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Saints and SpectacleByzantine Mosaics in their Cultural Setting$
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Carolyn L. Connor

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190457624

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457624.001.0001

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The Lost Mosaics of Constantinople and the Middle Byzantine Program of Church Decoration

The Lost Mosaics of Constantinople and the Middle Byzantine Program of Church Decoration

Chapter:
(p.51) Chapter 2 The Lost Mosaics of Constantinople and the Middle Byzantine Program of Church Decoration
Source:
Saints and Spectacle
Author(s):

Carolyn L. Connor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457624.003.0003

While the cultural dominance of Constantinople helps explain the formal homogeneity and character of Byzantine art in the provinces of the empire, how is one to recover the paradigms for the Middle Byzantine artistic repertoire? This chapter argues that particular lost churches of Constantinople most likely served as the models for mosaiced and frescoed churches in the capital and around the Byzantine Empire. The original mosaic decoration surviving in Hagia Sophia, along with descriptions of mosaics in lost buildings in the Imperial Palace and monastic churches in and around the city, helps consolidate the picture. In addition, textual sources also provide precious testimony on the connotations and associations of the medium of mosaic at this time.

Keywords:   Constantinople, Imperial Palace, monastic church, textual source, mosaic medium

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