Item Number: 108921
Title: Santa Sofia
Author: Mainstone, Rowland J
Price: Not Available
Description: Milano: Electa, 2009. 29cm., hardcover, slipcase, 301pp. illus. Text in Italian. Updated edition, orig. pub. London 1988. Summary: "The church has become a spectacle of great beauty that is almost overwhelming for those who stand looking at it and almost unbelievable to people who only hear it described¿ It is a true hymn to the most indescribable kind of beauty": these are the words of Procopius of Caesarea, written about 20 years after the consecration of Santa Sofia in 537 AD. Today, Santa Sofia, dedicated to the Divine Wisdom, survives only as a museum, dramatically impoverished by the loss of all its Christian furnishings. Despite this, much of the original building and atmosphere, "a profusion of natural light and glimmering reflections ¿ a radiance generated by the very interior" according to our source, still succeeds in imposing itself as the finest expression of the Christian East, and as one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, in terms of architectural and structural ideas. How did Justinian's architects, encouraged by one of the greatest emperors of Byzantium, manage to build something that any man in his right senses would have deemed impossible? The book presents important research conducted by the scholar Rowland J. Mainstone. It's aim is to explain how Justinian's architects succeeded in creating a work that was quite without precedent, in this place that was colonized in the 7th century BC by the Greeks, and later became Constantinople, the new capital of the Roman Eastern Empire. A marvellous building, with an incredibly large interior, mighty supports and structures and very striking mosaic decoration, a building that has never failed to arouse excitement and wonder in the people who visit it. (Electa architettura)
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