Dr Maria Lidova

  • Byzantine Art and Iconography
  • Images of the Mother of God
  • Cult of Icons
  • Signatures of Medieval Painters

My research is primarily dedicated to the early icons of the Mother of God in Rome and Byzantium, their history, life and presentation within a liturgical space. I am very much interested in the origins of the Marian cult, as well as in the problem of icon veneration. I am currently preparing my monograph on the Early Roman Icons of the Virgin for publication. In my work, I explore the cultural and historical interaction between the two capitals of the Late Roman Empire (Constantinople and Rome). Besides preiconoclastic period, I have been working on twelfth-century painting and the problems of artists’ signatures in Byzantium. In my research, I tend to use a multidisciplinary approach and discuss the material evidence on a par with literary and historical sources. I am deeply interested in contemporary methodologies in the field of Byzantine studies and in new ways of interpreting the surviving visual material. Most recently, I have been working on the problem of historiography and studied the rise of the Byzantine art historical scholarship in Late Imperial Russia (late19th-early 20th century). As a member of the Empires of Faith project, I am actively participating in the preparation of the exhibition to be held at the Ashmolean in 2017.


  • Embodied Word. Telling the Story of Mary in Early Christian Art

  • Manifestations of Authorship: Artists’ signatures in Byzantium

  • XAIPE MAPIA Annunciation Imagery in the Making

  • Michele Bacci, The Many Faces of Christ. Portraying the Holy in the East and West, 300 to 1300, London: Reaktion Books 2014

  • Empress, Virgin, Ecclesia. The Icon of Santa Maria in Trastevere in the Early Byzantine Context

  • The Imperial Theotokos: Revealing the Concept of Early Christian Imagery in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

  • More