By Sharon E. J. Gerstel
Gerstel (Byzantine paintings heritage and structure, U. of Maryland) analyzes the ornament of the Byzantine sanctuary from the point of view of its modern audience, from monk to liturgical celebrant, from bishop to put worshipper. She relatively unearths to trendy readers what was once and is show up
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Extra info for Beholding the Sacred Mysteries: Programs of the Byzantine Sanctuary (Monographs on the Fine Arts)
66, 67). The exactitude of such painted reproductions suggests that these manuscripts were sufficiently widespread to have influenced the artistic vocabulary of Byzantine painters. For painters to have depicted scrolls in so accurate a manner, they must have been familiar with liturgical practice. Preserved guides to ceremonial practices direct the exact moments when the celebrant took up the liturgical roll and read. The twelfth-century guide for the patriarchal liturgy of Hagia Sophia specifies three occasions when the Church dignitary in charge of episcopal vesting extended an open scroll to the celebrant.
4 The hetoimasia is represented at the center of the lowest register of the apse in several medieval churches, a position that in many earlier churches had been occupied by the bishop's throne, the symbol of episcopal jurisdiction (Fig. 5 But instead of the customary high-backed episcopal throne, the hetoimasia in monumental painting of the medieval period was generally represented as a backless throne, a type of seat found in ancient representations of both deities and emperors. 6 The Byzantine association of the hetoimasia and the Second Coming led to its inclusion in representations of the Last Judgment.?
But dramatic lighting came at some cost. Many of the painted representations have been damaged or even destroyed by rain water entering the windows. 3 In Panagia Eleousa inVeljusa and St. Panteleimon in Nerezi, two churches associated with members of the Komnenian ruling family, the central element is the hetoimasia, the prepared throne. In Kastoria, in the Holy Anargyroi, an altar table is depicted at the center of 37 Chapter III the apse wall. In the church of St. George in Kurbinovo, the painter represented Christ as the eucharistic sacrifice, a subject later called the melismos.