Late Byzantine art

Many of Byzantium's greatest masterpieces date from the final days of its empire.

1261–1453

Beginner's guide

The Late Byzantine period begins when the Byzantines retake Constantinople from the crusaders in 1261 and ends when the city falls to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

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Byzantine miniature mosaics
Byzantine miniature mosaics

Explore the tiny pieces of gold, glass, and colorful stones that compose the miniature mosaics of the Byzantine Empire.

Late Byzantine naturalism: Hagia Sophia’s Deësis mosaic
Late Byzantine naturalism: Hagia Sophia’s Deësis mosaic

This mosaic shows how the arts—and an interest in naturalism—flourished in the final centuries of the Byzantine Empire.

Late Byzantine secular architecture and urban planning
Late Byzantine secular architecture and urban planning

Fortified hilltop cites, palaces, and more.

Late Byzantine church architecture
Late Byzantine church architecture

Don't skip the final chapter: many of Byzantium’s most beautiful churches date from the last days of the empire.

Picturing salvation — Chora’s brilliant Byzantine mosaics and frescos
Picturing salvation — Chora’s brilliant Byzantine mosaics and frescos

a powerful Byzantine court official builds himself a dazzling burial chapel

Byzantine Griffin Panel
Byzantine Griffin Panel

A panel with a Griffin (a lion and an eagle — the king of birds and the king of animals — combined).

<em>Icon with the Triumph of Orthodoxy</em>
Icon with the Triumph of Orthodoxy

Created at the end of the Byzantine Empire, this image looks back to the achievements of an earlier empress.

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