The Symposium was organised in the framework of events of the Department of History and Archaeology, and took place on the 11th and 12th January 2017 at the historic central building of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. It aspired to address the broader issue of the relationship between painting and society. Its main focus was set on Venetian-ruled Crete and a vital field of Post-Byzantine art, portable icons. The purpose was to highlight the multiple testimonies connected with these works of art and devotion, and contribute to a comprehensive perception of the character of painting produced in the mixed society of areas in the Greek East under Western rule during late Medieval and Renaissance periods.
The symposium forms part of the anniversary celebrations for the 180 years of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and marked the beginning of events for 2017, as stressed by the Rector Prof. M.-A. K. Dimopoulos in his address.
In an intensive programme 38 original papers by scholars from all over Greece and abroad were presented, academics, directors of Museums and Ephorates of Antiquities, younger researchers as well as other specialists of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine painting. Among them were experienced scholars from Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, USA. Fruitful discussions were facilitated by simultaneous translations into Greek and English. The sounds of music by the Cretan 16th century composer Franghiskos Leontaritis (1518-1572), performed by the “PolyPhonia” Music Ensemble (director N. Kotrokois), added a further dimension to the event.
Renowned specialists in the field, including Prof. em. of the University of Athens and academician P. L. Vocotopoulos, formed the academic committee. The Symposium was organised by Prof. of Byzantine Archaeology M. Constantoudaki-Kitromilides, assisted by D. Mourelatos, PhD, University of Athens. Prof. Constantoudaki also edited the programme and the bilingual booklet of abstracts. Support offered by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Carriers Chartering Corporation, S.A. Shipping Company, and the Museum of Hellenic Education (Kalambaka) has been essential.-