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Robert Nelson on Byzantium in Brno: joining an Eastern and Western Middle Ages

25 February 2021


Byzantium in Brno: joining an Eastern and Western Middle Ages


Review of:

Byzantium or democracy?  Kondakov’s legacy in emigration: the Institutum Kondakovianum and Andre Grabar, 1925-1952 by Ivan Foletti and Adrien Palladino, Rome: Viella, Brno: Masaryk University Press, 2020, 211pp, 381 b. & w. illus.  € 25.00 ISBN 9788833134963

Robert Nelson (Yale) 24/RN1


This book writes the history of a short-lived attempt to create in Prague a home for Byzantine art historians and historians exiled from Russia after the 1917 Revolution.   Named after the distinguished Russian art historian, N. P. Kondakov, the Institutum Kondakovianum had a research library, art collection, a journal, the Seminarium Kondakovianum for Russian, Byzantine, and Migration art, as well as a monograph series that published a book by André Grabar.  He was a student of Kondakov in Russia and the future professor at the Collège de France.  Byzantium or democracy examines the history of the institute from the 1920s until its demise in the early 1950s and juxtaposes to it Grabar’s career in France during the same period, both little studied.

Key words: N. P. Kondakov, Institutum Kondakovianum, Seminarium Kondakovianum, André Grabar, Byzantine art

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