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Museum of Chora :: Fresco of the Anastasis

Fresco of the Anastasis

On the semi-dome of the apse, a symbolic subject such as Jesus being capable of saving his predecessors is dealt with. In the Anastasis fresco of unbelievable beauty Jesus, who has descended the after-life, and clad in a pure white robe, is seen pulling Adam and Eve out of their sarcophagi. Jesus is portrayed in a strong manner, within a frame ornamented with stars, around which light blue shades are dominant. Here, behind Adam, who is extracted from the sarcophagus by Jesus, stands John the Baptist. The panel, which continues towards the left contains the portraits of king- apostles. On the right side of the panel, we see Cain attired in a slightly greenish robe and holding his sceptre with a twisted end. He stands in front of the people seen behind Eve. Under the feet of Jesus stand the gates of hell, torn into pieces, and we see the black guard of Hades, his hands handcuffed and taken prisoner. The descending of Jesus to Hades, after his crucification and prior to his ascending into Heaven, is in existence in Byzantine art. This subject has been dealt with frequently in Western art. We see on top of the arch of the apse, an angel in medallion and six saints of the church, below the anastasis fresco. In the be ma of the side walls of the apse, two miracles of Jesus are dealt with, facing each other. In the two frescoes which are similar, we see two miracles being performed, namely the raising (resurrection) of the daughter of Jairus on the right; and the raising of the son of a widow from Nain , on the left. Jesus goes to a town called Nain. With him, there are his disciples and a crowd of people, When Christ reaches the gates of the town, he sees that the townspeople are in the process of the burial of the only son of a widow. Jesus feels pity for the woman and after saying to her .Cry no more,", he walkes up and approaches the casket and touches it, saying ..Rise young man. II The youngster rises and sits. Then, he starts talking. (Luke 7: 11-15) Near the apse, on the southern wall, we see a fresco showing the Virgin holding tenderly and in affection the child Jesus in her arms (Virgin Elousa) . Behind this, we see Saint George.

 



Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Chora Byzantium's Shining Piece of Art".

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