The Mosaics of Ravenna

Authored by: Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis

The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138857223
eBook ISBN: 9781315718835
Adobe ISBN:


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The city of Ravenna in northeastern Italy contains some of the most spectacular works of art and architecture to have survived from Late Antiquity. These monuments were set up between 400 and 600 ce, at a time when Ravenna was one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean world. Ravenna’s mosaics have always been fundamental to studies of early Christian art, because they outnumber those of any other city, while Ravenna’s political and cultural links with Constantinople and the East meant that her artists and architects were influenced by a very wide range of styles. Ravenna thus occupies an important place in every chronological narrative of medieval and/or Byzantine art, and Ravenna’s monuments have been studied for their style, technique, iconography, viewer reception, and color theory, which can be associated with political, cultural, or theological programs.

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