The Deësis Mosaic in the Hagia Sophia
The Deësis mosaic in Istanbul's awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia probably dates from 1261. It was commissioned to mark the end of 57 years of Roman Catholic use and the return to the Eastern Orthodox faith, and is widely considered the finest in Hagia Sophia, because of the softness of the features, the humane expression, as seen in this close-up image of Christ, the central figure, and the tones of the mosaic. The style is close to that of the Italian painters of the late 13th or early 14th century, such as Duccio. This mosaic is considered as the beginning of a renaissance in Byzantine pictorial art.
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