While drawing Peace in the Ruins, I had a vision of a pink-slippered foot treading lightly in the courtyard of the Hospital of Sampson. This was built by Justinian, following the Nika Rebellion in the sixth century, next to his reconstruction of Hagia Eirene Basilica. Since Justinian did nothing without his Empress, Theodora, I choose to see this as her slipper, her silken silence, her maids standing in the shadows as she took a moment to see the mismatched pillars, the carved lion on the fountain they had garnered here in the bottom of the Hospital’s light well. Even the poor deserved a lion.

A silent ruined courtyard and someone who may have walked there. Hospital of Sampson Sultanahmet TriciVenola April-May 2014.

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