Hagia Sophia Mosaics

Mosaic of John Komnenos – Eirene – Alexios

Mary, Christ the Child, Kommenos 2, Empress Eirene Mosaic

Situated at the south endpoint, this mosaic panel dates back to the 13th century. This mosaic is similar to Zoe Panel which also depicts the ‘’imperial offering to Mary and Christ’’

Mary the Virgin is depicted smaller than the Emperor and Empress. Christ the Child is seated on her lap making benediction with his right hand and holding a roll on his left hand. Mary is accompanied by the monograms of ‘’Mother of God’’ MP OV. They are depicted in a humanistic style. Christ has a cruciform nimbus around him.


Empress Eirene

With her distinctive physiognomy with blonde hair, Empress Eirene is holding a scroll of parchment of donation made to the Great Church. She is dressed in a royal red garment with embellished jewelry and gold. She has a gold imperial crown and pear shaped earrings. Her inscription reads ‘’Eirene’’, the most pious Augusta which shows her devoutness.

Emperor Komnenos II

The son of Alexios Komnenos, Joannis Komnenos II is presenting a money purse to Mary and Christ. He is attired in royal jeweled clothes and wears a cap shaped crown called ‘’camelaucum’’ . He is facing to Mary. He has a darker complexion than his wife.

He has an inscription around him telling: ‘’John in Christ the God, faithful king born in the purple, Autocrat of Romans, the Kommenos.’’


On the right of Empress Eirene and Emperor Komnenos, there is a panel allocated to their son, Alexios with the inscription around ‘’Alexios in Christ, faithful King of the Romans, the born in the purple’’ In this mosaic, Alexios is about 17 years old (1122) with a dark complexion like his father and even the selected tesserae in the mosaic reflect a gloomy tone. He has a black nimbus around his head as well. He died of tuberculosis at an early age after this depiction. By looking at their different styles, this panel is believed to date a later year than his parents.

About the author


Hagia Sophia Research Team (HSRT) consists of a group of people who likes to research Byzantine Heritage in Turkey by visiting and taking photos of the historical places.

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