Maria Alessia Rossi - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Maria Alessia Rossi

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Maria Alessia Rossi

PhD student; Associate Lecturer

Thesis: Christ’s Miracles in Monumental Art in Byzantium and Serbia (1280-1330)

Supervised by Antony Eastmond

My research focuses on Christ’s Miracle Cycle in monumental decoration in the Byzantine Empire and the Serbian Kingdom. Between the 1280s and the 1330s, this cycle became extremely popular and can be found in at least twelve churches through these regions. The uniqueness in the evolution of the Miracle cycle is that notwithstanding its popularity by the mid-fourteenth century, episodes of the cycle never achieved a canonical selection, grouping and disposition apparently disappearing a century later without leaving any iconographic established tradition behind.

The principal aim of my research is to study and analyse the churches decorated with episodes of the miracles of Christ, in order to reach a critical assessment and understanding of the development of this cycle in this years.  In doing so a number of issues will be addressed. The socio-political, historical and religious context in which Christ’s Miracle Cycle developed will be examined. Aspects such as the choice, grouping and disposition of the episodes within the cycle will be considered. An iconographic analysis will be carried out in order to illustrate the changes that occurred over this period in comparison to earlier examples. All these aspects will lead to a final understanding and evaluation of the role played by Christ’s Miracle Cycle within the broader context of Byzantine art.  

Education

  • PhD, The Courtauld Institute Of Art
    October 2012 – April 2017
    Title of Thesis: Christ’s Miracles in Monumental Art in Byzantium and Serbia (1280-1330)
  • Visiting Student, University of Ioannina, Greece
    April 2014 – June 2014
    Work alongside Professor Alexandros Alexakis on the translation of Nikephoros Xanthopoulos’s text on the Zodochos Pege monastery.
  • MA History Of Art, The Courtauld Institute Of Art
    October 2011 – June 2011
    Title of the course: Byzantium and its Rivals: art, display and cultural identity in the Christian and Islamic Mediterranean
    Dissertation title: The South Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello: the Orseoli legacy and the rise of Venice
  • BA History Of Art, Università Degli Studi Di Roma “La Sapienza”, Italy
    September 2007 – December 2010
    Subjects covered: Byzantine History of Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Byzantine Studies, Archeology, History of Christianity
    Dissertation title: The Church of Agia Aikaterini in Thessaloniki

Teaching

  • Spring Term 2017: Associate Lecturer, An Introduction to Byzantine Art and Architecture (Morley College)
  • Spring Term 2017: Associate Lecturer, Byzantine Art and Architecture in Detail (Morley College)
  • Autumn Term 2016: Associate Lecturer, BA3 Topic Course: East and West in the Age of the Crusades (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Autumn Term 2016: Associate Lecturer, BA1 Topic Course: From Late Antiquity to Byzantium in London Collections (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Autumn Term 2015, Associate Lecturer,
    BA2 Topic Course: Body and Gender in Byzantium co-taught with Dr Lara Frentrop (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Autumn Term 2015: Guest Lecturer, MA in Byzantine Art: Byzantium and its Rivals: Art, Display and Cultural Identity in the Christian and Islamic Mediterranean, taught by Professor Antony Eastmond
  • Autumn Term 2015, Teaching Assistant, BA, Foundations, Classical and Byzantine History of Art (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Autumn Term 2014, Teaching Assistant, BA Foundations, Classical and Byzantine History of Art (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Spring 2014, Guest Lecturer, MA in Byzantine Art: Ninth-Century Constantinople between East and West, taught by Professor Alessandra Guiglia (“La Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy)

Publications

  • Rossi M.A., ‘The Miracle Cycle between Constantinople, Thessaloniki, and Mistra’ in Matheou N., Kampianaki T., Bondioli L. eds., From Constantinople to the Frontier: the City and the Cities (Brill, 2016) 226-242
  • Rossi M.A., Casnati G., Lucchini A., ‘Studio e Conservazione di Affreschi e Pitture Murali in Armenia. Il Monastero di Kobayr’ Marcianum X (2014) 149-170
  • Rossi M.A., Mattiello A., eds., Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Period (forthcoming)

Other Academic Activities

  • 2014 – present: Organiser of the project Exploring Fourteenth-Century Art Across the Eastern and Western Christian World in collaboration with Dr Livia Lupi (University of York). The project aims to explore any possible links between Catholic and Orthodox art during the fourteenth century, engaging with documentary and visual evidence in order to re-examine traditional views of both Eastern and Western Christian art. For further information click here.
  • September 2014 – June 2016: BA Teaching Assistant Coordinator, Foundations, The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • September 2014 – September 2015: Section Assistant, Classical, Byzantine and Medieval Section, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
  • March 2014 – December 2015: Member of the editorial team and co-editor-in-chief for immediationsthe Courtauld Journal for Postgraduate Research
  • August 2013 – December 2014: Assistant to Professor John Lowden

Research interests

  • art production and patronage in the fourteenth century
  • artistic transfer and exchange in medieval art between East and West
  • artistic and iconographic exchanges between the Byzantine Empire and the Serbian Kingdom
  • the role of the miraculous

Conference papers and lectures

  • Political Ruin or Spiritual Renewal? Early Palaiologan Art in Context, Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Period, Symposium and Workshop, Birmingham 24-25 February 2017
  • Contextualising the fourteenth-century church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos in Thessaloniki, First Conference of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, Nicosia, 13-15 January 2017
  • Competing identities? Byzantine and Serbian Artistic Production in the Fourteenth Century, IXe Edition de Rencontres Internationales des Doctorants en Etudes Byzantines, Paris 7-8 October 2016
  • Christ’s Miracle Cycle in Fourteenth-Century Multicultural Thessaloniki, 23rdInternational Congress of Byzantine Studies, Belgrade 22-27 August 2016
  • Multiplying Figures and Expounding Narrative: The Role of the Crowd in 14th-Century Depictions of Christ’s Miracle Cycle, The International Medieval Congress, Leeds 4-7 July 2016
  • Θρησκευτική πολιτική και η ανάπτυξη της εικονογραφίας των Θαυμάτων του Χριστού στη Θεσσαλονίκη του 14ου αιώνα, Τμήμα Ιστορίας & Αρχαιολογίας/Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών Ινστιτούτο Ιστορικών Ερευνών/Τομέας Βυζαντινών Ερευνών/Ε.Ι Ε., Athens 26-27 May 2016
  • Andronikos II Palaiologos and the Orthodox Church: A Time of Flourishing or the Beginning of the End?, The International Medieval Congress, Leeds 6-9 July 2015
  • Fourteenth-Century Monumental Art in the Eastern Christian World: the Role of Narrative and Architecture, A Severed Bond? Exploring Fourteenth-Century Art Across the Eastern and Western Christian World, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 15 May 2015
  • Artists and Patrons in the Fourteenth Century Serbian Kingdom, The Courtauld Postgraduate Symposium: Showcasing research 2015, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 5-6 March 2015
  • And their eyes were opened: the perceptions of Christ’s Miracle Cycle in the early Palaiologan period, The 40th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference, Vancouver, 6-9 November 2014
  • The Miracle Cycle between Constantinople, Thessaloniki and Mistra, Oxford University Byzantine Society’s XVI International Graduate Conference, 28 February – 1 March 2014
  • In-between Text and Image: the case of Christ’s Miracle Cycle, 19th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 1 February 2014

Conference Organisation

  • Co-organised the Symposium and Workshop, Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Period, taking place in Birmingham, 24-25 February 2017. Funded by the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (SPBS), the A.G. Leventis Foundation, The University of Birmingham, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and The Courtauld Institute of Art.
  • Co-organised the session Questioning the Limits of Byzantine Art and Architecture (Thirteenth to Fifteenth Centuries) at the First Conference of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, Nicosia 13-15 January 2017.
  • Co-organsied the sessions Exploring the Fourteenth Century Across the Eastern and Western Christian World I, II and III at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 7 July 2016. Part of the project Exploring Fourteenth-Century Art Across the Eastern and Western Christian World
  • Co-organiser of A Severed Bond? Exploring Fourteenth-Century Art Across the Eastern and Western Christian World, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 15 May 2015. Workshop for postgraduate students and early-career scholars.
  • Co-organiser of the Courtauld Postgraduate Symposium: Showcasing research 2015, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 5-6 March 2015
  • Co-organiser of the 20th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 7 February 2015
  • Co-organiser of the 19th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 1 February 2014

Bursaries and Awards

  • 13-15 January 2017: Graduate Prize Competition Award, First Conference of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, Nicosia.
  • 22-27 August 2016: Funding from the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (SPBS) to attend and deliver a paper at the 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Belgrade.
  • 22-27 August 2016: Funding from the AIEB and Serbian National Committee Grants for Younger Scholars to attend and deliver a paper at the 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Belgrade.
  • 4-7 July 2016: Funding from the International Medieval Congress in Leeds to attend and deliver a paper at their annual event.
  • July 2014: Thessaloniki Summer School “Saints and Sinners in Byzantium”.
    Organising body: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris), in collaboration with the Museum of Byzantine Civilization of Thessaloniki and the Ministry of Education and Cults, of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic (Scholarship awarded).
  • July 2013: Medieval Summer Session at the Gennadius Library, Athens.
    Organising body: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Scholarship awarded by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.
  • June 2013: “Cappadocia in Context” Intensive Summer Workshop. Organising body: Koç University and RCAC (Scholarship awarded).

 

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