Field of Study:
BSL Black Sea Link
The present project addresses the graffiti (carved secondary inscriptions) and dipinti (carved secondary drawings) left by the pilgrims and visitors of Moldavian churches during the 16th and 17th centuries, and relates their appearance to the concept of stigmergy. Using this theoretical lens explaining the interaction between the inscriptions and the environment and the relations among the graffiti themselves, it proposes to regard the graffiti’s content in its connection to the images they are attached to and the spaces they are situated in. Thus, my research proposes to deal with the material that has been almost completely neglected by scholarship on Moldavian art and history but, nevertheless, may bring a significant contribution to such areas of study as the local cults of saints, history of liturgy, pilgrimage routes, history of literacy, paleography, ethnic composition of population, historical geography, and prosopography.
This research will examine the way of organizing memorial space by Moldavian nobility during the second half of the 15th and in early 16th centuries. Both visual and literary evidence pertaining to the organization of such spaces will be examined for the purposes of offering a more complete picture of this phenomenon and its reception by medieval audience. Being part of my doctoral dissertation, which is dedicated to Ktetorial Practices of Balkan Nobility in the Late-Medieval Period, the present project is aimed at examining Moldavian acts of piety and their contextualization. Although some of these monuments or their votive portraits were studied separately, a synthetic image of private memorial spaces by members of the Moldavian nobility, which is regarded as a religious, social, and political practice, is much less studied.
A full-length study is available here.