Hagia Sophia Mosaics

The Virgin and Child Mosaic

Virgin Mary Detail from Apse Mosaic

The Virgin and Child mosaic is located in the apse semi dome. In the mosaic Mary is enthroned and she puts her right hand on shoulder of the Child Christ who is seated in her lap. Her left hand holds a handkerchief, which is on Christ’s knee. In the mosaic, Christ has a fair complexion.

There is a decorated inscription which is mostly erased around them, which says: ‘’The images which impostors cast down here pious emperors have again set up’’. The inscription commemorates the restorations made by Basil I and Michael III after the Iconoclast period, during which this mosaic was hidden.

It was uncovered in 867 by Photius the Patriarch. And from that time, even after the conquest by Mehmed II, this mosaic was never veiled again. Although all mosaics were made after iconoclastic period, it is the oldest mosaic of Hagia Sophia.

About the author

hagiasophiatr

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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