Dr. Richard Temple, a specialist in the study of sacred art based in London, joins Clare Elliott, the Menil’s Associate Research Curator, for a program exploring several works from the Menil’s celebrated collection of Byzantine icons. By looking closely at examples including St. Marina from the 13th century and St. George and the Dragon from the late 16th century, Temple and Elliott discuss the iconography of these works, the techniques used by icon painters, as well as how these artworks would have been used in private and monastic life.
The Menil’s collection of icons is widely regarded by scholars in the field as one of the most important in the United States. With objects from the 6th to the 18th centuries, it encompasses a number of distinct cultures including Greek, Balkan, and Russian. The breadth and quality of the collection embody the ambitions and the values, both aesthetic and spiritual, that guided Dominique and John de Menil throughout their lives as collectors.