March 7, 2017

Beholding the Sacred Mysteries: Programs of the Byzantine by Sharon E. J. Gerstel

By Sharon E. J. Gerstel

Gerstel (Byzantine paintings historical past and structure, U. of Maryland) analyzes the ornament of the Byzantine sanctuary from the viewpoint of its modern audience, from monk to liturgical celebrant, from bishop to put worshipper. She rather unearths to fashionable readers what was once and is take place

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Extra resources for Beholding the Sacred Mysteries: Programs of the Byzantine Sanctuary (Monographs on the Fine Arts)

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In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when the sanctuary program was altered to directly reflect liturgical celebration, the attribute in the bishops' hands changed. The Gospel was read outside of the sanctuary screen to the laity, but the silent prayers of the liturgy were read in close proximity to the altar. It was these prayers that were held by the painted bishops, who inspired the priest through active concelebration. The change in attribute must be seen as a mirror of the developing rite and reinforces the idea of interior and exterior space in which the sanctuary barrier figures so prominently.

3° By the thirteenth century most churches in the north of Greece already demonstrate a preference for painted bishops in a threequarter pose. Two exceptions are either located in Epiros or belong to the jurisdiction of the Epirote despotate. In the late-twelfth-century decoration of St. Demetrios ton Katsoure near Arta, Sts. 3' The church of Porta Panagia near Trikkala, built by John Komnenos Doukas, also displays frontal hierarchs in its sanctuary (Fig. 63). We might understand the frontal portrayal of bishops as a regional preference, as in the south of Greece.

We might understand the frontal portrayal of bishops as a regional preference, as in the south of Greece. Another explanation has been offered for the choice of frontal bishops in the apsidal decoration of two fourteenth-century Constantinopolitan chapels with a funerary function. "3' The parekklesion of St. Mary Pammakaristos, Constantinople, built as a funerary chapel for the protostrator Michael Glavas, was also decorated with frontal bishops, although the representations in the lower register of the apse are no longer preserved.

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