Ethno-Confessional Pluralism and Artistic Interchange in the Premodern Adriatic


Margarita Voulgaropoulou (Ruhr University Bochum)




18:15 Central European Summer Time


Campus Westend and Zoom Meeting

By the end of the fifteenth century, the rapid expansion of the Ottoman Empire and the consecutive wars with the Republic of Venice radically reshaped the geopolitical map of the Eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, affecting profoundly all aspects of socio-economic, religious, and cultural life. The gradual loss of the Venetian possessions in the Eastern Mediterranean to the Ottomans triggered the mass influx of Greek-speaking refugees to the Adriatic Sea, particularly in coastal urban centers and islands ruled by the Republic of Venice. Meanwhile, the advancement of the Turks through the Western Balkans pushed populations of Slavic origin (Serbs, Bosnians, Montenegrins, and Vlachs) towards the east coast of the Adriatic, but also to territories of the Habsburg Monarchy. This lecture traces the cultural imprint of these mobilities with the intention to demonstrate how the confessional coexistence of Orthodox and Catholic populations in the early modern Adriatic is reflected in the material culture they left behind. The focus of this research is on icon painting, an art form that maintained enduring popularity from the late Middle Ages all through the nineteenth century, bringing together the diverse elements that made up the culturally and confessionally pluralistic societies of the Adriatic. Through the combined examination of archival sources and visual material, this lecture investigates the intersections in the movements of people and objects, in order to offer a more comprehensive understanding of the Eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas as spaces of cross- and trans-cultural interchange.

Book this Event


Further Events