- What’s On
This lecture explores seminal moments in the biography of the medieval Mediterranean’s most cross-culturally significant sculptural monument. It was elevated by the emperor Justinian and placed on an enormous column next to the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Though it remained stationary, its international biography took many fascinating twists and turns. The Byzantine empire’s bronze horseman assumed new identities, spawned conflicting narratives and acquired international acclaim. An equestrian sculpture that started its life as a representation of a Theodosian emperor for centuries served as a statue of Justinian before ending its life as a curious pile of colossal fragments. Neutralised by Mehmed the Conqueror shortly after the fall of Constantinople, it was obliterated in the sixteenth century. Recovering the horseman’s story requires engaging an extensive array of sources and a variety of visual worlds.
Dr Elena Boeck is Professor of History of Art at DePaul University and specialises in the arts of the medieval Mediterranean world.
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