Byzantium. Faith And Power (1261-1557): An Exhibit At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, March 23-July 4, 2004. Part I: Sacred Splendor of the Byzantine Church

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The bounty of riches that the Metropolitan Museum of Art offered in a special exhibition of Eastern Christian art of the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries amply demonstrated the pervasive power of material culture in popular religious expression. Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557) was the third in an unfolding series of exhibitions on Byzantine art, and gave form and color to a complex era that witnessed both the decline in the political fortunes of the Byzantine Empire but also the "the flowering" of Byzantine orthodoxy (Pelikan 1974: 252). The exhibit afforded the viewer a complex portrait of the twilight of the Byzantine Empire, revealing the paradox of forlorn political deterioration concomitant with remarkable artistic achievement, creating objects and artifacts that are "among the most sublime creations of the human spirit" (Norwich 1996: 449).