This beautiful Hagia Sophia mosaic features Christ Enthroned, standing between Emperor Constantine IX and his wife Empress Zoe, holding symbols of donations. The 11th century mosaic is contemporary with Zoe's lifetime and has a colorful history. As Zoe was married three times, the face of the Emperor was changed after the deaths of her first two husbands. After her second husband's death, she was briefly deposed by her nephew, who removed all three faces from the icon, including Christ's. When Zoe and Constantine IX were restored to the throne, the faces were all replaced.
The Hagia Sophia iconography is some of the most beautiful in the world. Uncovered in the 20th century for the first time since the 15th century when the 1500 year old Constantinople (Istanbul) church was converted from a mosque into a museum, today the iconography is in danger as nationalist Turks push to convert the building back into a mosque. Legacy Icons offers this reproduction of its iconography from some of the highest-resolution photography available of this icon, that it may survive in some form regardless of what happens to the originals. May God save our Christian heritage!
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