Between Jerusalem and Constantinople : revisiting the eleventh century: Georgian religious art

Title: Between Jerusalem and Constantinople : revisiting the eleventh century: Georgian religious art
Variant title:
  • Mezi Jeruzalémem a Konstantinopolí : přehodnocení gruzínského sakrálního umění jedenáctého století
Author: Janjalia, Mzia
Source document: Convivium. 2022, vol. 9, iss. 2, pp. [62]-[81]
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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The scholarly labels commonly applied to one of the most critical junctures in the history of medieval Georgian culture - a period that saw a distinct shift in cultural orientation towards Constantinople - warrant reconsideration. A transfer of liturgical tradition from that of Jerusalem to Constantinople's and a surge in religious knowledge stimulated by the translation and literary efforts of Georgian Athonite monks are widely regarded as indications of the change. At first glance, the overall picture leaves no space for interpretation, though comparative analysis of stylistic and iconographic features peculiar to works of religious art, along with surviving records regarding the patronage and ceremonies, liturgical texts, and other aspects relating to the historical context, suggest the need for further insights. The overwhelmingly Hellenophile style of Georgian religious art of the time should be questioned, judging from numerous works witnessing the variety of tastes among the Georgian elite and choices made by specific individuals. The eleventh-century liturgical innovations do not seem to have been followed by a total transformation. Jerusalem's traditions and veneration of the Cross as markers of Georgian Christianity appear to have acquired significance as national elements in a new Constantinopolitan context.