A neglected mosaic in the south gallery of Hagia Sophia, Constantinople

Variant title
Opomenutá mozaika v jižní galerii chrámu Hagia Sofia v Konstantinopoli
Source document: Convivium. 2015, vol. 2, iss. 1, pp. 234-249
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
Rights access
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Just behind the colonnade of Hagia Sophia's south gallery on the wall of the southeast pier and now concealed beneath a thin layer of plaster, a panel of mosaic shows a monumental cross with flaring ends embellished with pearls. Scholars have largely overlooked this panel. Its background – almost certainly of gold—is made of tesserae laid in parallel horizontal rows, each one slightly separate from the adjacent rows. This kind of pattern is a characteristic of Middle Byzantine Hagia Sophia: it is a prominent feature in parts of the poorly preserved geometric borders of Emperor Alexander's panel in the north gallery. Thus, the panel can be considered to be an example of this distinctive ninth- and tenth-century mosaic technique.
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