During the rule of the Macedonian dynasty (867-1025), the Byzantine aristocracy appears to be particularly active in its artistic patronage. Thus, churches and palaces are built and decorated with paintings and mosaics, luxurious vessels are donated, and precious manuscripts are illuminated at their command. The book focuses on Constantinople, Greece and Asia Minor, where a number of works, realized in that period, have survived; others are recorded in written sources, the latter being often so accurate as to allow us to clearly imagine their original appearance. This volume tackles a selection of case studies linked to the patronage of high officials of the Byzantine Empire during the time span between the ascent to the throne of Basil I and the death of Basil II. These specimens are analyzed both individually and in relation to one another, against the background of the “Renaissance” of Byzantine culture, which flourished after the end of Iconoclasm and to which the aristocrats highly contributed. In addition to well known personalities, other are referred to, whose identities are more elusive; nonetheless, their “intellectual portrait” is outlined in the light of their works. These offer the opportunity to discuss crucial problems, such as their culture, their self-representation, and their artistic models. This work takes an unusual point of view, tracing a historical and social cross-section of Byzantine art one century before and immediately after the year 1000.
Bevilacqua, L. (2014). Arte e aristocrazia a Bisanzio nell'età dei Macedoni. Costantinopoli, la Grecia e l'Asia Minore. ITA : Campisano Editore.