Q Nov 7, 2002

Student Questions on Byzantine Art

Kristina

Colleagues,

As a modernist teaching the survey, I am all too frequently stymied
by questions from my students. Here are two on Byzantine art. I
wonder whether anyone might be willing to share their expertise?

In the apse mosaic of the virgin and child from Hagia Sophia, the
virgin is sitting on a pillow decorated with symbols that resemble
clubs (as in playing cards). What is the significance of this design?

In the apse mosaic from San Vitale in Ravenna, Christ's mantle is
decorated with a figure that looks like a Roman Z, but which I assume
is Greek. What is the proper term for this letter, and what does it
mean?

Thanks,

Kristina Huneault
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Art History
huneaultalcor.concordia.ca
Concordia University

--

Reference:
Q: Student Questions on Byzantine Art. In: ArtHist.net, Nov 7, 2002 (accessed Aug 16, 2022), <https://arthist.net/archive/25302>.

^