Thursday, 29 October 2015
This appears to be the only pre-eighth century mosaic with a religious theme in Constantinople to have survived the iconoclasm (destruction of icons) period of eastern Christianity. It was difficult to photograph at all, let alone head on, because of the glass in front of it. It has continuity with many of the features of later painted icons of the Prensentation of Christ in the Temple combined with a natural flow and eagerness of old Simeon reaching out to hold the Christ child. Iconocalsm means that we do not have much sense of the appearance of the fifth century churches here whose magnificent mosaic icons all date from several centuries after they were built.