Byzantine artists drew from pagan and early Christian foundations to fashion the opulent and deeply spiritual world of Byzantium (A.D. 330–1453). The establishment of Christianity as the state religion inspired the creation of luminous icons, textiles, architectural sculptures, frescoes, and mosaics to adorn basilicas throughout the empire. Prosperous monasteries produced illuminated manuscripts and preserved the legacy of ancient Greek literature, while private patronage fostered the embellishment of daily life. Nearly two hundred objects, exclusively from Greek collections, display the distinctive Byzantine aesthetic that influenced the artistic traditions of neighboring cultures for over a millennium.
This exhibition was organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Athens, with the collaboration of the Benaki Museum, Athens, in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
The U.S. tour was made possible by major funding from OPAP S.A. Financial support was also provided by the A. G. Leventis Foundation. .
Heaven and Earth (Press Release)
Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections at the Getty Villa