During the Middle Ages the Byzantine Empire stood to the rest of the world as a symbol of wealth, power and cultural ascendancy and was generally recognised as the centre of Christendom. It was here, more than anywhere else, that the basic tenets of Christianity were worked out and in the wake came new forms of artistic expression. Wealth and both intellectual and artistic sophistication, gave rise to centrally planned domed churches , representing a cosmic hierarchy with the heavenly world recreated in the interior of the building. There can be no better medium for creating a sense of the heavenly world, than mosaic with its light reflecting quality and extensive use of gold tesserae . The Byzantines mastered the complex medium of mosaic and used it to sheath the walls of their churches with images of a transcendent world, recreating heaven on earth for the worshippers. The talk will cover mosaics in Haghia Sopia and the Chiurch if the Chora in Istanbul as well as the lovely smaller churches of Hosios Loukas, Nea Moni and Daphni in Byzantine Greece.
Length: 1 hour