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The Free Academy: Ivan Foletti

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: February 15, 2024, 19:00 – 20:00

Russia, Empire and the Middle Ages: A Simple Equation?

Russia, empire and the Middle Ages. These are words that don’t tend to evoke positive emotions in the present-day Czech Republic. If they appear in the same title, and even if they are genuinely linked, the equation seems clear: the lecture will concern a dark side of human history. But is it really that simple? By studying the architecture, art and scientific texts of the last two centuries, we will attempt to consider how (and why) Russian imperial identity has evolved from Tsar Nicholas I to Vladimir Putin. At the same time, however, we will also ask, provocatively, whether there was any other possibility, and whether it is possible to view the whole situation in a more complex manner and from a global perspective.

Professor Ivan Foletti lectures in art history at Masaryk University in Brno, where he is the head of the Centre for Early Medieval Studies. He has also taught at the universities of Lausanne, Venice, Fribourg, Padua and Poitiers. His research focuses on the art of the Byzantine Empire, Milan, Rome, Constantinople and the Caucasus in the late ancient and early medieval periods.


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