Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hagia Sophia Mosaics

A few months Gokçe and I start penpalling, better said, carpalling, but for some reason our cards started to get lost and we lost contact. She didn't give up and start to send cards again. Last week arrived this card showing the Comnenus mosaic in Hagia Sophia.


"The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.
The Comnenus mosaics, located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner." - in:
wikipedia

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