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This seminar explores the Byzantine icon and its legacy. Spanning nearly two millennia, from the emergence of Christian sacred portraiture to the reception of icon painting by the early twentieth-century avant-garde, the seminar will introduce you to the history, historiography, and theories of the icon. While our focus will be on Byzantium and the wider world of Orthodox Christianity, the seminar will also engage with fundamental questions concerning the nature, status, and agency of images across cultures. Topics to be addressed include iconoclasm and the problem of idolatry; the social and ritual lives of icons; authorship, originality, and replication; viewer response and the cultural construction of vision; the frontier between art and the sacred image; and the afterlife of the icon in modernity.