Cover image for Byzantium rediscovered
Byzantium rediscovered
Bullen, J. B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Phaidon, [2003]

Physical Description:
240 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 30 cm
General Note:
Subtitle on spine: The Byzantine revival in Europe and America.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6465.B99 B85 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



This book is the first ever to investigate a fascinating and fundamental but relatively unfamiliar subject: the revival of interest in the Byzantine style of architecture and decoration in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Byzantine Revival was always a minority cult that attracted outsiders, visionaries and extremists, and J B Bullen's original and scholarly narrative paints a vivid and entertaining picture of the colourful figures in Germany, Austria, France, Britain and America who rediscovered Byzantium and reinterpreted its style to promote widely differing aims.

Through its sweeping scope, this interdisciplinary study is thought-provoking and timelessly absorbing, intellectually and aesthetically.

Author Notes

J B Bullen is Professor of English at the University of Reading. He has a long-standing interest in interdisciplinary studies, and his books include The Expressive Eye: Vision and Perception in the Work of Thomas Hardy (1986), The Myth of the Renaissance in Nineteenth-Century Writing (1995) and The Pre-Raphaelite Body: Fear and Desire in Painting, Poetry and Criticism (1998).

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Manifestations of the exotic and theatrical complexities of neo-Byzantine influences on 19th- and early 20th-century architecture and art are the focus of this studious interdisciplinary survey. Fueled by extant buildings, powerful mythologies, and literature, Gothic Revivalism was more widespread, but Byzantium's round arches, dazzling mosaics, fabled past, and claims to primitive Christianity also inspired Western architects and artists. Bullen (English, Univ. of Reading) presents a patchwork of neo-Byzantine influences in Germany (there termed Rundbogenstil), France, England, and the United States; the section on Great Britain, which features Ruskin, Morris, Burne-Jones, and Westminster Cathedral, is the longest and most developed. Bullen examines U.S. buildings, interiors, and decorations by H.H. Richardson (Trinity Church, Boston), Ralph Adams Cram, Louis Comfort Tiffany (Columbian Chapel, Chicago), John Singer Sargent, and Bertram Goodhue. The author excels in interweaving Byzantine-inspired architecture and art with writings by Goethe, Yeats, and other authors. The reproductions of art and cool, calm Byzantine interiors are mostly superb, although some exterior shots are very small. Recommended for academic and architectural libraries as the most comprehensive survey currently available in English.-Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.