Aesthetics of the Hagia Sophia

In the first page of her book Hagia Sophia and the Byzantine Aesthetic Experience Art Historian, Professor and author Nadine Shibille writes about the aesthetic experience of the interior of the building and the art and stone adorning that space, as well as the reactions to it through ekphrasis, or the literary response to the church and its interior. She writes:

The central aesthetic feature that emerges from sixth-century ekphraseis of Hagia Sophia is that of light. Light is described as the decisive element in the experience of the sacred space and light is simultaneously associated with the notion of wisdom. It is argued that the concepts of light and wisdom are interwoven pro-grammatic elements that underlie the unique architecture and non-figurative decoration of Hagia Sophia (Shibille, page 1).



Works Cited

Shibille, Nadine. Hagia Sophia and the Byzantine Aestetic Experience. Ashgate Publishing Company. Burlington, Vemont. 2014.

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