Informace o projektu

Informace o projektu
Sny o Byzanci ve Francii 19. století: novobyzantská architektura, orientalismus a rasové a národní mýty dějin umění (1848–1900) (DreamByz)

Logo poskytovatele
Kód projektu
Období řešení
1/2024 - 12/2026
Investor / Programový rámec / typ projektu
Grantová agentura ČR
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
Filozofická fakulta

The mythical Montmartre hill, highest point of Paris, is dominated by a white travertine building, crowned by a large dome and elongated cupolas: the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (1875–1891). One would expect to see there a Neo-Gothic cathedral, usually associated with French Catholicism and Nationalism. Surprisingly, however, the building’s shape is more reminiscent of buildings such as Saint Mark’s in Venice or of other ‘Oriental’ architecture. This is even more curious if we consider that the Sacré-Cœur was conceived as a reaffirmation of French Catholic identity after a series of crises. As a matter of fact, the building was inspired by the visual culture – often considered ‘decadent’ – of a political entity that had disappeared more than four centuries ago: the Eastern Roman Empire, more generally called the “Byzantine” Empire. The Sacré-Cœur’s case is not unique. Between 1848 and 1900, dozens of churches in France were indeed newly erected or restored in a historicist architectural style described as “Neo-Byzantine” or “Romano-Byzantine”. Why such choice, why use this style for some of the country’s most iconic buildings? This project, through the investigation of a series of case studies of “Neo-Byzantine” architectural projects in 19th-century France and their social and religious stakes, wishes to answer this simple yet multifaceted question which actually amounts to a complex historiographical issue. In this way, we will also uncover the role of the ‘Neo-Byzantine’ in the reinvention of medieval art and in the formulation of racist, colonial, and national myths of modern art history.

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