Detail of Virgin Mary from 13th-Century Deë Sis Mosaic in South Gallery of Hagia
Detail of the Virgin Mary from the 13th-century Deësis Mosaic in the south gallery of Hagia Sophia. This mosaic dates from shortly after the Restoration of Constantinople (1261) and was probably commissioned to express gratitude for the victory of Michael VIII Palaeologus (1261-1282), which put an end to Crusader occupation. The wistful and grave expressions of Christ and the saints in this mosaic reflect a profound spirituality and announce a new epoch of Byzantine art marked by high aesthetic standards and classical trends. See this photo for a more general view of this beautiful mosaic.