Walking on Water: Cosmic Floors in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

  title={Walking on Water: Cosmic Floors in Antiquity and the Middle Ages},
  author={Fabio Barry},
  journal={The Art Bulletin},
  pages={627 - 656}
  • F. Barry
  • Published 1 December 2007
  • History
  • The Art Bulletin
For centuries, observers imagined a “frozen sea” in the book-matched marble floor of Hagia Sophia. Enduring perceptions of marble as a liquid substance led to similar descriptions of floors of other medieval churches, east and west, and the concept was consciously revived in late-nineteenth-century London. Such floors could simultaneously evoke primeval chaos and theological images of the sea: devotees who “walked on water” could visualize themselves in a sacred edifice of macrocosmic… 
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