The Chora Church (Kariye Muzesi) was on the top of my bucket list. And I was very lucky because Deniz takes all his guests there and is an excellent specialized guide. He explained us all the scenes of mosaics and frescoes, showing the details I wouldn't notice otherwise. I was amazed to see the presentation of the Universe or paradise as a snail. I found it interesting that similar images of the last judgement (with the red road to hell) I saw in the painted churches of Romania.
After the magnificent Anastasias frescoes in the apse, the Last Judgement scene makes up one of the most crowded scenes of Byzantine art. Just at the middle of the panel, the figure of Jesus is found, sitting on a throne, and separated from the other figures if by a halo surrounding him. Mary , on the left, and John the Baptist on the right are seen in a pause of asking Christ for intercession for humanity. On both sides, we see the twelve apostles seated on benches, and arch angels and group of angels in the background. Above these, just in the middle of the vault (flying buttress) a snail carried by an angel is seen, the snail representing the Paradise. this is the first time in Byzantine art that a snail representing the Paradise is being depicted. This figure is made up of a scroll of rolls carried by the flying angel, the rolls opening up, being tossed about, twisted and folded. Underneath the halo surrounding Jesus, stands an unoccupied throne and Adam and Eve kneeling down in reverence. Just below this, the scene depicting the discussion by the angels the sins of the souls. On the right side of the vault, we see figures of the sinners tied up to each other and being led to Hell's fire, escorted by Satan, as well as figures of sinners burned in Hell's fire. They are surrounded by souls represented as children. In the other sections of the vault, "Chrosus of the Chosen surrounded by clouds, are making headway towards the middle, to the Last Judgement. Underneath the pendant, in which we see the rich man burning in the flames of Hell's fire, we see four panels in which nude figures are depicted as groups of big crowds. At the left, the semi-nude figure of the "good thief" is supervising the entrace into Heaven (paradise) of the chosen, In paradise, we see the partly damaged figure of the Virgin among the trees and angels. Here, opposite the pendant the fresco depicting Abraham and Lazarus the begger on his lap comes into view. The two west pendants of the vault are very much damaged. The one on the left depicts the rendering of the dead by the sea and the earth, while two angels blow their horns; and the one on the right shows an angel beside a soul in the form of a child.
I will upload also the whole scene of the Last Judgement and the detail with the snail upside down.
I dedicate these pictures for rigoletto and parvatibb, the best guides in Istanbul.
The view upside down
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Angshu (52994) 2013-10-30 2:46
Without doubt Deniz is the best guide of Istanbul...we can vouch for that.
An interesting picture of the fresco in our favourite monument in Istanbul...Thanks for the WS posts as well..wonderful!
Am sure you enjoyed your stay in IST 200% :-)
snunney (73060) 2013-10-30 3:36
A great capture of this curious fresco with so much to see. The detail to be observed in the large version is quite superb. Ideally exposed and with excellent sharpness.
ChrisJ (91420) 2013-10-30 5:02
The Chora Church was on my bucket list too and well worth the taxi fare out there and back to see. It was a little unfair of me to say in my previous posts that it was an Islamic practice to remove images and icons from churches, although the damage from earthquakes is certainly true. I've since discovered that Christians also went through a far right stage in the 14 th century and destroyed many irreplaceable works of art and statues within churches. I am glad these ones survived mostly intact. Tfs!
Sergiom (45918) 2013-10-30 5:48
Il faut faire tourner l'image dans toutes les directions pour lui trouver du sens. Finalement l'escargot est comme le centre du monde. J'aime la texture usée de l'ensemble.
parvatibb (1115) 2013-10-30 12:45
I know this place. Recently visited with friends from Poland :)
Nice details, as if we could touch the ceiling.
mesutilgim (73216) 2013-10-30 13:02
This one in the narthex of Chora Church is one of the most beautiful frecoes throughout the Byzantine World.
I was there when the restaurator Thomas Whittemore opened those frescoes in late fifties.
They used fresh dough from a nearby bakery and released the chalk painting from the frescoes. It was a hard job but interesting one.
TFS and best regards
Vasa (16612) 2013-10-30 16:48
With all your photos published on TE and with photos that you keep in your pokets, you can offer a big so worth seeing book about the nice face of the Planet. This freska is well seen in that format. Generous post, dear friend.
jjcordier (67630) 2013-10-30 23:26
Une étonnante fresque avec cet escargot semblant porter l'univers sur sa coquille et donnant une représentation surprenante du paradis!
carlo62 (19797) 2013-10-31 0:23
uno splendido particolare, molto nitido e ben colorato, sembra proprio di osservarlo dal vivo.
Gran bella rappresentazione, ben documentata dal tuo scatto.
resat1972 (6575) 2013-11-01 14:08
I have not had the opportunity to go to visit karia
I have to go at the earliest opportunity
a very nice shot
rigoletto (32904) 2013-11-04 2:00
this would be the one i'd love to be dedicated, thank you very much. every time i go there, i remember that great scene from "the english patient" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp-9C3FDaRY)
that snail always amazes me. what an inspiration those ancient people had...
ikeharel (44395) 2013-11-12 4:54
A fantastic ceiling paintings, Malgo.
Good view upwards, with stable hand.
Very difficult to choose side POV here, under the round dome. So did well under.