Sculpture     Architectural sculpture     Mosaic     Painting    

The sculptural decoration
  The Early Byzantine city was rich in statuary, mostly portrait statues of emperors and their families, pagan deities, animals, and biblical figures. Prokopios and other litterary sources mention a number of statues decorating Constantinople, such as an equestrian figure of Justinian supported by a column in the Augusteion next to the Senate, and statues of Theodora, emperor Zeno and his wife Ariadne, Justin I, and many more. Prokopios also reports that Justinian adorned a waterside courtyard in the palace district with statues of bronze and marble, but these could have been older pieces valued in the sixth century as antiques. The production of statuery, still abundant in the fourth and fifth centuries, seems to have declined in both quantity and quality during the sixth, partly because of the association of free-standing religious figure with idolatry. Relief-carving was widely used on monumental arches, columns, and sarcophagi. Both free-standing sculpture and figural relief show a retreat from naturalism, with simple compositions and stylized, squat figures.