Despite the abundance of cave monuments and art from Byzantine Cappadocia, little is known of their commissioning patrons or the circumstances and society that generated their production. By examining the rich visual testimonies of patronage (inscriptions and donors’ portraits) provided by these churches the paper attempts to provide insight into the emergence and development of patronage in the region during the period of Byzantine rule (6th-11th centuries) and influence (12th-13th centuries) and understand the changes in the standard and patterns of sponsorship on the basis of the socio-political developments at the time.
Anna Christidou is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the CEU/CEMS. She graduated from the University of Athens, Greece and received her MA and PhD in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, in London, UK. She is currently working towards the publication of her PhD thesis on Art, Power and Patronage in Byzantine Albania and has delivered papers on Medieval Albania in various international conferences. Her interests involve Medieval/Byzantine art in the Balkan region; artistic interactions in the Eastern Mediterranean; the use of images as historical evidence; art and the development of cultural geographies; and, importantly, the articulation and function of patronage in Byzantium as well as the accommodation of political, religious and social ideologies through iconography.