Clemena Antonova-Crombois

Clemena Antonova-Crombois
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

10/09/2018 - 12/07/2019


Arts et études des arts

Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine

Research Director of the "Eurasia in Global Dialogue" programme, Institute for the Human Sciences, Vienna

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Applying Eye-tracking to Religious Art

I propose to apply eye-tracking to visual behaviour in the case of religious art. I would like to compare the perception of religious art by 1) viewers who identify themselves as believers to that of 2) visitors to art galleries who approach religious art as an aesthetic object.The aim of these comparative experiments would be to assess the difference in kind between the visual behavior of 1) and 2). While the topic of the religious versus the aesthetic attitude has been much discussed in the theory of aesthetics, it has never, to my knowledge, been tested by eye-tracking techniques. What eye-tracking could do is bring evidence to the largely theoretical ideas we have at this stage. It could prove/ disprove/ modify/ further complicate out current assumptions about the visual behavior of viewers of religious art.


I am trained as an art historian (M.A., Edinburgh and D.Phil., Oxford) with interests in the art of the icon. All my research has been interdisciplinary in orientation. Some of this research was conducted at the crossroads of art history and science, some at the intersection between art and theology. The present project brings together both these strands.
My D.Phil. (Ph.D.), looked at the construction of space in the icon, i.e., the so-called "reverse perspective." It was supervised by one of the main authorities on perspective, Emeritus Prof. Martin Kemp. The nature of the topic required considering material from the history of science and geometry. Some of this research was published in the one of the premier journals in the field, "Leonardo." More recently, I got an essay prize by the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Greece for my article, "'Daring to Think' of a Non-Euclidean World: Science and Theology in Russian Critiques of the Icon."
Much of my work has relied on material from theology and religious philosophy. Some of my research in this field was conducted within the context of my two-year position in Vienna, where I contributed to the programme "Religion and Secularism," directed by Emeritus Prof. Charles Taylor, one of the most influential philosophers of our time. In my present position at Sofia University, I do research and teach research-led courses on topics relating to "Iconography and Theology." My research affiliation at Cambridge is based on my work in this field.