Mosaic


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Nate Henry 7 episodes, Joel Hurley 7 episodes, Eric Neill 7 episodes, Michael O'Connor 7 episodes, Olivia Lake 7 episodes, Petra Neill 7 episodes, Melissa Henry 7 episodes, Frank Scott 7 episodes, Laura Hurley 7 episodes, 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 can see an Emperor kneeling before Christ late 9th or early 10th century. Above the door from the southwest vestibule to the narthex another mosaic shows the Theotokos with Justinian and Constantine.

Justinian I is offering the model of the church to Mary while Constantine is holding a model of the city in his hand. Both emperors are beardless — this is an example for conscious archaization as contemporary Byzantine rulers were bearded. The emperor gives a bulging money sack to Christ as a donation for the church. The composition resembles the great baptistries in Ravenna , with apostles standing between palms and Christ in the middle. The scheme is somewhat unusual as the standard post-Iconoclastic formula for domes contained only the image of the Pantokrator.

There are very few existing mosaics from the Komnenian period but this paucity must be due to accidents of survival and gives a misleading impression. The empress with her long braided hair and rosy cheeks is especially capturing. It must be a lifelike portrayal because Eirene was really a redhead as her original Hungarian name, Piroska shows. The adjacent portrait of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos on a pier from is similarly personal. The imperial mausoleum of the Komnenos dynasty, the Pantokrator Monastery was certainly decorated with great mosaics but these were later destroyed.

The lack of Komnenian mosaics outside the capital is even more apparent. There is only a "Communion of the Apostles" in the apse of the cathedral of Serres. A striking technical innovation of the Komnenian period was the production of very precious, miniature mosaic icons. These products of extraordinary craftmanship were intended for private devotion. The Louvre Transfiguration is a very fine example from the late 12th century. The miniature mosaic of Christ in the Museo Nazionale at Florence illustrates the more gentle, humanistic conception of Christ which appeared in the 12th century.

The sack of Constantinople in caused the decline of mosaic art for the next five decades. This huge mosaic panel with figures two and a half times lifesize is really overwhelming due to its grand scale and superlative craftsmanship. The Pammakaristos Monastery was restored by Michael Glabas , an imperial official, in the late 13th century.

Only the mosaic decoration of the small burial chapel parekklesion of Glabas survived. This domed chapel was built by his widow, Martha around — In the miniature dome the traditional Pantokrator can be seen with twelve prophets beneath. Unusually the apse is decorated with a Deesis , probably due to the funerary function of the chapel. The Church of the Holy Apostles in Thessaloniki was built in — Although some vandal systematically removed the gold tesserae of the background it can be seen that the Pantokrator and the prophets in the dome follow the traditional Byzantine pattern. Many details are similar to the Pammakaristos mosaics so it is supposed that the same team of mosaicists worked in both buildings.

Another building with a related mosaic decoration is the Theotokos Paregoritissa Church in Arta. The church was established by the Despot of Epirus in — In the dome is the traditional stern Pantokrator, with prophets and cherubim below. The greatest mosaic work of the Palaeologan renaissance in art is the decoration of the Chora Church in Constantinople. Although the mosaics of the naos have not survived except three panels, the decoration of the exonarthex and the esonarthex constitute the most important full-scale mosaic cycle in Constantinople after the Hagia Sophia. They were executed around by the command of Theodore Metochites.

The esonarthex has two fluted domes, specially created to provide the ideal setting for the mosaic images of the ancestors of Christ. The southern one is called the Dome of the Pantokrator while the northern one is the Dome of the Theotokos. The most important panel of the esonarthex depicts Theodore Metochites wearing a huge turban , offering the model of the church to Christ.

The walls of both narthexes are decorated with mosaic cycles from the life of the Virgin and the life of Christ. These panels show the influence of the Italian trecento on Byzantine art especially the more natural settings, landscapes, figures. The last Byzantine mosaic work was created for the Hagia Sophia, Constantinople in the middle of the 14th century. The great eastern arch of the cathedral collapsed in , bringing down the third of the main dome.

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By not only the big Pantokrator image was restored but new mosaics were set on the eastern arch depicting the Theotokos, the Baptist and Emperor John V Palaiologos discovered only in In addition to the large-scale monuments several miniature mosaic icons of outstanding quality was produced for the Palaiologos court and nobles. The loveliest examples from the 14th century are Annunciation in the Victoria and Albert Museum and a mosaic diptych in the Cathedral Treasury of Florence representing the Twelve Feasts of the Church.

In the troubled years of the 15th century the fatally weakened empire could not afford luxurious mosaics. Churches were decorated with wall-paintings in this era and after the Turkish conquest. The last great period of Roman mosaic art was the 12th—13th century when Rome developed its own distinctive artistic style, free from the strict rules of eastern tradition and with a more realistic portrayal of figures in the space.

The beautiful apse mosaic of Santa Maria in Trastevere depicts Christ and Mary sitting next to each other on the heavenly throne, the first example of this iconographic scheme. It is a work of Jacopo Torriti from The mosaics of Torriti and Jacopo da Camerino in the apse of San Giovanni in Laterano from —94 were thoroughly restored in The apse mosaic of San Crisogono is attributed to Pietro Cavallini , the greatest Roman painter of the 13th century.

Six scenes from the life of Mary in Santa Maria in Trastevere were also executed by Cavallini in These mosaics are praised for their realistic portrayal and attempts at perspective. There is an interesting mosaic medaillon from 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 devoted to ransoming Christian slaves.

The great Navicella mosaic — in the atrium of the Old St. Peter's is attributed to Giotto di Bondone. The giant mosaic, commissioned by Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi , was originally situated on the eastern porch of the old basilica and occupied the whole wall above the entrance arcade facing the courtyard. Peter walking on the waters. This extraordinary work was mainly destroyed during the construction of the new St. Peter's in the 17th century.

Navicella means "little ship" referring to the large boat which dominated the scene, and whose sail, filled by the storm, loomed over the horizon. Such a natural representation of a seascape was known only from ancient works of art. The heyday of mosaic making in Sicily was the age of the independent Norman kingdom in the 12th century. The Norman kings adopted the Byzantine tradition of mosaic decoration to enhance the somewhat dubious legality of their rule.

Greek masters working in Sicily developed their own style, that shows the influence of Western European and Islamic artistic tendencies.

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The Cappella Palatina clearly shows evidence for blending the eastern and western styles. The dome —42 and the eastern end of the church — were decorated with typical Byzantine mosaics i. Pantokrator, angels, scenes from the life of Christ. Even the inscriptions are written in Greek. Paul's Basilica in Rome Latin inscriptions, — The Martorana church decorated around looked originally even more Byzantine although important parts were later demolished.

The dome mosaic is similar to that of the Cappella Palatina, with Christ enthroned in the middle and four bowed, elongated angels. The Greek inscriptions, decorative patterns, and evangelists in the squinches are obviously executed by the same Greek masters who worked on the Cappella Palatina. The mosaic depicting Roger II of Sicily, dressed in Byzantine imperial robes and receiving the crown by Christ, was originally in the demolished narthex together with another panel, the Theotokos with Georgios of Antiochia, the founder of the church.

On the walls are Latin and Greek saints, with Greek inscriptions.

The Monreale mosaics constitute the largest decoration of this kind in Italy, covering 0,75 hectares with at least million glass and stone tesserae. The iconography of the mosaics in the presbytery is similar to Cefalu while the pictures in the nave are almost the same as the narrative scenes in the Cappella Palatina. Another panel shows the king offering the model of the cathedral to the Theotokos. The Cathedral of Palermo , rebuilt by Archbishop Walter in the same time —85 , was also decorated with mosaics but none of these survived except the 12th-century image of Madonna del Tocco above the western portal.

In the left apse of the same cathedral 14th-century mosaics survived, representing the Madonna and Child between Saints Agata and Lucy, the Archangels Gabriel and Michael and Queens Eleonora and Elisabetta.

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Southern Italy was also part of the Norman kingdom but great mosaics did not survive in this area except the fine mosaic pavement of the Otranto Cathedral from , with mosaics tied into a tree of life, mostly still preserved. The scenes depict biblical characters, warrior kings, medieval beasts, allegories of the months and working activity. Only fragments survived from the original mosaic decoration of Amalfi 's Norman Cathedral. The mosaic ambos in the churches of Ravello prove that mosaic art was widespread in Southern Italy during the 11th—13th centuries.

The palaces of the Norman kings were decorated with mosaics depicting animals and landscapes. The secular mosaics are seemingly more Eastern in character than the great religious cycles and show a strong Persian influence. The most notable examples are the Sala di Ruggero in the Palazzo dei Normanni , Palermo and the Sala della Fontana in the Zisa summer palace, both from the 12th century.

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In parts of Italy , which were under eastern artistic influences, like Sicily and Venice , mosaic making never went out of fashion in the Middle Ages. The whole interior of the St Mark's Basilica in Venice is clad with elaborate, golden mosaics. The oldest scenes were executed by Greek masters in the late 11th century but the majority of the mosaics are works of local artists from the 12th—13th centuries.

The decoration of the church was finished only in the 16th century. One hundred and ten scenes of mosaics in the atrium of St Mark's were based directly on the miniatures of the Cotton Genesis , a Byzantine manuscript that was brought to Venice after the sack of Constantinople The mosaics were executed in the s. Other important Venetian mosaics can be found in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello from the 12th century, and in the Basilical of Santi Maria e Donato in Murano with a restored apse mosaic from the 12th century and a beautiful mosaic pavement The apse of the San Cipriano Church in Murano was decorated with an impressive golden mosaic from the early 13th century showing Christ enthroned with Mary, St John and the two patron saints, Cipriano and Cipriana.

When the church was demolished in the 19th century, the mosaic was bought by Frederick William IV of Prussia.

It was reassembled in the Friedenskirche of Potsdam in the s. Trieste was also an important center of mosaic art. The mosaics in the apse of the Cathedral of San Giusto were laid by master craftsmen from Veneto in the 12th—13th centuries. The monastery of Grottaferrata founded by Greek Basilian monks and consecrated by the Pope in was decorated with Italo-Byzantine mosaics, some of which survived in the narthex and the interior. The mosaics on the triumphal arch portray the Twelve Apostles sitting beside an empty throne, evoking Christ's ascent to Heaven.

It is a Byzantine work of the 12th century. There is a beautiful 11th-century Deesis above the main portal. The Abbot of Monte Cassino , Desiderius sent envoys to Constantinople some time after to hire expert Byzantine mosaicists for the decoration of the rebuilt abbey church. According to chronicler Leo of Ostia the Greek artists decorated the apse, the arch and the vestibule of the basilica.

Their work was admired by contemporaries but was totally destroyed in later centuries except two fragments depicting greyhounds now in the Monte Cassino Museum. In Florence a magnificiant mosaic of the Last Judgement decorates the dome of the Baptistery. The earliest mosaics, works of art of many unknown Venetian craftsmen including probably Cimabue , date from The covering of the ceiling was probably not completed until the 14th century. John the Evangelist in the apse of the cathedral of Pisa was designed by Cimabue in It evokes the Monreale mosaics in style. It survived the great fire of which destroyed most of the mediveval interior decoration.

Beyond the Alps the first important example of mosaic art was the decoration of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen , commissioned by Charlemagne. It was completely destroyed in a fire in This unique work of art, rediscovered only in the 19th century, had no followers. Only scant remains prove that mosaics were still used in the Early Middle Ages.

The Abbey of Saint-Martial in Limoges , originally an important place of pilgrimage, was totally demolished during the French Revolution except its crypt which was rediscovered in the s. A mosaic panel was unearthed which was dated to the 9th century. It somewhat incongruously uses cubes of gilded glass and deep green marble, probably taken from antique pavements.

This could also be the case with the early 9th century mosaic found under the Basilica of Saint-Quentin in Picardy , where antique motifs are copied but using only simple colors. The mosaics in the Cathedral of Saint-Jean at Lyon have been dated to the 11th century because they employ the same non-antique simple colors. More fragments were found on the site of Saint-Croix at Poitiers which might be from the 6th or 9th century. Later fresco replaced the more labor-intensive technique of mosaic in Western-Europe, although mosaics were sometimes used as decoration on medieval cathedrals.

It was probably a work of Venetian or Ravennese craftsmen, executed in the first decades of the 11th century. The mosaic was almost totally destroyed together with the basilica in the 17th century. The Golden Gate of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague got its name from the golden 14th-century mosaic of the Last Judgement above the portal. It was executed by Venetian craftsmen. The Crusaders in the Holy Land also adopted mosaic decoration under local Byzantine influence.

During their 12th-century reconstruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem they complemented the existing Byzantine mosaics with new ones. Almost nothing of them survived except the "Ascension of Christ" in the Latin Chapel now confusingly surrounded by many 20th-century mosaics. More substantial fragments were preserved from the 12th-century mosaic decoration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The mosaics in the nave are arranged in five horizontal bands with the figures of the ancestors of Christ, Councils of the Church and angels.

The program of redecoration of the church was completed in as a unique collaboration of the Byzantine emperor, the king of Jerusalem and the Latin Church. The panels depict real or fantastic animal, floral, solar and geometric representations. Some archeologists supposed that it was the floor of an Orthodox church, built some time between the 10th and 11th century.

Other experts claim that it was part of the later Catholic monastery on the site because it shows the signs of strong Italianate influence. The monastery was situated that time in the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary. Although mosaics went out of fashion and were substituted by frescoes, some of the great Renaissance artists also worked with the old technique. Instead of frescoes the cavernous Basilica was mainly decorated with mosaics.

Among the explanations are:. The mosaics of St. Peter's often show lively Baroque compositions based on designs or canvases from like Ciro Ferri , Guido Reni , Domenichino , Carlo Maratta , and many others. Raphael is represented by a mosaic replica of this last painting, the Transfiguration. Many different artists contributed to the 17th- and 18th-century mosaics in St. The eastern provinces of the Eastern Roman and later the Byzantine Empires inherited a strong artistic tradition from the Late Antiquity. Similarly to Italy and Constantinople churches and important secular buildings in the region of Syria and Egypt were decorated with elaborate mosaic panels between the 5th and 8th centuries.

The great majority of these works of art were later destroyed but archeological excavations unearthed many surviving examples. The single most important piece of Byzantine Christian mosaic art in the East is the Madaba Map , made between and as the floor of the church of Saint George at Madaba , Jordan. It was rediscovered in The Madaba Map is the oldest surviving cartographic depiction of the Holy Land. It depicts an area from Lebanon in the north to the Nile Delta in the south, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Eastern Desert.

The largest and most detailed element of the topographic depiction is Jerusalem , at the center of the map.

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The map is enriched with many naturalistic features, like animals, fishing boats, bridges and palm trees. One of the earliest examples of Byzantine mosaic art in the region can be found on Mount Nebo , an important place of pilgrimage in the Byzantine era where Moses died.

Among the many 6th-century mosaics in the church complex discovered after the most interesting one is located in the baptistery. The intact floor mosaic covers an area of 9 x 3 m and was laid down in It depicts hunting and pastoral scenes with rich Middle Eastern flora and fauna. The Church of Sts. Its floor mosaic depicts everyday activities like grape harvest. Another two spectacular mosaics were discovered in the ruined Church of Preacher John nearby. One of the mosaics was placed above the other one which was completely covered and unknown until the modern restoration.

The figures on the older mosaic have thus escaped the iconoclasts. The town of Madaba remained an important center of mosaic making during the 5th—8th centuries. In the Church of the Apostles the middle of the main panel Thalassa, goddess of the sea, can be seen surrounded by fishes and other sea creatures.

Native Middle Eastern birds, mammals, plants and fruits were also added. Generally wall mosaics have not survived in the region because of the destruction of buildings but the St. Catherine's Monastery is exceptional. On the upper wall Moses is shown in two panels on a landscape background. In the apse we can see the Transfiguration of Jesus on a golden background. The apse is surrounded with bands containing medallions of apostles and prophets, and two contemporary figure, "Abbot Longinos" and "John the Deacon". Jerusalem with its many holy places probably had the highest concentration of mosaic-covered churches but very few of them survived the subsequent waves of destructions.

The present remains do not do justice to the original richness of the city. The most important is the so-called "Armenian Mosaic" which was discovered in on the Street of the Prophets near Damascus Gate.

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It depicts a vine with many branches and grape clusters, which springs from a vase. Populating the vine's branches are peacocks, ducks, storks, pigeons, an eagle, a partridge, and a parrot in a cage. The symbolism of the mosaic and the presence of the burial cave indicates that the room was used as a mortuary chapel. An exceptionally well preserved, carpet-like mosaic floor was uncovered in in Bethany , the early Byzantine church of the Lazarium which was built between and Because of its purely geometrical pattern, the church floor is to be grouped with other mosaics of the time in Palestine and neighboring areas, especially the Constantinian mosaics in the central nave at Bethlehem.

The monastic communities of the Judean Desert also decorated their monasteries with mosaic floors. The Monastery of Martyrius was founded in the end of the 5th century and it was re-discovered in — The most important work of art here is the intact geometric mosaic floor of the refectory although the severely damaged church floor was similarly rich. They were laid down in the Umayyad era, after a devastating earthquake in Two six pointed stars and a red chalice are the most important surviving features.

Mosaic art also flourished in Christian Petra where three Byzantine churches were discovered. The most important one was uncovered in It is known that the walls were also covered with golden glass mosaics but only the floor panels survived as usual. The mosaic of the seasons in the southern aisle is from this first building period from the middle of the 5th century.

In the first half of the 6th century the mosaics of the northern aisle and the eastern end of the southern aisle were installed. They depict native as well as exotic or mythological animals, and personifications of the Seasons, Ocean, Earth and Wisdom. Each episode showed you something different. And there were different perspectives. It was so engrossing it took me only 2 days to watch it.

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