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Life Is Short, Art Long

The Art of Healing in Byzantium

February 11, 2015 – April 26, 2015

The Pera Museum, Meşrutiyet Cad 65, Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul


Curated by Dr Brigitte Pitarakis, this exhibition examines faith, magic and medicine as methods of healing during Byzantine times. It traces the ‘art of healing’ from the foundations laid by the healers of antiquity Apollo and Asklepios, through to Hippocrates and Dioscorides, the founders of rational medicine. It also examines the roles of the physician saints. On display are icons, reliquaries, amulets, marble carvings, medical equipment, plants and herbs, medical and botanical manuscripts, and documents and photographs pertaining to centres of healing in Istanbul.

Works are loan from the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, the library of the Holy Trinity Monastery of Halki (Heybeliada), the Foundation of the Yeniköy Greek Orthodox Church of Panayia, the Rezan Has Museum, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, Oxford University Herbaria, the Benaki Museum in Athens, the Kastoria Byzantine Museum, as well as private collections.



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