A Date With An Angel ©2012 Trici Venola
A Date With An Angel ©2012 Trici Venola

ITS ALL ALIVE The date of this angel is probably slightly after 1261. That’s when the re-enfranchised Eastern Christians of Constantinople dug up Henri Dandolo and threw him out the window of Hagia Sophia, officially ending the sixty-year Roman Catholic aftermath of the Fourth Crusade. You remember Dandolo, don’t you? The old blind Doge of Venice who told the Fourth Crusade to sack Constantinople? Buried in Hagia Sophia, center of Eastern Christianity and its foremost temple, which he turned into a cathedral after trashing its entire congregation and their city? That guy. Out the window, his bones gnawed by the dogs. How I love the history here.

Ayasofya Angel photo

This Angel is actually a Seraph, a sexless bodiless representation of Divine Thought. Its re-emergence in 2009, thanks to the Turkish government, colors the whole eastern side of the basilica. It’s the only whole survivor of four, mosaiced into the four pendentives below the dome. A pendentive is that triangular space  that allows a dome to join with the square space beneath it. Why not fill the space with angels? Made sense to the Byzantines. Makes sense to me, but then I’ve been living here awhile.

A Date With An\ Angel Progression ©2012 Trici Venola
A Date With An Angel Progression ©2012 Trici Venola


Worlds Collide in Hagia Sophia: Next: ALL HISTORY MUST INCLUDE A CAT 


All drawings Plein Air, 20″ X 7″ / 18cm X 52cm, drafting pens on rag paper, sketchbook format. All art ©Trici Venola. All drawings from The Drawing On Istanbul Project by Trici Venola, see description on this blog. Thanks for reading. We love your comments!


  1. Alan

    Trici, this has been an absolute delight – thank you and a Happy Christmas to you.

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      Thanks. You might try a search using ‘Byzantine.’

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      Hi Sanny! Glad you like the blog! I’m going through all 65 posts and putting them into smaller sections for easier reads. These two posts are actually part of one old one that held SIX. So you’ve got lots more to read. New ones will come.

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