(active 6th century in Ravenna)

Interior decoration

6th century
Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna

The picture shows the view of the apse.

The apse is decorated with marble revetment on the lower zone and mosaic elsewhere, the complex design of which is partly due to changes made in the window zone in the 7th century. On the triumphal arch the mosaics comprise a medallion bust of Christ Pantokrator flanked by the symbols of the Evangelists; below, 12 lambs emerge from Bethlehem and Jerusalem and proceed towards Christ. On either side of the apse are vertical series of three panels depicting palm-trees at the top, archangels in the middle, and half-figures of the Evangelists at the bottom.

The upper half of the apse is dominated by a huge blue disc bearing a bejewelled cross set among 99 stars; in the centre of the cross, which hovers between busts of Moses and Elijah, there is a bust of Christ; the group is a stylised version of the Transfiguration. Below, St Apollinaris stands with his arms raised in prayer in the centre of an idealized landscape, with six lambs on either side and three lambs representing SS Peter, James, and John above him to the left and right. The green and gold zones of this composition are carefully balanced and create a strong two-dimensional surface.

Between the windows of the apse are four full-length portraits of bishops of Ravenna, on either side of which are two mosaic panels added by Bishop Reparatus in the 7th century.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.