IMS-FORTH, October 11, 2022, 8:30 PM

Lecture by Dr. Lora Gerd, Foreign correspondent of the CéSoR (Centre d’ études en sciences sociales et religieux) at EHESS, Paris, with the topic of “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century”

October 11, 2022, 8:30 PM

Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymnon

On Tuesday, 11 October, 2022, 8:30 PM, at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies (Melissinou and Nikiforou Foka 130, Rethymno), Dr. Lora Gerd gave a lecture on “Russian support for the church institutions of Greece: tradition, ideology and politics in the 19th century”

ABSTRACT:

In the churches and monasteries of the Balkans one can find vessels, garments, icons and decor brought from Russia during the 19th century. What is the history of these donations? Were they made occasionally or according to a certain plan? The archival documents help us to answer these questions.

The Russian support for the Orthodox Greek population of the Ottoman Empire started already in the 16th century, and steadily increased during the 17th century. Beginning with the 1830s, the contacts between Russia and the Greek world were related to the so called Eastern question. Continuing its support to the Orthodox Patriarchates of the East, the Russian government aimed at strengthening its influence among the Orthodox population. In the 1850s a new period of ecclesiastical and cultural relations with the church of Greece started: both the Russian and the Greek Synods were interested in matters of canon law and liturgical practices, attitude to non-Orthodox Christians, etc. The ideas of the church politicians of that period were about creating a big “Orthodox home”, where different nations could learn the traditions, carry out educational projects and reform their church life. 

Thanks to the activities of the priest of the Russian mission in Athens, Archimandrite Antonin Kapustin, the restοration of St. Trinity church was finished in 1855. Another small church in Athens, Agia Zone, was also restored by Antonin.

In the 1860s and 1890s along with donations to the Slavonic monasteries and churches of the Balkans, the Greek Orthodox institutions also enjoyed support from Russia. Special attention was paid to the region of Trebizond and the Theological school in Halki island, and to those which suffered from wars or earthquakes.

CV:

Dr. Lora Gerd graduated from St. Petersburg State University (Classics, 1992). Her PhD was on “Questions of Canon Law in the Tacticon of Nikon of Black Mount (XI-th Century)”. The title of her Dr. hab. Thesis was “Constantinople and Petersburg: Russian ecclesiastical policy in the Orthodox East (1878-1898)” (2006). She is a specialist in Russian policy in the Ottoman Empire and Greek-Russian relations in the 19th and early 20th century (Russian church policy in the Near East and the Balkans, history of Byzantine studies, confessional and cultural relations). She has participated in the projects: “Open Jerusalem”; “The church of England and its relations to the Orthodox East”; director of the project “Russia and Mount Athos in the 19th and 20th centuries”. A regular participant in international conferences and invited lecturer at EHESS (Paris), Cyprus University (Nicosia), Lund University (Sweden), Dr. Lora Gerd is foreign correspondent of the CéSoR (Centre d’ études en sciences sociales et religieux) at EHESS, Paris. During the last years she has been working on projects concerning the Russian policy in the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch (19th and 20th centuries). Dr. Lora Gerd was a member of the research team of RICONTRANS project [Visual Culture, Piety and Propaganda. Transfer and Reception of Russian Religious Art in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean (16th to early 20th century)] and her lecture is part of the project’s activities.

RICONTRANS has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 818791).

The lecture was given in Greek and it was possible to watch online via live streaming.


RICONTRANS International Graduate Student Conference

RICONTRANS International Graduate Student Conference
Entangled paths: Greek and Russian icons in the Balkans (16th – 19th c.)

Location: BENAKI MUSEUM OF GREEK CULTURE, Athens, 1-2 June, 2022

The RICONTRANS International Graduate Student Conference took place at the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, in Athens, during June 1-2, 2022

PROGRAM

 WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2022

10:00-11:45
ARTISTS AND WORKSHOPS
Chair: Yuliana Boycheva

Teodora Bradić, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
The education of Serbian icon painters in Russia

Simeon Tonchev, Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Russian Influences in the works of the Bulgarian artist Stanislav Dospevsky

Alkis Pantopoulos, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Reflections of everyday life in icon painters’ working drawings: examples from the Hatzidakis portfolio at the Benaki Museum

Greta Baka, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The depiction of saints in the working drawings of icon painters (anthivola) from the Hatzidakis portfolio at the Benaki Museum

Discussion

11:45-12:00 break

12:00-13:30
HOLY SPACE IN ART- ART IN HOLY SPACES
Chair: Anastasia Drandaki

Vasilis Chrysanthopoulos, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Perceptions of space in Greek and Russian icons (15th-17th century)

Manos Tsikourakis, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Shaping the sacred space of an orthodox pilgrimage site: Greek and Russian religious art from the 16th to 18th centuries at the Monastery of Mt Sinai

Marija Lakić, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade 
Russian saints on the iconostasis in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity of Theotokos in Sarajevo

Discussion

13:30-14:30 pause

14:30-16:00
ART AND POLITICS IN THE BALKANS
Chair: Daria Resh

Nikolas Petsitis, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The gifts of Arsenios of Elasson (1550-1626): The political connotations of his donations to orthodox centres

Elisavet Margeti, Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University – Institute for Mediterranean Studies (FORTH) 
The image of the Balkans in 19th century Russian literature: orthodoxy, art and political influence

Teodora Andjelković, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Wars and visual culture: Russian volunteers in Serbian-Turkish Wars (1876–1878)

Discussion

THURSDAY, June 2, 2022

10:00-11:45
RUSSIAN ICONS IN THE BENAKI MUSEUM
Chair: Alexandra Kalliga

Panagiota Diamatari, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Russian travelling triptychs: iconography, typology and use with examples from the Benaki Museum collection

Paraskevi Mavridi, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Representations of the Virgin in Russian icons from the Benaki Museum collection

Amalia Mpoura, Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, University of Western Attica
Study on the gilding techniques and materials of Russian icons in the Benaki Museum

Anastasiya Pidchashynska, Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, University of Western Attica
Physicochemical diagnosis and documentation of materials and technology of construction of Russian icons from the Benaki Museum collection

Discussion

11:45-12:00 break

12:00-13:30
HANDS-ON STUDY OF ICONS FROM THE BENAKI MUSEUM COLLECTION 

13:30-14:30 Pause

14:30-16:00
THE RUSSIAN PRESENCE IN THE AEGEAN
Chair: Mara Verykokou

Aspa Chalkiadaki, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete – Institute for Mediterranean Studies (FORTH)
The Russian fleet into the Aegean Sea. A naval expedition “vested” with ideology and religious propaganda

Eirini Touloupi, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete – Institute for Mediterranean Studies (FORTH)
Aspects of the Russian presence in Naxos through the objects of ecclesiastical art kept on the island

Kyriaki Prasinou, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Russian religious art in the Cyclades: examples from the island of Santorini

Discussion

16:00-16:30

Closing Remarks: Yuliana Boycheva and Anastasia Drandaki

Friday, June 3, 2022

Study Day at the Kanellopoulos Museum

International Colloquium: “Icônes : la fabrique matérielle du visuel”. Petit Palais – Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, December 8-10, 2021

International Colloquium: “Icônes : la fabrique matérielle du visuel”
Petit Palais – Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

December 8-10, 2021

The International Colloquium: “Icônes : la fabrique matérielle du visuel,” which will take place in Paris at the Petit Palais – Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris (auditorium Institut national d’histoire de l’art Galerie Colbert, salle Giorgio Vasari) took place on December 8-10, 2021.

Three RICONTRANS team members gave talks on the panel: “De la Russie à la Grèce / From Russia to Greece,” on December the 8th:

Aleksandr Preobrazhenskii (The State Institute for Art Studies, Moscou). “Couches «moscovites» et «grecques» dans les icônes russes réalisées pour les orthodoxes orientaux (xve-xviiie siècle) / ‘Muscovite’ and ‘Greek’ Layers in Russian Pieces Made for the Eastern Orthodox Audience (15th-18th century)”

Yuliana Boycheva (Institut des études méditerranéennes – Fondation pour la recherche et la technologie, Rethumno). “Les icônes comme sources historiques : études des icônes russes dans les Balkans / Icons as Historical Sources: Studying Russian Icons in the Balkans”

Anastasia Drandaki (université nationale et capodistrienne d’Athènes – musée Benaki, Athènes). “Art invisible : les icônes russes dans les collections grecques / Invisible Art: Russian Icons in Greek Collections”


Scientific Symposium: “Art in Thessali during the Enlightenment (1770-1830)”. The Diachronic Museum of Larisa, November 26, 2021

Scientific Symposium
“Art in Thessali during the Enlightenment (1770-1830)”
The Diachronic Museum of Larisa, November 26, 2021

The Scientific Symposium: “Art in Thessali during the Enlightenment (1770-1830),” organized by the Diachronic Museum of Larisa, took place on November 26, 2021.

The PI of RICONTRANS, Dr. Yuliana Boycheva gave the following talk in greek: “Οι δεσποτικές εικόνες του τέμπλου του Αγ. Αχιλλείου Λαρίσης – συμβολή στην μελέτη ρωσικής θρησκευτικής τέχνης στα Βαλκάνια (18ος-19ος αι.)”

The symposium was held live and via the zoom platform.

Workshop on the Restoration of Russian Icons

Fourth Museikon Restoration Workshop: Approaches and Chalenges in the Restoration of Russian Icons, September 29-30, 2021

An online workshop on the Restoration of Russian icons (methodology and approaches) was organised via the zoom platform on September 29-30, 2021. RICONTRANS collaborator, Dumitrița Filip, presented her report on the analysis and research, from the restorator’s perspective, made on a group of Russian icons from the Museikon collection in Alba Iulia, for the RICONTRANS Project. The focus of the workshop was on the results of  the interdisciplinary research and collaboration with the chemist scholars. Several Romanian restorers who worked on Russian icons were invited to share their results. The workshop was open for all interested participants:

Zoom link Day 1: September 29, 2021: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hEYQBQi6SKKlkjmQmTmdbw

Zoom link Day 2: September 30,  2021:
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_h5XGB7_ITwOFZZyDVMhIxg

“HORIZON EUROPE” ERC Information Day

“HORIZON EUROPE” ERC Information Day

FORTH and PRAXI Network are inviting you to the open public information day on the ERC funding program “HORIZON 2020”. A special presentation will be given by the RICONTRANS PI, Dr. Boycheva, on the funding of the RICONTRANS Project. The event will be held online via the zoom platform. For more information please visit the invitation page and the day’s agenda.

Training Seminar for the Postgraduate Students Involved in the RICONTRANS Project

Training Seminar for the Postgraduate Students Involved in the RICONTRANS Project

The training seminar took place in the Amphitheatre of the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, located in Athens, at 1 Koumbari Street & Vas. Sofias Avenue, on the 2nd floor.

The training was focused on the methodological approaches and tools of the RICONTRANS field research, the particularities of the project’s field research, the making of 16th-18th century Russian icons, the storage, identification, and expert evaluation of Russian artefacts in museum collections, as well as the documentation of Russian artefacts in the various collections and especially those in the Benaki Museum.

The training concluded with discussion and new planning under the circumstances and restrictions caused by COVID-19 pandemic.