Vines and leaves cover the surface of the stone, veiling its mass. This new style was used throughout the Byzantine world in the sixth century, most elegantly in the emperor Justinian's rebuilding of the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Government of Egypt(until 1910; sold to MMA)
Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). p. 24, ill.