The illustrations in several fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Greek manuscripts show a novel way of using images: not just to segment and/or gloss the text which they accompany but also to present essential evidence for a theological argument that this text makes. I will first discuss the implications of this phenomenon for understanding some stylistic peculiarities of late Byzantine painting. I will then try to trace its intellectual origin back to certain types of Greek scientific illustration.
Georgi Parpulov read History at the University of Sofia and Art History at the University of Chicago. As a graduate student, he worked at the Walters Art Museum, where he catalogued the museum's collection of Greek manuscripts. After submitting a doctoral thesis on Byzantine Psalters, he taught Byzantine Art and Archaeology and Greek Palaeography at the University of Oxford, then did curatorial work at the European and Middle East departments of the British Museum. He now works for a research project at the University of Birmingham, studying the manuscript tradition of Greek commentaries on the New Testament.
Respondent: Charlie Barber, Art and Archaeology