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Katherine Taronas

"The Master of Animals in Late Antiquity: Art and the Exegesis of Nature"

Katherine Taronas

Fellow, Byzantine Studies

Katherine’s project tracks how Late Antique ‘Master of Animals’ images craft visual associations to branches of more ancient and contemporary Roman art. She argues that the advent of this iconographic form in the art of Christianity and its rival cults heralded a significant shift in late ancient artmaking and viewing practices that corresponded with shifts in the role of the animal and nature in religion. This reading of the Late Antique approach to the animal and the environment as a multitude of interconnected symbols aims to deepen our understanding of how this period conceived of the created and manmade worlds.

Katherine Taronas specializes in the Late Antique art and architecture of the eastern Mediterranean. Her research prioritizes ideas and beliefs that shaped the material culture of religious experience and the power of images in Late Antiquity. She was Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Kenyon College for the 2021–2022 academic year. Previously, she worked on exhibitions and collections research at the Harvard Art Museums and was a Media and Design Fellow at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. She holds a PhD in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, an MA in Art History from Tufts University, and a BA from Harvard University.