The Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul

Name of text: The Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul
Author of text: Cyril Mango
Date of text: 1962
Date of person in text:
Name of structure in text: Hagia Sophia
Type of structure in text: church
Date of structure in text
Century of structure 1: 6 AD
Century of structure 2: 14 AD
Country in text: Turkey
Region in text:
City in text: Constantinople
Specific place of mosaic in text: Lunette over Door of the Poor, probably southeast vestibule; east vault of central bay of South Gallery looking west; Pentecost Vault being the western of the two domical vaults forming the central bay of the South Gallery; chapel in southwest buttress; West Gallery; two vaults in the middle bay of the North Gallery; North and South Tympana; Great Eastern Arch; Great Western Arch; dome.
Description of mosaic in text:

Door of the Poor: three nimbed figures on right, two, possibly three nimbed figures on left.
South gallery: medallion containing Christ Pantokrator surrounded by two paired cherubim and two paired seraphim.
Pentecost Vault; circular medallion containing Etimasia (empty throne), four spokes radiate from this descending on heads of four nimbed apostles.
Chapel in southwest buttress; small dome adorned with angels and other figures.
West Gallery: many decorative motifs, lunettes of north and south walls had large circle containing gemmed cross.
Vaults in North Gallery: east vault depicted baptism of Christ, west unknown but figurative.
North and South Tympana: row of bishops and a row of prophets, inscriptions.
Great Eastern Arch: Four standing figures flanking medallion containing the Etimasia (empty throne), Virgin orant, Emperor John V, John the Baptist, unidentified figure. Inscription.
Great Western Arch: Virgin and Child flanked by Peter and Paul.
Dome:  originally housed a mosaic of an enormous cross within circular medallion, replaced by Christ figure in second half of ninth century.

Mosaic date in text:
Tesserae silver mentioned in text? Yes
Tesserae gold mentioned in text? Yes
Colour descriptions in text: dark brown
light brown
light green
dark blue

Mango, Cyril, The Mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul (Washington: Dumbarton Oaks, 1962)

Comments: NB  The mosaics listed above are no longer extant - those that remain today are listed in the 'Structures' section of this database.  Mango has based his studies on the papers of Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati, Cornelius Loos and others.

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