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A deeper look into the world of mosaics

Mosaics are part of the Cypriot culture, from traditional patterns to Byzantine iconographies. Historians, archaeologists and art lovers have come to the island to study them. Even the 10 painted churches of Troodos, which are part of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites list, include unique examples of Byzantine mosaics that run back to the 11th century. Here to dig deeper into this world is Dr Judith Herrin with a lecture entitled Mosaics & Power: From Ravenna to Sinai.

The King’s College professor of Classical Studies is set to give an insight into the world of mosaics with her presentation taking place on November 28. The lecture will discuss Byzantine mosaics of the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Justinian I (527-565 AD). In particular, it will examine the mosaics of Saint Vitale in Ravenna, where Iustinian I and his wife Theodora are portrayed in relation to the mosaic of the Transfiguration at the Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine in Sinai, a work also associated with Justinian.

The lecture will raise and discuss many important issues and questions such as: Who are the donors for these majestic mural frescoes? Which people hide behind the decisions regarding the scenes and the faces depicted in the mosaic compositions? Who are the artists who designed and carried out these monumental works of art? Finally, who funded these projects and for what reasons?

As an aim the lecture hopes to associate mosaic decorations of remote areas of the Byzantine Empire, such as Italy, Cyprus and Sinai, with existing information on the mosaics found in the Byzantine capital.

27th annual lecture in memory of Constantine Leventis
Lecture by Dr Judith Herrin on Byzantine mosaics and their power. November 28. AG Leventis Foundation, Nicosia. 7.30pm. Tel: 22-661475 / [email protected] Limited seats so those interested are encouraged to register soon.

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