The pinnacle of early imperial Byzantine dress is best seen in the mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora at the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy (ca. … Theodora herself holds up a jeweled chalice, reaffirming her identity as the generous patron of the building.
What was Theodora carrying in the mosaic?
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.
What objects do Justinian and Theodora carry in the mosaic at San Vitale how were they used in the Mass?
These appear in the apse adjacent to the apse mosaic representing Christ in Majesty. Justinian is shown carrying a paten, or bowl containing the Eucharistic bread, while Theodora carries the chalice or vessel for the Eucharistic wine. Maximian carries a cross, while a tonsured priest carries the Gospel book.
What is on the shields in the Justinian San Vitale mosaic?
Justinian is thus Christ’s vice-regent on earth, and his army is actually the army of Christ as signified by the Chi-Rho on the shield.
What do the mosaics in the apse at San Vitale Ravenna depict?
The apse is flanked by two chapels, the prothesis and the diaconicon, typical for Byzantine architecture. Inside, the intrados of the great triumphal arch is decorated with fifteen mosaic medallions, depicting Jesus Christ, the twelve Apostles and Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasius, the sons of Saint Vitale.
Did Theodora visit Ravenna?
Theodora’s husband was Emperor Justinian I and was serving as the East Roman or Byzantine Emperor at the time. Interestingly, neither Justinian or Theodora had ever visited Ravenna during their lifetime.
What is the mosaic of Theodora made of?
Slightly different from Roman style mosaics, Byzantine mosaics were made of a special glass tesserae called smalti, made in northern Italy from thick sheets of colored glass. These pieces of glass were sometimes backed with silver or gold leaf. Choose one of the pictures of Theodora for your mosaic.
Who commissioned the mosaic of Theodora and attendants in San Vitale?
In addition, the emperor Justinian (reigned 527–565) and his consort, Theodora, are featured in panels near the apse. Justinian I, detail of a 6th-century mosaic at the church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy.
Where are Justinian and Theodora mosaics?
Mosaics of Justinian and Theodora, Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna. Copy of the Mosaics of Justinian and Theodora, 547, Presbytery of San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna, Italy.
Who is Justinian and Theodora?
Theodora, a 6th-century Byzantine empress married to Emperor Justinian I, is remembered for being one of the most powerful women in Byzantine history. She used her power and influence to promote religious and social policies that were important to her. She was one of the first rulers to recognize the rights of women.
Where is Empress Theodora and her attendants?
Empress Theodora and Her Attendants, Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, c. 547.
What relationship do the mosaics of San Vitale establish between Justinian and Theodora?
The intention of stationing the mosaics in the church established the link between the Byzantine court and San Vitale, reflecting the “divine kingship” of Justinian, and honoring the royal couple as donors of the church.
Why is the images of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora present in San Vitale chapel?
The union of political and spiritual authority expressed in these mosaics reflect the divine kingship of Justinian. It shows that the emperor derives his power from the church and the military. Theodora is holding a chalice, suggesting that she is part of the church.
Who made the mosaics in Ravenna?
The Western Roman Emperor Flavius Honorius (384-423), along with his half-sister Galla Placidia, established the earliest cultural monuments in Ravenna. These include the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the Neonian Baptistry, both of which reflected Western design and religious iconography.
How old are the mosaics in Ravenna?
Ravenna is on the tourist map for one reason: its 1,500-year-old churches, decorated with best-in-the-West Byzantine mosaics. Known in Roman times as Classe, the city was an imperial port for the large naval fleet.