Theotokos mosaic, apse, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Video from SmartHistory

Art as a gift from our creator has been with us from the very beginning. And as humanity developed that gift has been used to to depict our faith or lack of faith.

"Hagia Sophia, Turkish Ayasofya, Latin Sancta Sophia, also called Church of the Holy Wisdom or Church of the Divine Wisdom, an important Byzantine structure in Istanbul and one of the world’s great monuments. It was built as a Christian church in the 6th century CE (532–537) under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. In subsequent centuries it became a mosque, a museum, and a mosque again. The building reflects the religious changes that have played out in the region over the centuries, with the minarets and inscriptions of Islam as well as the lavish mosaics of Christianity." from Britannica (link to complete article)

In this video from Smarthistory Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris discuss iconoclasm and more specifically The Virgin and the Child in the Apse.

Wooden scaffold is erected to work on the apse mosaic and the marble revetment. It would have done it the same way in Byzantine times when they put up the mosaics or repaired them. The marble floor was covered to protect it. Constantinople was surrounded with forests and wood was always inexpensive and easy to obtain and transport to the city.

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