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Visual Cultures of Death in Central Europe

Contemplation and Commemoration in Early Modern Poland-Lithuania

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Aleksandra Koutny-Jones

In Visual Cultures of Death in Central Europe, Aleksandra Koutny-Jones explores the emergence of a remarkable cultural preoccupation with death in Poland-Lithuania (1569-1795). Examining why such interests resonated so strongly in the Baroque art of this Commonwealth, she argues that the printing revolution, the impact of the Counter-Reformation, and multiple afflictions suffered by Poland-Lithuania all contributed to a deep cultural concern with mortality.
Introducing readers to a range of art, architecture and material culture, this study considers various visual evocations of death including 'Dance of Death' imagery, funerary decorations, coffin portraiture, tomb chapels and religious landscapes. These, Koutny-Jones argues, engaged with wider European cultures of contemplation and commemoration, while also being critically adapted to the specific context of Poland-Lithuania.

Byzantium/Modernism

The Byzantine as Method in Modernity

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Edited by Roland Betancourt and Maria Taroutina

Byzantium/Modernism features contributions by fourteen international scholars and brings together a diverse range of interdisciplinary essays on art, architecture, theatre, film, literature, and philosophy, which examine how and why Byzantine art and image theory can contribute to our understanding of modern and contemporary visual culture. Particular attention is given to intercultural dialogues between the former dominions of the Byzantine Empire, with a special focus on Greece, Turkey, and Russia, and the artistic production of Western Europe and America. Together, these essays invite the reader to think critically and theoretically about the dialogic interchange between Byzantium and modernism and to consider this cross-temporal encounter as an ongoing and historically deep narrative, rather than an ephemeral or localized trend.
Contributors are Tulay Atak, Charles Barber, Elena Boeck, Anthony Cutler, Rico Franses, Dimitra Kotoula, Marie-José Mondzain, Myroslava M. Mudrak, Robert S. Nelson, Robert Ousterhout, Stratis Papaioannou, Glenn Peers, Jane A. Sharp and Devin Singh.