The Virgin's Church at Asinou, Cyprus: A Small Paradise in Time
Restored by Dumbarton Oaks in 1965-67, made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, cherished by Cypriots as a national treasure and by scholars as a paradigm of Byzantine art, the church of the Mother of God at Asinou, Cyprus, is a monument of major historical and cultural resonance--so major that its diminutive scale and timeless setting always comes as a surprise. Its greatness lies in its interior, which is carpeted with frescoes in an environment of color as rich as tapestry. The frescoes document the little building's life as monastic church over seven centuries. The lecture follows their successive layers as they reshaped the church's space in response to shifting historical conditions, slowly transforming a Byzantine monument into a Cypriot one.