santa maria maggiore, rome

Special Guest Sible de Blauuw

MF CASR is pleased to welcome Sible de Blauuw for a special lecture, May 29 at 14:15-16:00, Auditorium 3.

Sible de Blauuw is Professor of Early Art and Architecture (emeritus) at Radboud University, Nijmegen (the Netherlands). For the last year, he has been Krautheimer Gast-Professor at the Bibliotheca Hertziana/Max Plack Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rome. His research focuses on the interaction between architecture and liturgy, on the city of Rome as historical palimpsest and on the survival, memory and reception history of Early Christian monuments.

Prof. de Blaauw has written several path-breaking books on the architecture and religious practice of early Christian and medieval Rome, most notably the vast Cultus et décor. Liturgia e architettura nella Roma tardoantica e medievale: Basilica Salvatoris, Sanctae Mariae, Sancti Petri, published by the Vatican in 1994. MF CASR is honoured to host him as guest lecturer. In his talk, he will look into the archaeology of one of Rome’s oldest and most significant basilicas, Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline hill. This church is one of the best preserved great basilicas from Late Antiquity and counts as an ideal example of Early Christian architecture, as the original architectural layout has remained very much intact during the centuries. The zone of the apse, however, disappeared in the thirteenth century to give way to a transept and a new apse, today renowned for its great mosaics. The question of the original shape of the apse, however, has been an issue of controversy. The matter is important in order to understand Early Christian architecture and liturgical practice, and the case of Santa Maria Maggiore is illustrative of shifting trends in historiographical traditions and, above all, of factors determining our own historical imagination.

All are welcome for this special lecture.