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Hagia Sophia, interior and dome, Istanbul, Turkey Photo by David Pham, Shapeshift.net; CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Source:Flickr.com Date:

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Presentation on theme: "Hagia Sophia, interior and dome, Istanbul, Turkey Photo by David Pham, Shapeshift.net; CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Source:Flickr.com Date:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hagia Sophia, interior and dome, Istanbul, Turkey Photo by David Pham, Shapeshift.net; CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Source:Flickr.com Date: 04/09/06 Permalink: Byzantine art is complex, decorative and mystical. Its shimmering effects seem to defy logic and gravity to create an ethereal setting.

2 Hagia Sophia, interior view, Istanbul, Turkey By permission of Dr. Joe Byrn, from his website A Byzantine church includes classical features—columns, arches and domes, but reinterprets these features to express the mystery and wonder of Christian belief.

3 Athens (Acropolis): Parthenon Interior view toward North, Naos Photo Credit: Erich The Image Gallery; ARTSTOR_103_ Look at a Greek example to see the change. A column is the post in a post-and-lintel structure. The purpose of the column is to support the weight of the lintels placed upon it.

4 Athens (Acropolis): Parthenon Interior view-close up The Image Gallery; ARTSTOR_103_ The capital at the top of a Greek column spreads to support this weight. It looks strong enough to do the job it is supposed to do.

5 Photo by Michael Tinkler; CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Source:Flickr.com Date: 04/25/09 Permalink: In contrast, this Byzantine basket capital looks like starched lace. This effect is created by drill work. Drill work is characteristic of Middle Eastern art. This fragile form seems to support its massive burden by faith alone.

6 Relief of the deified ancestors of the Emperor Claudius, Museo Nazionale, Ravenna, Italy Art Images for College Teaching; ARTSTOR_ AHSC_ORPHANS_ Greek stonework typically creates images with modeled, gradual transitions from light to dark. This shows greater realism, and is characteristic of the Greek humanistic culture.

7 Byzantine Basket Capital, chancel, north side, San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy Image and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y. ARTSTOR_ In the Byzantine basket capital, the drilled patterns punctuate the white marble, making sharp contrasts of light and dark. The effect is similar to staccato in music in contrast to the legato of the classical style.

8 Hagia Sophia, interior, central space and dome, Istanbul, Turkey Photo by n0r; CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeritiveWorks Source:Flickr.com Date: 07/09/08 Permalink: Byzantine church architecture has been called bewildering. Look at the interior of Hagia Sopia in Istanbul, Turkey.

9 Hagia Sophia, interior, central space and dome, Istanbul, Turkey Art History Survey Collection; ARTSTOR_AIC_ Procopius, a Byzantine historian of the 5 th century, described the dome as “…seeming not to rest on the masonry below it, but to be suspended by a gold chain from heaven.”

10 10th-century mosaic of St. John Chrysostomos, Patriarch of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia By permission of Dr. Joe Byrn, from his website This mystical atmosphere is enhanced by glittering mosaics. The Byzantines perfected the art of mosaics. By alternating layers of colored glass with a layer of gold foil, they created tiny mirrors that reflect light.

11 St. Paul, Chora Church in Istanbul Photo by gi+cri; CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Source:Flickr.com Date: 09/03/08 Permalink: The tesserae were unevenly set to break up the glow, resulting in a shimmering effect.

12 Christ the Redeemer, Ravenna: S. Vitale: Apse Vault Mosaic The Image Gallery; ARTSTOR_103_ The word, awe, is defined as “… an emotion variously combining dread, veneration and wonder that is inspired by the sacred or sublime.” In creating symbols for the heavenly realm, Byzantine artists produced art that is awesome, in the original meaning of the word.


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