The mosaic icon of “Christ Pantocrator” is part of a larger mosaic of the Deesis in the Hagia Sophia’s South Gallery. The Hagia Sophia Church was constructed in Constantinople which is now Istanbul, Turkey and is believed to have been founded by Constantine the Great. It is considered the greatest monument of the Byzantine era that has lasted for over 1000 years. The translation of Pantocrator is “Almighty Ruler”, and a Deesis is defined as a traditional representation in Byzantine art of Christ enthroned and flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist. A Deesis is a seeking or an imploring of Christ for the salvation of man. Christ is portrayed as both the Righteous Judge and the Lover of Mankind. The Gospel is the book by which we are judged, and His merciful blessing expresses loving kindness and a desire to reinstate us to Himself. This mosaic in the Hagia Sophia Church is located in the upper South gallery, dating back to 1261. It is considered to be a pioneer in Byzantine art in the Renaissance period with its soft tones, the intense humanity, and the emotional realism on the faces of the figures. The face of Jesus is so loving and inviting that the gazer cannot help but feel His love and compassion. The church itself was built on plans well in advance of the times, using new daring vaulting techniques and statics. Nothing like it was ever built before or after.
This ‘art with a purpose’ is handmade by carpenters of the finest caliber. The Standard board is made of durable MDF and has a wooden veneer on the back. The finest 100% cotton, PH-neutral, archival museum-quality paper is used in the process. Lastly, a series of custom sealants protect the image from fading, sun damage, water, and other outside elements. The construction of the wooden icon is a meticulous and painstaking procedure. These prime selected canvas’ and woods allow for expansion and contraction of the image that will prevent cracking or splitting.