Professor Antony Eastmond

AG Leventis Professor of Byzantine Art

Antony Eastmond read history at Oxford and whilst there he became increasingly intrigued by the possibilities of using art and material culture to write history. This was confirmed when he came to The Courtauld to take an MA in Byzantine art, and then a PhD in the art of medieval Georgia in the Caucasus.

Key themes in Antony’s work centre on the use of art to manufacture, display and manipulate identities on a public stage, especially on the frontiers between religions and cultures.

Antony has taught at The Courtauld since 2004; from 2016-2020 he was Dean and Deputy Director. Before that he spent nine years in the art history department at the University of Warwick where he was Head of Department in his last two years.

His research is divided between topics in Late Antique and Byzantine art and topics relating to the Caucasus (Georgia and Armenia), and relations between the Christian and Islamic cultures there.

His most recent book is a study of women and identity in eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus on the eve of the Mongol invasions in the thirteenth century – the land where three worlds meet.

PhD Supervision

Current Students

Recently completed


  • Maria Alessia Rossi, The Golden Age of the Miracle Cycle: 1290 – 1340
  • Lara Frentrop, Middle Byzantine Metal Bowls with Exotic Imagery


  • Niamh Bhalla, Social Histories of the Last Judgement in Byzantine Art
  • Maria Paschali, Painting in Fourteenth-Century Famagusta

Previous students

  • Anna Christidou, Unknown Byzantine Art in the Balkan Area: Art, Power and Patronage in Twelfth to Fourteenth Century Churches in Albania
  • Eleni Dimitriadou, The Lunette Mosaic in the Southwest Vestibule of Hagia Sophia at Constantinople: A Reconsideration
  • Stefani Gerevini, Objects, Treasuries, Cities: The Importation and Appropriation of Byzantine Artworks and Relics in Santa Maria della Scala in Siena and in San Marco in Venice in the Fourteenth Century
  • Jack Hartnell, Towards an Anatomical Art History: Medieval Objects in the Shared Space Between Art and Medicine
  • Emma Rogers, Art and Architectural Decoration in Italy from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century and its Relationship with Islamic and Byzantine Art and Culture

Research Interests

  • Medieval Art in the Caucasus (Georgia and Armenia)
  • Byzantine Art in all forms, but especially Byzantine ivories
  • Interchange between Christian and Islamic art in the medieval near east
  • The study of inscriptions as visual objects
  • Art and identity in the middle ages
  • Centre and periphery

Recent publications


Edited Books

  • The Mosaics of Thessaloniki Revisited (Athens: Kapon Editions, 2017) Papers from the 2014 Symposium at The Courtauld Institute of Art. With Myrto Hatzaki
  • Byzantium’s Other Empire: Trebizond | Bizans’ın Öteki Imparatorluğu: Trabzon (Istanbul: ANAMED, Koç Üniversitetesi, 2016)
  • Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World (Cambridge: CUP, 2015)
  • Wonderful Things: Byzantium through its art [Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. Publications 16] (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), Papers from the Forty-second Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, London, 20-22 March 2009 (with Liz James)
  • The Road to Byzantium: Luxury Arts of Antiquity (London: Fontanka, 2006), Catalogue of an exhibition in the Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House, 30 March – 3 September 2006 (with Robin Cormack and Peter Stewart)
  • Icon and Word. The Power of Images in Byzantium. Studies presented to Robin Cormack (Aldershot, 2003) (with Liz James)
  • Eastern Approaches to Byzantium [Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. Publications 9] (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001)

Selected essays & articles

Byzantine art | Georgian art | Cross-cultural studies in the Caucasus | Ivories | Inscriptions as art

Byzantine art

  • ‘Staging as metaphor: the king’s body and the theatricality of power’ in, Staging the King’s Body, eds. M. Bacci, et al. (Brepols, 2023)
  • ”It began with a picture’: imperial art, texts and subversion between east and west in the twelfth century’, in Subversion in Byzantium, eds. D. Angelov and M. Saxby [Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. Publications: 17] (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), 121-43
  • ‘The Limits of Byzantine Art’, in A Companion to Byzantium, ed. L. James (Oxford: Wiley, 2010), 313-22
  • ‘Beyond Byzantium’, in Byzantium, eds. R. Cormack and M. Vassilaki (London: Royal Academy, 2008), 307-14
  • ‘Art and the Periphery’, in The Oxford Companion to Byzantine Studies, eds. E. Jeffreys, et al. (Oxford: OUP, 2008), 770-76
  • ‘Between Icon and Idol: the uncertainty of imperial images’, in Icon and Word. The Power of Images in Byzantium. Studies presented to Robin Cormack, eds. A. Eastmond and L. James (Aldershot, 2003), 73-85
  • ”Local’ Saints, Art and Regional Identity in the Orthodox World after the Fourth Crusade’, Speculum 78/3 (2003), 707-49
  • ‘An Intentional Error? Imperial Art and “Mis”-Interpretation under Andronikos I Komnenos’, Art Bulletin 76 (1994), 502-10

Georgian art

  • ‘Art on the edge: the church of the Holy Cross, Jvari, Georgia’, Art Bulletin 105/2 (2023), 64-92
  • ‘Greeks bearing gifts: The Icon of Xaxuli and enamel diplomacy between Byzantium and Georgia’, in Convivium supplementum: The medieval South Caucasus: Artistic cultures of Albania, Armenia and Georgia, eds. I. Foletti and E. Thunø [Exchanges and Interactions in the Arts of Medieval Europe, Byzantium, and the Mediterranean. Seminarium Kondakovianum Series Nova] (Prague, 2016), 88-105
  • ‘Messages, meanings and metamorphoses: the icon of the Transfiguration of Zarzma’, in Images of the Byzantine World – Visions, Messages and Meanings. Studies presented to Leslie Brubaker, ed. A. Lymberopoulou (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011), 57-82
  • ‘Schwarzmeergriechen, Armenier, Georgier und andere Kaukasusvölker’, in Kontinuitäten und Brüche: Lebensformen – Alteingesessene – Zuwanderer von 500 bis 1500, eds. K. Kaser, et al. [Wieser Enzyklopädie des Europäischen Ostens: 12] (Klagenfurt: Wieser Verlag, 2010), 305-13
  • ‘Udabno Monastery in Georgia: The innovation, conservation and reinterpretation of art in the Middle Ages’, Iconographica. Rivista di iconografia medievale e moderna 7 (2008), 23-43 (with Z. Skhirt’ladze)
  • ‘Early Christian Georgian Churches’, in The Cambridge Guide to the Architecture of Christianity, ed. R.A. Etlin (Cambridge: CUP, 2022), 1: 225-30

Cross-cultural studies in the Caucasus

  • ‘Monumental Painting and the Role of Images in Armenia under the Mongols’, in Art and Religion in Medieval Armenia, ed. H.C. Evans (New Haven & London: Yale UP, 2021), 39-51
  • ‘Ani – The Global and the Local’, in Ani at the Crossroads [ანისი გზაჯვარედინზე], ed. Z. Skhirtladze (Tbilisi: Ivane Javakhishvili University, 2019), 1-24
  • ‘Other encounters: Popular belief and cultural convergence in Anatolia and the Caucasus’, in Islam and Christianity in Anatolia and the Caucasus, eds. A.C.S. Peacock, et al. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 183-213
  • ‘Diplomatic commodities: women and art as imperial gifts in the thirteenth century’, in Liquid and Multiple: Identities in the medieval mediterranean in the thirteenth century, eds. D. Stathokopoulos and G. Saint-Guillan (Paris: Sorbonne, 2012), 105-33
  • ‘Gender and patronage between Christianity and Islam in the thirteenth century’, in Change in the Byzantine world in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, eds. A. Ödekan, E. Akyürek, N. Necipoğlu, 1 Uluslararasi Sevgi Gönül Bizans Araştirmalari Sempozyumu / First International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium (Istanbul, 2010), 78-88
  • ‘Art and frontiers between Byzantium and the Caucasus’, in Byzantium. Faith and Power (1261-1557): Perspectives on Late Byzantine Art and Culture, ed. S.T. Brooks [The Metropolitan Museum of Art Symposia] (New Haven & London: Yale, 2007), 154-69


  • ‘The Heavenly Court, Courtly Ceremony, and the Great Byzantine Ivory Triptychs of the Tenth Century’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 69 (2015), 71-114
  • ‘Byzantine Oliphants?’, in Φιλοπάτιον: Spaziergang im kaiserlichen Garten: Beiträge zu Byzanz und seinen Nachbarn. Festschrift für Arne Effenburger zum 70. Geburtstag, eds. N. Asutay-Effenberger and F. Daim [Monographien des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums: 106] (Mainz: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, 2012), 95-118
  • ‘The St Petroc casket, a certain mutilated man, and the trade in ivories’ in Siculo-Arabic Ivories and Islamic Painting 1100-1300 , ed. D. Knipp (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2011), 81-97
  • ‘Consular diptychs, rhetoric and the languages of art in sixth-century Constantinople’, Art History 33/5 (2010), 742-765
  • ‘On Diversity in Southern Italy’, in The Salerno Ivories. Objects, Histories, Contexts, eds. A. Cutler, et al. (Berlin: Reimer Verlag-Gebr. Mann, 2016), 97-109


  • ‘Monograms and the art of unhelpful writing in Late Antiquity’, in Sign and Design. Script as Image in a Cross-Cultural Perspective (300-1600 CE), eds. J. Hamburger and B.M. Bedos-Rezak [Dumbarton Oaks Symposia and Colloquia: 1] (Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2016), 213-29
  • ‘Textual Icons: Viewing inscriptions in medieval Georgia’, in Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World, ed. A. Eastmond (Cambridge: CUP, 2015), 76-98
  • ‘Inscriptions and Authority in Ani’, in Der Doppeladler: Byzanz und die Seldschuken in Anatolien vom späten 11. bis zum 13. Jahrhundert, eds. N. Asutay-Effenberger and F. Daim [Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident: 1] (Mainz: Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, 2014), 71-84


Recent/major grants