Mosaics in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna (425-50)

The mausoleum is a small cruciform structure with a high centre bay surmounted by a pendentive dome and giving access to four low barrel-vaulted arms all sheathed in figural mosaics. Its plain exterior of blind arcades and pilasters contrasts with the predominant blue, green, and gold interior, which contains one of the best-preserved Early Christian mural mosaics.

In the interior, lunettes of the cross-arms are representations of the Good Shepherd, the Martyrdom of St Lawrence, harts at the fountain of life, and doves drinking from vases. Whereas the first two mosaics are executed in the Hellenistic tradition and have an airy quality, the others and the striking star patterns that decorate the barrel vaults of each arm are two-dimensional in form. Pairs of Apostles stand in the lunettes of the central square, which rises to a star-spangled vault with a cross in the middle, perhaps representing the dome of heaven.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Interior decoration
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

850*805
True Color
255 Kb



Interior decoration
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

1200*716
True Color
246 Kb



Harts at the Fountain of Life
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

1050*613
True Color
237 Kb



Martyrdom of St Lawrence
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

1000*667
True Color
180 Kb



Martyrdom of St Lawrence
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

1100*731
True Color
226 Kb



Mosaic decoration (detail)
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

510*1200
True Color
230 Kb



Good Shepherd
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

900*720
True Color
236 Kb



Decoration of the lunettes
425-50
Photo
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

1000*368
True Color
140 Kb



Mosaic decoration (detail)
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

1000*548
True Color
232 Kb



Interior decoration (detail)
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

1200*665
True Color
244 Kb



Mosaic decoration (detail)
425-50
Mosaic
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna

950*702
True Color
264 Kb