...as "Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art reminds us, artistic decline does not necessarily accompany political decay.
The show, vast and humblingly beautiful, is the sort of exhibition that could have been done only by a great museum, maybe only the Met these days, when it has pulled out all the stops. More than the usual abundance of glittery objects and a feat of cultural diplomacy, it alters how we read history. Most exhibitions celebrate what we already believe. This one rewrites a past most of us barely know.
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