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What can be understood from the mosaic decoration of Churches: San Apollinare Nuovo, San Vitale, and mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna - Essay Example

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What can be understood from the mosaic decoration of Churches: San Apollinare Nuovo, San Vitale, and mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna

The mosaic techniques have been used to decorate walls and floors of buildings since many years ego. At first the mosaic decoration was very simple, but gradually it developed in colors and designs like in Byzantine art. After the peace of the church when churches have been used as public places and mosaics have was transfered from floor to wall, the mosaic did not have role only in decoration of the church but in educational aspect. The mosaics were usually pointed to religious stories about the Christ, saints and martyrs.This essay is about the Byzantine mosaics of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, San Apollinare in Nuovo and the basilica of San Vitale and how important they were in showing the religious stories from scriptures. This essay is organized as follows: In part 1, the wall mosaics of two basilicas and one mausoleum will be discussed and subject of each mosaic will be explained specifically. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, in the shape of Greek cross, dated back to the middle of the fifth century AD. In this mausoleum the subject of the mosaics came very simple. The basilica of San Apollinare Nuovo was built by Theodoric in about sixth century AD. The mosaic of the nave has been survived from late antique. Twenty two females on the wall of one side the nave refer to the section at the end of the church (apse) that shows Virgin with a child seated on the chair with angles around them and on the other side twenty six male mention to Christ. 3 Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, which dated back to Emperor Justinian, was built in 548. There are two mosaic decorations on the sides of apse; one of them is emperor Justinian and the other is the empress Theodora. Both of them are standing among their attendants and have a halo around their head. Other mosaic decorations in this church would be also discussed. In part 2, some considerable points about the mosaics of Galla Placidia, San Apollinare in Nuovo and San Vitale and what we understand about the symbols, and the theory of colors will be explained. 1- A brief look through basilicas and mausoleum 1.1 Galla Placidia The monument of Galla Placidia (fig. 1) dated to fifth century has a cross shape plan and over the barrel vaults and the central of arch, almost blue and gold mosaics designed it. The vaults have vegetal or flowery models. What makes the monument so important, is in the central of the dome where we can see the baptistery of the Orthodox on the gold background and the twelve apostles were around on the blue background. The arch has decorated with many stars on a dark background. Above the entrance, there is an important mosaic named “Christ as Good Shepherd.” He has a gold halo around his head and wears gold tunic while holding a big cross. There are six ships around him and the Christ is feeding one of them .(fig. 1)  Another mosaic (fig. 2) on the opposite side is showing St. Lawrence standing on the right side of the fire while holding a cross on his right hand and a book on his left hand. On the other side, there is a cabinet with open doors and a window is located between this cabinet and St. Lawrence.4 This mosaic because of the saints moving to the testimony is a kind of drama. 5 Symbols, like lamb, cross and star used in Byzantine art were the impressions of early Christian art. The symbols had been used as a secret before the peace of the church.6 During Theodoric cross was symbol of victory and at Ravenna it was used with Christ. 7 Cross in the hands of St. Lawrence represents testimony of Christ and deacon. A cross of Good Shepherd is symbol of herd and emotion. 8 The background of the mosaic of central vault is dark blue and on it there are several gold stars which are circled around a gold cross. Seven stars are among the cross which represent three things: first, the seven stars of apocalypse, second, the chance and third the seven planets. On the four ...Show more
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The mosaic techniques have been used to decorate walls and floors of buildings since many years ego. At first the mosaic decoration was very simple, but gradually it developed in colors and designs like in Byzantine art…
What can be understood from the mosaic decoration of Churches: San Apollinare Nuovo, San Vitale, and mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna
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