Theodora And Her Attendants Analysis

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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s Napoleon on His Imperial Throne, 1860, and the mosaic Theodora and Her Attendants, ca. 547, both illustrate powerful individuals from the time periods. While both artworks are about powerful leaders they have a wide stretch of time between them. The mosaic of Theodora and Her Attendants is a part of the Byzantine art era. Byzantine art was art produced in the middle ages, and usually centered in Constantinople. The artwork from this time were very connected with early Christianity in that most of the artwork and architecture were a part of a church, much like Theodora and Her Attendants. Theodora and Her Attendants is found in the Basilica of San Vitale in Italy. Theodora is pictured with an imperial court with …show more content…
To start, the mosaic of the Constantinople Empress Theodora was a complete social shock. Not only was she a woman being “depicted with the same halo and purple robe as Christ and Justinian, providing chromatic unity among all three mosaic panels,” but Theodora also “had a decidedly unroyal background” (Benford). Furthermore, Theodora has a “golden halo surrounding [her] head [, which] is considerably larger than that encircling Justinian’s” making her the most significant character. The reason for her large halo is because she is seen holing a gold chalice “representing Christ[‘s] sacrificial blood” (Empress). She is sharing, and or giving, this offering. In contrast, Ingres portrait of Napoleon is a combination of “well-known frontal images of the deities Jupiter, or Zeus, and God the Father with the imperial attributes of the historical emperors Charlemagne and Charles V of Spain” (Sayre 622). So, while Theodora and Napoleon are both being portrayed as almost godlike and proud, powerful leaders of their time Theodora is so not only because she is an empress but also because she is holding a divine item; meanwhile, the painting of Napoleon portrays him as stern and self-aware of his

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