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They believed that they were not just paintings but were actually holy themselves.
5t Theodore Tiro is not only a saint but a solider, and here hells killing a dragon. Have you heard of any other dragon-slaying saints?
Above St Theodore'.s head a hand appears from the sky.
Whose hand is it? What is it doing in the sky?
This icon was painted by an artist named Angelos whose signature appears in black letters at the bottom of the picture. He painted a great deal of Byzantine pieces.
Draw your own dragon beneath St Theodore Tiro. And don't forget your own signature! Use blocky, black letters like Angelos.
Here is. the Archangel Michael guarding the gates of the Garden of Paradise.
He is an Eixample of the extraordinary skill Byzantine artists had in work.ing with gold. Althougn he is" made of metal and hard enamel, his robe seems to flutter in the wind, and his body seems ready to spring into action. His eyes are watchful as he protects
this holy place. .
What do you imagine is inside the Garden of Paradise? Draw your version of the holy garden behind Michael.
A mosaic is a picture or pattern made at tiny squares cfcoleured glass or stone Byza ntine artists jnads b~igh~ly coloured mosaies to deterate tHe ltiside of tlieir splendid chur;Ct\)_es_,
Byzantine artists also t01a stories in mosarcs and often used gold ti 85 as the backgrou:nd 01;th8'( mosaics, .as in this image ofst StepHen. The.artisf here has chosen gold because it does net look natural, and shows that this picture of a saint is a miraculous scene, notan ima~e of everyday tife.
In one hand Sf Stephen is holdin,g a long, dangling censer, or incense burner, made of jewels and gold. The smells from censers were used to drive evil spirits oul ofchuKhes.
StStepHen's,otb.er hand' cevered with a tlotlT. Urrdemesth thiS Eloth he holds a round box called a pyxls .. Look for the same thing in ®ther mosaics. What do you ti1ink is inside the boxand why would it be covered by a E otb?
:J. Here are some blank tiles waiting to become a mosarc. The9 are'missing their colours and need your h.elp to become a picture .. Colour in the squares to make a self-portrait mosaic of yourself.
This amazing mosa~ pavement is almost 1,700 years old. The mosaic's linle tiles make up pictures of the months February, April, May and July. Fei:'>ruary has two ducks, April holds a si1eep, July has some sheaves of wheat, but poor May has been partially destroyed so we can't see what he was holding.
Fill in May's missmg qbject with things hat remind:you of.that month. The artists who made this mosaic used tiny.square tiles to roa e the pictures, rather than paint.and brushes. Make your picture out of little squares of colour too.
This ring, made from a single piece of gold, is a signet. which means that as wen as being jewellery. it was used as a seal to stamp its owner's monogram in wax or ink on papers. A monogram is a design made of letters, usually sorneene's initials. This ring's monogram IS backwards, Why do you think- that might be?
Design your own monogram on this blank signet ring. Remember that if you want your initials to be the right way round after stamping, you will need to draw your design backwards.
Can you guess how this amazing little building was used?
It was an incense burner, used in churches to hold sticks of perfume lit like candles. On the two doors at the bottom are a very tall man and woman. His name is Andreia and he symbolises strenqth, Her name is Phronesis and she. stands for prudence.
Look for the little pictures that circle the bottom of the €hurch between Phronesis and Andreia: do you know whatthey might mean? Find the gryphons, mystical winged creatures with the bodies of lions and the heads of eagles. All of these little pictures are symbols, which means that they have a meaning that the ByzantiMs would have
Find the Incense burner 'in the gallery and fill in all the details you can see in the space below.
The Byzantine Empire lasted eleven centuries - more than 1,000 years-
and was made up of many countries whose people spoke different languages but believed in the same Christian religion. Although the empire covered
a huge, area of land. Christians throughout Byzantium would have been able to go to each other's churches and understand exactly what was happening, as they all practised the same traditiens and prayed in the same way.
The Byzantines' felt that their lands and cities were the centre of the world; their art was like holy treasure, covered in gold and jewels, and it helpe'd people pray:
Many of these treasu res have been feu nd all oyer the world after they were taken by invading crusaders, Goths and Ottomans and given away as gifts 'to kings and emperors of foreign lands. The Byzantine Empire transformed the ancient world; many of the things we recognise in our modern world come from the Byzantines too.
Finding this enormous bronze chandelier shouldn't be too difficult,
but make sure you look up! Lighting was very important in Byzantine churches and everything was lit by candles .. lighting certain areas of the church created drama and shadow. As soon as they arrived at church, worshippers would light candles in front of the icons and kiss them, as they believed the icons weren't just pictures of saints but actually part of them.
This.chandelier, or hanging light. is decorated with lots of little animals, including an eagle with two heads and pairs of sphinxes, which were mythical animals with lions' bodies and human heads.
Can you find them hiding; in tbislernp?
We think this is the Empress Ariadne. The carving is made of ivory and it shows us now important this empress was. Her clothing, throne and crown leak like they are covered in jewels and above her sit two eagles, which were symbols of her power.
This bronze sculpture is a portrait of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. He was the first emperor to convert to Christianity; earlier rulers had believed in the Roman gods and goddesses.
Here you can see Constantine's strong jaw, long nose and short hairstyle, worn like a cap with thick curls framing his face.
He is an important person in this exhibition
as he founded the city that was the centre ot the Byzantine Empire and named it after himself:
How would you like to wear this on your head? It looks very heavy and might give you a headache! We don't know exactly how this was used, but we do know that Byzantine emperors did not wear it.
The three different parts of this sculpture were made about 1,000 years apart. The crystal temple is very ancient. The silver and jewelled crown
at the bottom is a bit newer and very precious - its pictures of saints are surrounded by pearls and triangles of a dark red jewel called garnet. The statuette of the Virgin Mary is the newest piece and was made about 800 years ago when someone put these three pieces together, making it into the treasure we see here.
This incredibly precious necklace was found in Cyprus, buried in
the tomb of an important Byzantine woman. It is made of gold, sapphires, emerald, garnets and pearls. As the lady who owned it died more than 1,500 years ago, we don't know who she was. How do you think we
~::f~i7~-f~~..f~l_J~ know she was important?
The church was the most important building in Byzantium. At church, people could pray to relics, which were holy and ancient artefacts.
This gold and jewelled cross is a reliquary, an object built to hold a relic. Inside it is a splinter of wood believed to have come from the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified.
These younq-lookinq saints are named Sergiosand Bacchos. They were Christians who lived in Syria, and in around the year 300 they were killed because they would not make sacrifices to the Ancient Greek god Zeus.
Here they are wearing special cresses around their necks to show that they are martyrs, or people killed for their beliefs.
This is a painting of King Uros I and his son, Prince Dragutin. It's a special kind of painting called a fresco, which means that it was painted straight onto
the wet plaster on a wall. This fresco used
to decorate a monastery; a place where monks live and pray together.
It shows King Uros presenting his eldest 50n to Mary and Jesus,
preparing the prince to become king. one day. Here We see two happy families standing together, but the king's future was not to be so peaceful. When Prince Dragutin got older, he. forced his father out of power and made himself king. Ums died the following year, and five years later Dragutin's younger brother Milutin became king.
This exhibition has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, with the collaboration of
the Benaki Museum, Athens
Supported by the J. F. Costopculos Foundation, the A, G. leventis Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Written by Lindsay Rothwell Illustrated by Milo Waterfield and Chi Chow For the Education Department
© Royal Academy of Arts
Typography by tsambard'Thomas Printed by Tradewinds Ltd
This guide is given out tree
to teachers and full-time students with
an exhibition ticket and 10 at the Education Desk and is available to other visitors from the RA Shop at a cost of £ 1 ,75 (wh ils stocks last),
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