Despite the massive amount of scholarly literature on Iconoclasm and its aftermath, there are really only two major publications that deal specifically and synthetically with ninth-century art. One of these is André Grabar’s magisterial L’iconoclasme byzantin, a chronological analysis of monuments and texts; the other is Robin Cormack’s short but insightful essay in Iconoclasm, the collection of papers originally presented at Birmingham in 1975, which asks ‘whether the discussion of religious images stimulated by Iconoclasm changed the nature of Byzantine Art’. My aim is rather different. Rather than presenting an encyclopedic overview, this article attempts to crawl into the fabric of Byzantine culture: to see and understand Byzantine art of the ninth century as the Byzantines saw and understood it. It follows that the material presented has not been segregated into the familiar (and often useful) categories of style, iconography, and context, for, to the Byzantines, the three were neither exclusive nor separable. For similar reasons, I have deemphasized any linear progression that might imposed with art historical hindsight on the distant past, and have thereby underplayed the flashes of innovation, novelty and erudition that such detachment allows. These sparks are probably more visible (and certainly more appealing) to twentieth-century art historians than they were to the ninth-century Byzantines, for whom, as we shall see, the power of tradition militated against individual creativity, and artists on the whole remained anonymous artisans. In my attempt to look at Byzantine art from the inside rather than from the outside I have, in other words, concentrated on the fluid interface between objects, and the shifting dialogue between objects and context. This is because what interests me here is how Byzantine ideas about art (their theories), Byzantine perception (how the Byzantines saw), and the artifacts themselves (the practice) come together in the ninth century: how art, that preeminent social construct, worked in the years after Iconoclasm.