Info

dominated and even fundamentally determined by church practices in their wider form. The liturgy affects the art on many levels: the very choice of subjects to be represented; their placement; the details of iconography within a composition; the overall conception of the scene, and the style in which it is presented. Prior scholarship has taken various approaches to this vast body of material. Stefanescu's fundamental work, L'illustration des liturgies, focuses on the Eucharist, seeing the themes present in a church setting as being all of them on some level illustrations of the Eucharist.2 Walter's book, Art and ritual, is particularly concerned with the representation of various liturgical ceremonies in Byzantine art.3 The study of Pallas, Die Passion und Bestattung, deals in part with the impact in the twelfth century of the 'new' monastic services and reveals that the relationship of art and liturgy was by no means static but can be said to have its own history.4 The theme of art and liturgy is addressed in numerous individual studies by Andre Grabar and Gordana Babic.5

This chapter will proceed by dividing the Byzantine rite into two main components: the Eucharistic rite and those rites connected with the cycle of the church year. It will then turn to the primarily monastic Divine Office, that is, the Hours of the day, and to the hymnography that accompanies them. The first two components, those of the Eucharist and the calendar, roughly correspond to the spatial division of a Byzantine church of this period into the naos, or nave, which is the space of the laity (including monks), and the sanctuary, the space reserved for the ordained clergy. They also correspond to two conceptions of time: the Eucharist aiming to transcend time, while for the church calendar time is its fundamental organising principle.6 In all

2 J. D. Stefanescu, L'illustration des liturgies dans l'art de Byzance et de l'Orient (Brussels: Institut de philologie et d'histoire orientales, 1936). See also Schulz, Byzantine liturgy, esp. 79-80.

3 C. Walter, Art and ritual of the Byzantine church (London: Variorum, 1982). See also N. K. Moran, Singers in late Byzantine and Slavonic painting [Byzantina Neerlandica 9] (Leiden: Brill, 1986) for images of ceremonies involving singers.

4 D. I. Pallas, Die Passion und Bestattung Christi in Byzanz: der Ritus - das Bild [Miscellanea Byzantina Monacensia 2] (Munich: Institut fuir byzantinistik und neugriechische Philologie der Universitat München, 1965).

5 See A. Grabar, 'Une source d'inspiration de l'iconographie byzantine tardive: les cérémonies du culte de la Vierge', CA 25 (1976), 143-62; Grabar, 'Les peintures dans le chœur de Sainte-Sophie d'Ochrid', CA 15 (1965), 257-65; G. Babic, Les chapelles annexes des eglises byzantines: Fonction liturgique etprogrammes iconographiques [Bibliothèque des cahiers archéologiques 3] (Paris: Klincksieck, 1969); Babic, 'Les discussions christologiques et le décor des églises byzantines au XII siècle', Frühmittelalterliche Studien 2 (1968), 368-86. See also Vostochnochristjanskij chram: liturgija i iskusstvo, ed. A. M. Lidov (St Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 1994).

6 Schmemann, Liturgical theology, 20, uses for the latter the phrase 'liturgy of time'. Cf. ibid., 38, n. 6, and 139-40.

sections, the analysis will deal first with illustrations of the relevant liturgical manuscripts, although it will soon become clear that Byzantine liturgical art is in no way a text-based art.

The Eucharist

Text and image in manuscripts of the Eucharistic liturgies The 'ordinary', the fixed or invariable part of the liturgy, is found in the eucholo-gion, which survives in manuscripts from the eighth century onwards. These generally include the text of the Eucharistic liturgies of St John Chrysostom and of St Basil the Great, as well as various other services and texts for the use of a priest.7 Though full euchologion manuscripts were never illustrated, certain prayers from the euchologion were accompanied by miniatures as early as the eleventh century: these were the so-called 'secret' prayers, the prayers spoken almost inaudibly by the officiating priest or bishop, assembled and copied in the order of the service onto parchment rolls. These 'liturgical' rolls (siArjTapia) contain the prayers of the three Byzantine liturgies, those of Chrysostom, Basil and the pre-sanctified; they may also include the words of the deacon, and the order of service for clerical ordinations. Where the liturgical rolls have any form of illustration, decoration is generally restricted to a headpiece at the beginning of the roll and figured initials.8 The headpieces depict the author of the liturgy; the initials may relate loosely to the meaning or language of the prayer, although they are very often secular in character. A roll from Pat-mos (dating probably to the twelfth century) contains the liturgy of Basil the Great, who is shown celebrating at an altar under an extraordinary collection of domes and marble revetments familiar from contemporary Comnenian church architecture and miniatures. Basil is holding a roll, presumably one with the very prayers he wrote that follow in the parchment roll itself.9

Only rarely is the illustration of much intellectual sophistication, but that of a liturgical roll in Jerusalem (Greek Patriarchate, Stavrou 109), a product of Constantinople of the later eleventh century, is a remarkable attempt at

7 S. Parenti, L'eucologioBarberinigr.336 [Bibliotecaephemeridesliturgicae 80] (Rome: CLV-Edizioni liturgiche, 1995).

8 B. V Farmakovskij, 'Vizantijskijpergamennyi rukopisnyi svitok s miniaturami', Izvestija Russkogo Arkhaeologicheskogo Institutav Konstantinopole 6 (1900), 253-359; V Kepetzis, 'Les rouleaux liturgiques illustrés, iie-i4e siècles', unpublished thesis, Université de Paris IV (1979); S. E. J. Gerstel, 'Liturgical scrolls in the Byzantine sanctuary', Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 35 (1994), 195-204.

9 Patmos, Monastery of St John, Ms. gr. 707. See A. Kominis, Patmos: the treasures of the monastery (Athens: Ekdotike Athenon, 1988), 289-91; figs. 25-34.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment