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Byzantium’s Other Empire: Trebizond

June 24, 2016 – September 30, 2016

ANAMED Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, İstiklal Caddesi No. 181, Merkez Han, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

This exhibition introduces the extraordinary monuments of the now largely forgotten empire of Trebizond, whose capital was in the city of Trabzon on the Black Sea coast. It particularly focuses on the 13th century church of Hagia Sophia in Trabzon, the best preserved monument in the city, famed for its unusual architecture, unique sculptural decoration and extraordinary Byzantine wall paintings.

Curated by Prof Dr Antony Eastmond, dean of the Courtauld Institute-University of London, the exhibition draws extensively on the photography and drawing archives of David and June Winfield. The Winfields restored the church from 1959–63 in a project masterminded by David Talbot Rice, and the exhibition also includes Talbot Rice’s photographs from 1929, as well as those of other early scholars who visited Trabzon, notably the French scholar Gabriel Millet in 1893 and the Russian Fyodor Uspenskii in 1917. Between them, these scholars recorded the city, its palaces, churches and monasteries. Their archives provide glimpses of a lost empire and of the city of Trabzon which has been transformed in the decades since their visits.

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