Medieval Art and modern approaches : a new look at the Akhtala paintings

Title: Medieval Art and modern approaches : a new look at the Akhtala paintings
Variant title:
  • Středověké umění a moderní přístupy : nový pohled a malby v Akhtale
Source document: Convivium. 2016, vol. 3, iss. Supplementum, pp. 106-123
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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The paintings of the Akhtala church, located in what is now northern Armenia, have long been the subject of scholarly interest. In this discussion, cultural identity has always been the central issue. The murals have therefore variably been affiliated with Georgian, Armenian or separate Armenian Chalcedonian culture, although the existence of the latter has been questioned. Despite the attention the paintings have attracted, issues relating not only to the cultural and historical context of the murals, but also to their physical history and age remain underexplored. Further examination of the empirical evidence, and analysis of the religious and social messages behind the paintings, the role of the donor, the influence of the cultural policy pursued by the Georgian court at the time, the relevance of the murals for Georgian, Armenian and Byzantine artistic trends and the impact of regional intercultural context may yield unexpected findings. The purpose of the paper is to open a wider scholarly debate on the issues raised.