Iconography of Byzantine Pictorial

Works of art and structures produced in the city of Byzantium after Constantine made it the capital of the Roman Empire (AD 330) were unnoticed for a long period. For more than a thousand years, until the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, Byzantine art retained a remarkably conservative orientation; the major phases of its development emerge from a background marked by adherence to classical principles.
Byzantine art style is distinguished by three characteristics; golden background, similar faced characters, and patterned drapery folds. Byzantine art forms are also known for their iconicity. Byzantine achievements in mosaic decoration brought this art to an unprecedented level of monumentality and expressive power. Amongst the most famous of these Byzantine pieces are Crucifixion, Anastasis, and Pantocrator. Crucifixion is an outstanding example of Byzantine mosaic and its iconistic character.
The Crucifixion is on one of the walls below the Daphni dome, beneath the barrel vault of one arm of the Greek cross, an unknown artist depicted Christ’s Crucifixion in pictorial style characteristic of the post-iconoclastic Middle Byzantine period. The mosaic portrays the crucifixion of Jesus. Noticeable elements in the mosaic are the figures of Mary, John and the skull under the cross. Here all the elements are used to convey a message. The figure of Mary and John point to Christ as if indicating the meaning of the cross’ meaning. Each of these figures is an icon telling a story in particular about the moment that is being portrayed. In addition, there is not much space given between the characters in the mosaic. There also seems to be symmetry in the placement of the objects. Such an arrangement of the objects emphasizes the motionless and unchanging aspect of the deepest mystery of the Christian religion.
The Crucifixion on the Daphni dome is only one of the examples that point at the more general and widely appreciated

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