Theodora Mosaic

Photo by Petar Milosevic,_Italy).jpg

“Empress Theodora, whose uncertain background was criticized by the historian Procopius and others as being one of disrepute, is also draped in a royal purple chlamys over an embroidered gunna—the etymological root of the modern-day English word “gown.” The bottom edge of her chlamys features a tapestry-woven depiction of what has been convincingly identified as the three magi bearing gifts; the actual garment was most likely woven with gold-wrapped thread. Theodora herself holds up a jeweled chalice, reaffirming her identity as the generous patron of the building. Other paraphernalia include the jeweled maniakis collar and crowning stemma, with elaborate pearl-and-gem prependoulia hanging to her shoulders. She is flanked by Antonina, wife of Belisarius, and by attendants dressed in drawloom-woven gowns of silk featuring bright colors, possibly of Sasanian manufacture, further embellished with tapestry-woven areas similar to those found at Panopolis (Akhmim, Egypt).”

Quote from Artist and Art Historian Nazanin Hedayat Munroe