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Robert Ousterhout writes: This diminutive funerary chapel is a late Byzantine masterpiece: complex, lavishly detailed. Built in the 14th century by Maria, the widow of General Michael Glabas Tarchaniotes, as a part of the Pammakaristos Monastery, its mosaic-filled dome is barely ten feet wide.
From Strolling Through Istanbul, reissued as The Blue Guide: ‘The side chapel has been most beautifully restored, its missing columns replaced, and its mosaics uncovered and cleaned. The mosaics of the dome have always been known, for they were never concealed, but they now gleam with their former brilliance: the Pantocrator surrounded by twelve prophets; in the apse Christ ‘Hyperagathos’ with the Virgin and St John the Baptist; other surfaces contain angels and full-length figures of saints. Only one scene mosaic survives: the Baptism of Christ. Though much less in extent and variety than the mosaics of Kariye Camii, these are nevertheless an enormously precious addition to our knowledge of the art of the last renaissance of Byzantine culture in the early 14th century.’
The chapel was converted into the Fethiye Camii in 1574, the ‘Mosque of Victory’, after Murat III’s conquest of Georgia and Azerbaijan.
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