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Central dome with depiction of Christ Pantokrator surrounded by the heavenly court

MS.BZ.019-BF.F.1993.F2815
Central dome with depiction of Christ Pantokrator surrounded by the heavenly court

Graphite on artist board
61.19 cm x 57.79 cm (24 3/8 in. x 22 3/4 in.)

The first drawing depicts the central dome—heaven in the church’s symbolic microcosm—dominated by the figure of Christ, the focal point of the entire decorative program of the building. “Leaning and gazing out as though from the rim of heaven,” as Mesarites describes, Christ “is depicted as far as the navel,” with his right hand blessing and the left holding the Gospel book. The type described, Christ Pantokrator, is a standard element in Byzantine monumental decoration and it usually figures at the core of the composition, surrounded by the heavenly court—here the Virgin, the Archangels, and the twelve Apostles.

 

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Central dome with depiction of Christ Pantokrator surrounded by the heavenly court
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MS.BZ.019-03-01-055_009