Constantinople and the East




Thumbnail. Marble Portrait Bust of a Woman with a Scroll, late 4th–early 5th century C.E., pentelic marble, 53 x 27.5 x 22.2 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters Collection)
An Early Byzantine sculpture of a woman with a scroll at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Woman with Scroll


Panel with a Griffin, 1250–1300, made in Greece or the Balkans (possibly), marble, 59.7 x 52.1 x 6.5 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
A panel with a Griffin (a lion and an eagle — the king of birds and the king of animals — combined).

Byzantine Griffin Panel








The Hagia Sophia as a mosque
After the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, the sultan repurposed this church, adding slender “pencil” minarets.

Hagia Sophia as a mosque



Byzantine panel with archangel, ivory leaf from diptych (detail)
His body swells beneath the cloth, but his feet hardly touch the ground. This awkward angel is part pagan, part Christian.

Ivory Panel with Archangel


David Composing the Psalms, from the Paris Psalter, c. 900 C.E. 14-1/8 x 10-1/4" / 36 x 26 cm (Bibliothèque nationale de France) detail
Large and lavish, the images in this manuscript revived the classical style for medieval church use.

The Paris Psalter




Hagia Sophia
The golden dome of this vast building appears suspended from heaven. It has withstood quakes, conquest, and crusades.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul