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The gold background, which so many Byzantine artists gave to their frescoes and icons and mosaic pictures, combines with the sacred subject to convey a feeling of sublimity to the beholder. When the subject is a portrayed figure--Jesus, an apostle, a saint--then this golden surrounding fittingly signifies his aura or nimbus.

-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 7: Related Entries > # 98

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