Over the weekend, the Guardian published a series of articles called "1,000 artworks to see before you die". Lists like these are always popular and tend to do what newspapers are supposed to do - get people talking and shift copies. Jonathan Jones put together the Byzantine section:
The Roman empire did not fall in the fifth century; in the east it survived until 1453. That was when Byzantium, the new capital of Rome's emperors when Italy and Gaul became impossible to defend, finally fell to its Turkish besiegers. For a millennium after the death of the western empire Byzantium was shielded by its fortifications and secret weapons, including the lethal incendiary weapon "Greek fire". From the Byzantine point of view the city was not a last retreat of empire but an eternal and enduring civilisation — and Christians and Muslims alike accepted its cultural supremacy. Byzantine mosaicists were sought after to decorate the most prestigious palaces, mosques and churches across the mediterranean world.
The list he comes up with has much to recommend it, primarily because it includes Christ Pantocrator at Daphni, which has long been one of my favourite Byzantine images.
• The Transfiguration, mosaic in the church of the Monastery of St Catherine, Mount Sinai (548-565)
• The Virgin and Child enthroned between St Theodore and St George, icon from Constantinople, in the Monastery of St Catherine (6th or 7th century)
• St Peter, painted icon from Constantinople, in the Monastery of St Catherine (6th or 7th century)
• Mosaics in Hagios Demetrios, Salonika (Thessaloniki), Greece (7th century)
• Mosaics in Haghia Sophia, Istanbul (9th century)
• Christ Pantocrator, mosaic in the dome of the Church of the Dormition, Daphni, near Athens (c1100)
Image from Wikipedia: