Seraphim in Haghia Sophia

Seraphim in Haghia SophiaThe vast Cathedral of Haghia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) in Istanbul has four huge seraphim, one on each of the four pendentives which support the vast dome. These seraphim are executed in mosaic and are thought to have been created during the restoration of 1348, but they may be older. During the Ottoman period, the faces of the seraphim were covered in plasterwork – Islam forbids the representation of forms in religious pictures. This plasterwork started to flake off and another restoration was carried out in 1847-1849 by a Swiss architect, who covered the faces with gold stars. He was the last person to see the faces of the seraphim until 2009, when restoration work at Haghia Sophia uncovered the face of one of the seraphim, which is fully four feet across.

What I find extraordinary about this serpahim is how closely the face resembles a Green Man

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~ by scalambra on April 18, 2013.

One Response to “Seraphim in Haghia Sophia”

  1. Perhaps the painted over faces were once the three animals and angel form of the tetramorph. I agree that face does look more than a little green man-like.

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