The Land Between Two Seas: Art on the Move in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea 1300-1700 brings together scholars focusing on the strong riverine ties that connect the seas of the Mediterranean system (from the Western Mediterranean through the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov) and the hinterland. The two-day conference will examine spaces, artworks and stories from the territories North of the Danube (Poland, eastern Hungary and parts of Transylvania), the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean (Constantinople, and the Dalmatian and Illyrian coasts) and the Black Sea and its Eastern neighbors. On the cusp between cultures and religions—mostly Eastern Orthodox (apart from e.g., Hungary, Dalmatia and Poland), and mostly of Slavic language (apart from e.g., Romania)—these principalities, kingdoms and fiefdoms came to embody hybridity, to act as a form of buffer or cultural “switching” system that assimilated, translated and linked the cultures of Central Asia with the western European ones.
This conference is the final stage in a multi-year project organized by Alina Payne (I Tatti / Harvard University), which sought to address the mediating role of the Balkans between East and West and their northern neighbors all the way to Poland and Lithuania, as well as this region’s contribution to the larger Mediterranean artistic and cultural melting pot in the early modern period.
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