MosaicBlues: Christian Lacroix's Theodora .entry-content { font-size:25px !important; }

Friday, October 24, 2014

Christian Lacroix's Theodora

in 2008, fashionista Christian Lacroix teamed up with Sicis, a remarkable art mosaic manufacturer based in Ravenna, world capital of mosaics and home to some of the most beautiful 6th Century basilicas and Byzantine mosaics.

San Vitale Basilica Ravenna, Italy.

Supposedly inspired by the gorgeous mosaics of the San Vitale Basilica, Mr Lacroix designed a line of Furniture for Sicis.

The colours and designs of the rich and beautiful fabrics Mr Lacroix used would very likely have been in favour at Justinian's court. 

And as a leitmotiv to this collection, he revisited the actual 6th century portrait of Justinan's wife the late Empress Theodora.

Christian Lacroix' Theodora

And to tell you the truth, I have a problem with that !

The original Theodora mosaic.

Now consider the original 6th century mosaic right above. It is true that its Byzantine style is a little static and that the expression of the great Empress lacks the life a more classical 2nd century Roman mosaic would have shown. 

Still, this older Theodora is dignified. Clearly, the craftmen who designed and realized her were masters of their art. 
In contrast to her, the new Theodora looks totally out of touch with the world, and it could have been drawn by any 7th grader armed of a pair of scissors and a stick of glue. 

The actual Theodora exercised considerable influence in the Empire. Her name is mentioned in nearly all the laws passed during that period. She would receive foreign envoys and corresponded with foreign rulers, both functions usually reserved for the emperor. Her influence in political affairs was decisive : during the Nika revolt of 532 when 2 political factions had united in their opposition to the government and set up a rival emperor. Justinian’s advisers urged him to flee, but Theodora advised him to stay and save his empire, whereupon Justinian’s general herded the rioters into the Hippodrome and cut them to pieces. 
She was also one of the first rulers to establish the rights of women, passing strict laws to prohibit the traffic of young girls and altering the divorce laws to give greater benefits to women. 

Replacing this great Empress' dignified features by those of a modern bimbo is a farce in bad taste !

I suppose I respect the work of the ancient masters too much. I just cannot understand why you would inspire yourself of something as gorgeous as this :

to transform it into this : 

I know this is not artistically correct.  I should not be ranting about the work of a famous and respected artist... Still, I had to express my profound disapproval in front of such arrogance.

How do YOU feel about this ? 

Genial creation, or Worthless betrayal ?

Please comment ! 

I am a modern mosaic artist. I admire ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Arts and my mosaics are often inspired by the work of ancient masters. You can visit my site at mosaicblues  If you are interested by my works, or would like to drop me a line please contact me by email at or by phone at (334) 798 1639.

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