Anestis Vasilakeris
Bosphorus University, Istanbul, Turkey

Can Psychoanalysis Contribute to Byzantine Art History?

Can psychoanalysis help us understand Byzantine Art?
Since the beginning of last century, psychoanalysis and the exploration of human unconscious has marked the methodology of Human Studies, and Art History in particular. However, Byzantine Art History has curiously resisted to this influence. In this paper we are trying to understand this phenomenon. Moreover, we are examining possible ways in which the psychoanalytical theory may offer insights to Byzantine Art, like Charles Barber's use of the notion of 'desire' and Georges Didi-Huberman's notion of 'tearing' ('déchirure'). Freud's analysis of dreams, in particular, is applied to decipher complex Byzantine images, such as visions.