With the luxury of their materials, technical precision, beauty, and aesthetic grandeur, Byzantine mosaics, particularly the wall mosaics, constitute the most impressive manifestation of Byzantine monumental painting. Highly expensive and laborious works of art, they were commissioned and dedicated by emperors, dignitaries, state officials and members of the Church hierarchy, in order to enhance the dwellings of Divinity, important churches and monasteries; and at the same time to manifest the power, glory and legendary wealth of His earthly representatives. A brilliant selection of mosaics from twenty-five famous monuments are presented here by Nano Chatzidakis, Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina. In historical and stylistic terms, they cover the development of mosaic art from the 5th to the 14th century, which is described and analysed efficiently by the author in the first part of the volume. The unique pictorial character and special artistic importance of each individual mosaic ensemble presented in this volume is superbly illustrated and emerges strikingly through a full discussion of the stylistic and aesthetic physiognomy of the mosaics it comprises, and a brief reference to the monument it adorns.
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