Church of San Vitale
Byzantine Art, from Ravenna. Fortress and church. Emphasis is placed on the interior; covered in gold tiles. Building style is a descendant of the Santa Constanza monument. Two stories, the topmost was probably for women. Windows, which were allowed for by incorporating hollow clay tubes as construction elements. Different setup of the narthex than Western churches, likely because of the different rituals, or could be for practical architectural reasons.
Emperor Justinian and His Attendants, and Empress Theodora and Her Attendants
Byzantine Art, from Ravenna. Found in Church of San Vitale. Justinian and Theodora have haloes, because they had divine leadership. They also wear purple, the color of royalty. Depiction of people is much different -- taller, thinner, and have larger eyes. Relatively expressionless. Textures of textiles emphasized (they made a lot, and learned how to make silk from the Chinese.) Theodora was an actress, which gave her a bad reputation in antiquity, but her name means "gift of God." Allusions to Jesus -- 12 attendants/12 apostles, offerings of gifts, ect. Also refers to Constantine -- shield with his monogram emphasizes importance of Justinian taking over Ravenna.
Church of Hagia Sophia
Byzantine Art, from Constantinople. Hagia Sophia means Holy Wisdom. Four minarets on the sides -- used when calling Muslims to prayer. Pole at the top represents the divine light of God, and the gold tiles inside continue that theme. Landmark in architecture, and was also in the capital, which emphasized it more. Dome on pendentives (arches). Feels light and airy inside. Now it is a museum, but before that, it was a mosque, and before that, a church.
Virgin and Child Enthroned Between Saints
Byzantine Art, from Egypt. Found in the Church of the Virgin at the Monastery of Saint Catherine. Mother and child are both large, to represent solidity and importance, as are the guarding saints next to them. Angels look more Roman; blends Byzantine and Roman styles. Depictions may say something about their function in religion -- Mary is regal, because she is the queen of Heaven, and the saints are stiff because they are stalwart defenders of the faith. Very cold feeling; frozen in time. Emblematic.