This chapter investigates the visual aspects of physical beauty of the saintly images depicted within the painterly ensembles of Byzantine art in the period between sixth and fifteenth centuries. It also examines the processes of transposition of beauty as a religious and ideological notion into the visual sphere of its iconographic and aesthetic significance. During the millennium of development of Byzantine mural painting, the different categories of saints have evolved in assemblies of respectable and influential characters with whom the believers could communicate through silent prayers, as well as through their own self-comparison. In that process of ideological interaction between the faithful and the saints as the “constitutional members” of the painted microcosmos of Christian temples, the physical appearance of the saintly images was, by all means, a strong argument in the religious discourse regarding their role in the mission for salvation of humanity. In that regard, each saintly category has received different visual concept of aesthetic values related to their specific physical attraction. Hence, different saintly categories have acquired different aesthetic codes for visual configuration of beauty in the structural design of their iconographic appearance throughout the era of Byzantine artistic production.
Part of the book: Perception of Beauty