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Livia Bevilacqua

Università La Sapienza di Roma

Livia Bevilacqua received her PhD in Byzantine art history in 2010 from Sapienza University of Rome, with a thesis on aristocratic patronage in Constantinople, Greece and Asia Minor in the Macedonian period, which has been published as a monograph in 2013. She was awarded post-doc research fellowships in Turkey (Koç University ANAMED; TÜBITAK at Istanbul University), in the UK (The Warburg Institute), and in Italy (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and Sapienza University of Rome).

In 2018 she curated (with Giovanni Gasbarri) the exhibition of photos titled “Picturing a Lost Empire: An Italian Lens on Byzantine Art in Anatolia, 1960-2000” at Koç University ANAMED in Istanbul.

She taught art history in high school, and has been adjunct professor of History of manuscript illumination at the University of Urbino, and at IULM – International University of Languages and Media in Milan. She collaborates with the chair of Byzantine Art History at Sapienza and is currently working on a project titled “Byzantine monuments of Turkey and Syria in the photographic collection of the CDSAB – Center for Documentation of Byzantine Art History at Sapienza: preliminary cataloguing and critical assessment”.

Her main research interests include artistic patronage in Byzantium; artistic exchange and circulation of artifacts between Byzantium and the West; medieval manuscript illumination; the reuse of spolia in Byzantine architecture; graphic and photographic sources for the study of Byzantine art. Since 2005, she has published the results of her research in several articles in international peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Byzantine Cilicia in the Photographic Documentation: The Study Trips of Italian Art Historians in the Twentieth Century

In the last decades of the 20th century, several scholars explored the southern regions of Anatolia, in order to record the surviving Byzantine vestiges. A group of Italian art historians from Rome, Urbino and Padova – led by Fernanda de’ Maffei – visited the ancient provinces of Cilicia and Isauria in a series of field trips between 1989 and 2000. The group went into areas that had been explored by travellers and archaeologists since the previous century, and they gathered new, valuable material, including photographs, sketches and notes of religious, as well as residential and public buildings of the Middle Ages. Thanks to those trips, some of the most relevant Byzantine monuments of the region have been studied in detail, although a significant part of the research material produced remains unpublished. It is now preserved in the Center for Documentation of Byzantine Art History (CDSAB) at Sapienza University of Rome and can be regarded today as a precious resource for the study of Byzantine monuments and artifacts of the region. I will present some examples from the archive, placing them in the context of international research of the time, and I will attempt to highlight the relevance of the material gathered in those intense years for the study of the cultural heritage of southern Anatolia.

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