St Sophia Painting

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In this essay, we are going to analyze how the decoration of the cathedral of Saint Sophia has evolved through the ages. We are only going to look at the mosaics producing during the Byzantine empire years, that is from 330 to 1453. Due to the word limit, we are going to look only to four of the many mosaics that are inside St Sophia. Those are the mosaic of the Virgin and the Child located at the apse of the Church, the Imperial Gate mosaic, the mosaic of the Empress Zoe located in the southern gallery, and the mosaic of the Deesis located in one of the upper galleries. The conclusion of the analysis is that the mosaic decoration in Saint Sophia changes considerably through time, starting with the representation of non-figural images to one…show more content…
In the first two ones, Christ is wearing light colored clothes, which make him stand out of the rest of the mosaic. In both cases, he has a background object, a throne, or a person, the Virgin Mary, to provoke the contrast. However, in the Zoe mosaic, he is wearing deep dark blue clothing. This has a different effect, it makes the eyes of the viewer focus on him, who stands out by contrast with the golden background. In my opinion, this makes that the image is not as balanced as the other two, where the eyes can travel effortlessly around the…show more content…
The Deesis is the iconic representation of Christ in a throne, holding a book, surrounded by Virgin Mary and St John the Baptist. It dates from after the 1261 . It is situated in the upper gallery of the building. It represents Jesus in the middle of the mosaic. It has a soft and detailed style. It is considered the pioneer of the entrance of the Byzantine art in the Renaissance period . All the mosaic is done in a beautiful and careful manner. The attention to detail has no comparison with the rest of the mosaics in Hagia Sophia. It is located next to a window, as it was in the Byzantine tradition from after the 10th century for mosaics to be lighted by sunlight . It is an organic and natural composition that which contrasts with the others we have seen before. Even when the figures are non-dimensional, the figures are not rigid, and they look more human. We can see this tendency from the 10th century onwards . Jesus is looking at the viewer, in the same position as in the mosaic of Leo VI. The gaze in the three figures is very intense, almost melancholic. As Mango points out, the tesserae at the background are arranged in a pattern , which is surprising as this kind of patterned backgrounds were abandoned in the Byzantine period. It might be due to Western

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