Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261–1557)
The third exhibition in a chronological series devoted to the art and influence of Byzantine civilization, this major international loan exhibition demonstrates the artistic and cultural significance of the last centuries of the state that called itself "the Empire of the Romans." The exhibition begins in 1261, when the capital Constantinople was restored to imperial rule, and concludes in 1557, when the empire that had fallen to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 was renamed Byzantium—the name by which it is still known today. The importance of the era is primarily demonstrated through the arts created for the Orthodox church and for the churches of other East Christian states that aspired to be the heirs to the empire's power. The impact of its culture on the Islamic world and the Latin-speaking West is also explored—especially the influence of the Christian East on the development of the Renaissance.