Vryzidis, Nikolaos

British School at Athens

Research Topic: Greek-Orthodox Ecclesiastical Costume in the Ottoman Empire: 15th-17th centuries

Dr. Vryzidis is an art historian who received his PhD from SOAS, University of London in 2015. His project, which stems from his doctoral research, examines the evolution of Greek ecclesiastical aesthetic as reflected on costume during the first centuries of the Ottoman period. The core of his investigation lies in the fertilization of Byzantine tradition with loans from Ottoman secular aesthetic. The new, syncretic dress code adopted by the Greek Church delivered an immediately readable message produced by the juxtaposition of the Byzantine and Ottoman systems of symbolism. The interplay between Christian iconography and aniconicity, the selective use of foreign textiles and the updating of Byzantine iconographic models are only some of the issues raised by the pluralist, yet coherent Greek aesthetic. Essentially, this study intends to reveal the process of active reception and acculturation in relation to Greek clerical costume, and show the different paths that this Byzantine afterlife took in the Ottoman cultural environment.