|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: The Divine Wisdom at the Church of Petra
Author(s): ZOHAR, Diklah
Journal: Eastern Christian Art
Volume: 11 Date: 2017-2019
At first glance, the mosaic decoration of the Church of Petra does not deviate much from the decorative programme of other sixth-century mosaics in the region. The opus sectile nave decoration is mostly lost, but the aisles show marvellous mosaics made according to the popular scheme of the time, including wine-scrolls and geometric patterns that include various animals, inanimate objects and figurative depictions. Among these, however, are a few unique depictions of which the most exceptional, with hitherto no parallel on a church mosaic floor, is the depiction of Sophia, the Divine Wisdom. The personification is surrounded by a few other personifications, most of which have been adapted into Christian art from the Classical tradition. The unique grouping of these images together allows a new interpretation and a new insight in the ideas that guided the designer of the decorative programme. This article is dedicated to this unique ensemble.