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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Art historians have always employed a variety of methodological approaches to study Byzantine art. With the notable exception of Kurt Weitzmann, however, most Byzantinists have recently put an explicit emphasis on theory, tacitly adopting particular critical tactics without comment. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, debates on the nature of art and art history recognized, but did not often focus on, Byzantium. As a result, critical approaches to the art of the East Roman Empire remained essentially similar to the approaches to medieval art in general until the twentieth century. This article examines the critical approaches used to study the history of Byzantine art, focusing on the period before 1980 and during the 1980s.

Keywords: critical approaches, Byzantine art, Byzantium, art history, East Roman Empire, medieval art

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