MOSAIC ARTIST, Byzantine
(active 540s in Ravenna)

Empress Theodora and her Court

540s
Mosaic
San Vitale, Ravenna

The picture shows the mosaic panel in the choir: Empress Theodora and her court.

Theodora, a tall, bejewelled figure in a royal purple robe with the three Magi embroidered at the hem stands in a niche with a shell design. She carries a large chalice, presumably a gift matching the Eucharistic paten carried by her husband in the opposite mosaic. Seven ladies in waiting are to her left while male servants precede her as if a paused procession. The odd setting features a canopy above the ladies and a small fountain on the left.