Mosaic Literary Magazine
by：Heng Xing 2020-08-16
The ninth- and 10th-century mosaics of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople are actually classical Byzantine artworks. The north and south tympana beneath the dome was decorated with figures of prophets, saints and patriarchs. Above the principal door from the narthex we will see an Emperor kneeling earlier than Christ (late ninth or early tenth century). Above the door from the southwest vestibule to the narthex one other mosaic reveals the Theotokos with Justinian and Constantine.
Pope Paschal I (817–824) embellished the church of Santo Stefano del Cacco with an apsidal mosaic which depicted the pope with a model of the church (destroyed in 1607). After 539 Ravenna was reconquered by the Romans in the type of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) and became the seat of the Exarchate of Ravenna. The greatest growth of Christian mosaics unfolded within the second half of the 6th century. Outstanding examples of Byzantine mosaic art are the later phase mosaics within the Basilica of San Vitale and Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo. The mosaic depicting Emperor Saint Justinian I and Empress Theodora within the Basilica of San Vitale were executed shortly after the Byzantine conquest.
There is an interesting mosaic medallion from 1210 above the gate of the church of San Tommaso in Formis showing Christ enthroned between a white and a black slave. The church belonged to the Order of the Trinitarians which was dedicated to ransoming Christian slaves.
The treasured fragment is kept within the vestry of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It proves the high creative quality of the destroyed St. Peter's mosaics. The nice eating hall of Pope Leo III in the Lateran Palace was additionally decorated with mosaics.
They had been all destroyed later apart from one example, the so-referred to as Triclinio Leoniano of which a duplicate was made in the 18th century. Another great work of Pope Leo, the apse mosaic of Santa Susanna, depicted Christ with the Pope and Charlemagne on one aspect, and SS.
Justinian I is providing the mannequin of the church to Mary whereas Constantine is holding a model of the town in his hand. Both emperors are beardless – this is an example for aware archaization as contemporary Byzantine rulers have been bearded.
These items had been made in the course of the 6th century by artists from Constantinople. Their pure Byzantine fashion is different from the contemporary Ravennate mosaics. The fragment of an 8th-century mosaic, the Epiphany is among the very uncommon remaining pieces of the medieval ornament of Old St. Peter's Basilica, demolished in the late sixteenth century.
A mosaic panel on the gallery shows Christ with Constantine Monomachos and Empress Zoe (1042–1055). The emperor gives a bulging cash sack to Christ as a donation for the church. Very few early Byzantine mosaics survived the Iconoclastic destruction of the 8th century. Among the rare examples are the 6th-century Christ in majesty (or Ezekiel's Vision) mosaic within the apse of the Church of Hosios David in Thessaloniki that was hidden behind mortar throughout those harmful instances.
Nine mosaic panels in the Hagios Demetrios Church, which had been made between 634 and 730, also escaped destruction. Unusually virtually all characterize Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki, usually with suppliants earlier than him. This iconoclasm was almost definitely because of nearby muslim's beliefs. Fragments stay from the mosaics of the Church of Santa Maria Formosa in Pola.