Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Istanbul - Day 2

Istanbul, 30 June 2015 - The morning session begun with a lecture by Maria Georgopoulou, who shared her personal experience conducting research in the field of Crusader art. Many methodological questions were tackled with a particular emphasis on the changing scholarly perceptions of what constituted Crusader material culture a generation ago, what it means today, and what prospects lie ahead.

Baha Tanman of Istanbul University carried the discussion forward by delving into the influence of the Crusades on medieval Anatolian architecture. He pursued appropriations of Gothic architectural elements in thirteenth-to-sixteenth-century Islamic religious buildings, highlighting the socio-economic, commercial, and geo-political parameters of this phenomenon.

Professor Tanman lecturing to the programme participants.

The session concluded with Edna Stern's foray into the relationship between ceramics and ethnic identity. She used excavation material from Acre and its rural hinterland as a case study in defining consumption patterns and identity with reference to different types of settlement (urban or rural, Frankish or indigenous).

Our guide, Serap Can, in a rare moment of relaxation.

Today's field trip kicked off with a guided visit by Engin Akyurek (Koç University) to the remains of the late antique palace of Antiochos in Sultanahmet, a building later converted into the church of St Euphemia.

 A man of action.

Professor Akyurek relating the history of the site of St Euphemia.

The site is home to an extensive cycle of the titular saint's life, one of the few surviving examples of early Palaiologan art in the capital. Although in a much deteriorated state of preservation and long inaccessible to visitors, the paintings are currently undergoing restoration and will hopefully go public again in the near future.

Admiring the frescoes of St Euphemia.

At the end of the day, the programme participants paid a visit to the Archaeological Museum. Here, the frescoed cycle of the life of St Francis from Kalenderhane Camii supplemented yesterday's trip down to the site.

Above: Sculptural ornament from the site of St Euphemia in the Archaeological Museum.

Right: In front of the fresco fragments of St Francis' chapel.

Among other things, the group also had the opportunity to see a series of interesting marble reliefs from Genoese Pera.


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