Byzantine Decorative Arts

The one basic thing you must know of the Byzantine era is the decoration of the time reflects an imperial, princely Christ and saints at the head of a theocratic society. Therefore, most any decorative art piece considered the importance of the religious aspects of each work and tied it in. Mosaics and textiles were common to establish these expectations.

Another elaborate religious object of veneration were the decorated reliquaries, which is a container for a religious relic to be stored or displayed. These reliquaries spared no stop in adding a wow factor with rich jewel-encrusted surface treatments, complex geometric carvings, and pure elaborate attention to detail.

Alongside the reliquaries were the importance of icons. These were popular because they could be worshiped in public and private spaces. Icons featured stylized images of people of divine power settled against a gold background. Plus let us say it together: Ivory was a major influence in decoration such as book covers and plaques. The following photos below (in order) represent a reliquary, a relic pouch, an icon of Mary, a mosaic of a waterfowl, and a photo of the interior paintings of the Saint Michael’s Monastery.

Thanks for reading,

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