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date: 14 June 2024


The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium
James TrillingJames Trilling

(κόσμος). The most important categories of ornament in Byz. are floral patterns (including “inhabited” vine and acanthus rinceaux), animal figures, interlace, and the medallion style, originally a special case of interlace, in which tangent or interlaced circular medallions enclose other motifs, often human or animal figures. While these types are to some extent characteristic of every Byz. art form, except perhaps icon painting (though icons often received elaborately ornamented metal covers), the most lavish and innovative ornament is found in floor mosaics, textiles, and architectural sculpture. The major achievements in these areas date from the 5th to 6th and 10th to 12th C., but through their influence on other media and in later centuries, they effectively set the pattern for the historical development of Byz. ornament.... ...

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