Hagia Sophia Deesis Mosaic Uncovered
Hagia Sophia is built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian. The construction of the bulding took 5 years only. This was unbelievably fast work, considering the conditions of 6th Century. Therefore the mystery of Hagia Sophia still attracts the people’s attention.
The building survived 1500 years. Its creation was greatest achivement for the world architecture. I can hear you are asking that question: Why? What is the significance of Hagia Sophia?
I kindly invite you to click the links at the bottom of the article to solve the questions about Hagia Sophia‘s facts. You may find answers to your questions, under different topics. Architecture, mosaics, facts and history separately mentioned in different articles to provide good reading.
In this article, we will be focusing on the mystery of Hagia Sophia Deesis Mosaic of upper gallery. Where you can see the best example of Byzantine mosaic artwork. Literally Byzantines were famous for it! Creating icons, frescoes and most importantly mosaics.
Hagia Sophia Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
Deesis Mosaic Depicts Jesus, John, Mary
When you visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, which is located in Istanbul, Turkey. You will realize that Hagia Sophia (once called: Church of Holy Wisdom) very surprising in every aspect. It’s hard to imagine how the people had been able to build it.
Further than its architectural charm, the artwork is definitely mind-blowing. The Byzantine made golden tesseraes spread all around the Church. Emperor Justinian commissioned Anthemius and Isidore to build this place in 6th Century. The construction took only five years from 532 to 537.
When you visit the Hagia Sophia, it’s definitely recommended to go upper galleries. Many visitors visit only 1st floor (since they hurry to get to Grand Bazaar) and ignore the 2nd floor which is beautifully decorated.
The most impressive mosaic of all The Deesis stands behind the Marble Door as if it’s a carefully hidden gem, to surprise the visitors. The chamber it’s located, had been a private area for The Emperor and The Patriarch, that’s why it’s away from keen eyes.
The Deesis is massive mosaic comparing to most of its kind. It’s a charming artwork made out of tesseraes, a mysterious mixture of gold, silver, glass and stones. It must be difficult to obtain a painting out of these extremely little pieces. Comparing to the size of the artwork, the pieces are tiny little things!
Hagia Sophia Deesis Mosaic The Best Of Its Kind
Hagia Sophia Deesis Mosaic Mystery
The mosaic depicts the Judgement Day indeed. We see Mother Mary, Jesus Christ and John The Baptist on the body of the panel. Mary and John approaches to Jesus from each sides. They are praying to God on behalf of the people! They wish humans would be forgiven for their sins.
Deesis composition is a very common scene in Byzantine Art. It’s possible to see it in Chora Church too. Chora Church has the best mosaics of Istanbul (in other words: Constantinople) left from the Byzantine Empire.
Chora Church was not considered as most significant Church during Byzantine Era. However nowadays it’s the best place to observe the marvels of Byzantine medieval art.
More Reading About “Hagia Sophia”
Hagia Sophia’s Byzantine Artwork Deesis Article By Serhat Engul