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About this sample


Words: 490 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 490|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Justinian is uprightly centered, in his majestic acquainted purple garb, he holds firmly the bread bowl of the Eucharist, illuminated under the light of his own haloed silhouette. Without much expression to expose, he presents to the former Arian city, a symbolic representation of the body of Christ. The figures next to Justinian are fashioned in the same alikeness, elongated anatomy that seems to float out into the vastness of an eternal space that is not held under the captivities of the lurking present.

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On Justinian’s right, his army is permanently affixed to the mosaic, welding the backing of the state to the religious practices of the Byzantine Empire and The Church. Nested directly behind and on the left and right -hand side of the emperor, situated in pure white robes, are the members of the clergy. One member holds a book of the Gospel that is jeweled in royal regalia. The Bishop, Maximiamus holds a jeweled cross, which represents the crucifixion of Christ. The mosaic is carefully crafted with tiny pieces of glass that are angled in direct calculation of natural light, emitted from above. These measurements allowed the reflection of the sun’s rays through to the windows of the chapel and onto the mosaic. Across the way, on a panel that is reflected to mimic Justinian’s, is that of his wife, Theodora.

Art historians claim that her authority was that of co-ruler, despite her scaly past. Theodora is rebirthed, anew under the salvation of The Divine. Studded in a parade of colorful jewels, centered in her own mosaic that is subjected to her enduring portrayal of The Eucharist procession. She solemnly faces the viewer from the south wall of the apse, in the very same stylized largely draped lines as that of her husband. Long lost is the glorification of the physical form of man, found so oft in the early Roman architecture and Greek high relief sculpture. The artfully rendered human physique has captivated the conscious psyche of mankind for many millennia. The ancient Egyptians foreran the earlier show in antiquity, with their depictions of Pharaohs stuck in an eternalized ruling class bravado. In the portrait statue of Menkaure and Khamerernebty, (Gizah, Egypt) a full- frontal wife and husband sculpture is staged in a timeless 2-dimensional space.

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The Graywacke bodies pronounce themselves to the world in powerful, hardly naturalistic images. Instead of the naturalism that we see later on in the Roman contrapposto, their viewer is left with stagnant, stiff captures of a time forever past. This attention to the tradition of double dimension creations, continues with the rise of the Greek Empire in the thriving Athene domicile. Though the suggestion of subject movement begins to surface in numerous high relief sculptures before late antiquity Rome and the succession of the Byzantine fortress, it can be noted from the subjective skew of the viewer, that the impression of space as one to one, remains inventively the same.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Justinian. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 11, 2023, from
“Justinian.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
Justinian. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 11 Dec. 2023].
Justinian [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2023 Dec 11]. Available from:
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