GHOST FRESCO AYASOFYA

©TriciVenola

Hagia Sophia: At the top center of this drawing, upper right from the angel, on the bottom of an arch, faintly appear three figures. In the middle is a figure in a dark robe, flanked by a crowned figure at left and a tall one at right. This is likely the Virgin, flanked by the reigning monarchs of the time it was painted. I had already drawn the Seraph, the only one with a surviving face, but had never spent enough time on the frescoes next to it, which barely show through the yellow plaster slathered on by the Fossati Brothers during the renovation ordered by Sultan Abdulmecid I in 1841. When Hagia Sophia was a church, this area over the altar was completely covered in frescoes, probably painted post-Iconoclast, in the 9th century.

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