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Museum of Chora :: Mary and the child Jesus

There are two domes in the inner narthex of the Kariye Museum. Of these two, on the right dome Jesus and his ancestors are seen and on the left dome, which is smaller, with a diameter of 3.40'meters, Mary and her ancestors are presented. In the middle of the dome Mary is seen holding the child Jesus; Around this medallion we find the ancestors of Mary in 16 sections. These consist of the figures of David and 15 kings. They are David, Solomon,Roboam, Abia, Asa, Josaphat, Joram, Ozias, Joatham, Acnaz, Ezekias, Manasses, Amon, Josias, Jechonias, Salathiel and all of them are in the upper zone. In the lower zone, we see figures of another generation and namely Hananiah, Azariah, Michael, Daniel, Johua, Moses, Aaron, Hur, Samuel, Job and Melchizedek. The letters MP and OV that are located on both sides of the head of Mary , placed in the medallion, are abbreviations used in denoting the title of "Mother of God." Under this dome, denoted as G-35 in our plan; we see Joachim among the bushes in the mountain, praying to have a child. Joachim is Mary's father; and is fu distress, because he has no children.

Joachim is seen seated on grass in a mountainside, and with a worried look on his face, he is complaining of his bad lot, to the approaching children, carrying sacks on their backs. On the opposite corner (No.37) , the Archangel Gabriel is coming towards Mary at the well, and giving her the good news of the coming birth of Jesus, is depicted. Mary is seen looking with fearful eyes up in the air. Next to this scene, we see Mary and Joseph bidding each other farewell.


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

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