San Vitale BasilicaBasilica of San Vitale
Little darts begin in the middle of the mazes and go through a tortuous road towards the basilica. To find the way out of the mazes was therefore an act of reincarnation. Following the way of the mazes, the eye can see the San Vitale alter and some of the most splendid Christianes.
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San Vitale, Justinian Mosaic (article)
Among the most popular medieval paintings of medieval politics is the statue of Emperor Justinian and his courtyard in the San Vitale Shrine of the San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. It is part of a much bigger programme of mosaics in the presbytery.
An important topic of this programme of mosaics is the emperor's authorities on the map of Christendom. Justinian's programme of mosaics also bears witness to Justinian's two great ambitions: as a legacy of the Roman emperors' traditions, Justinian attempted to re-establish the empire's territory.
Being a Christian emperor, he saw himself as a champion of religion. Justian and his companions (photo: In the choir Justinian stands in the front. He' re dressed in a halo and wearing a coronet and a lilac emperor' s garment. It is accompanied by members of the ecclesiastical community on his lefthand side, with the most famous person, Bishop Maximianus of Ravenna, bearing an insigne.
On Justinian's right appear members of the Emperor's government, marked by the violet strip, and on the far lefthand side of the tessellation a group of warriors. The emperor's emperor's mosaic thus forms the centre of the emperor's relationship between the might of the ecclesiastical government and the mastermind.
From right to litleft, the ecclesiastical order of the priests and Justinian carries an incense burner, the Gospels, the crucifix and the cup for the Eucharistic loaf. With this the tessellation is referred to as the so-called Small Entrance, which marked the beginning of the Eucharistic Mass. Justinian's gestures of bearing the cup with the Eucharistic loaf can be seen as an act of tribute to the true king who appeared in the neighbouring vestibule Mosque (left picture).
Christ, clothed in emperor's crimson and sitting on a ball meaning a royal rule, sacrifices the martyr's coronet to St. Vitale, but the same gestures can be seen as the coronet for Justinian in the tessellation below. So Justinian is the vice-regent of Christ on this earth, and his host is actually the host of Christ, as the Chi-Rho on the plac.
The Justinian pictorial narrative shows an ambiguous position in the Justinian and Bishop Maximianus' mosaics. The overlap indicates that Justinian is nearest to the observer, but when you look at the position of the characters on the image layer, it is obvious that Maximianus' legs are lower on the image layer, indicating that he is nearer to the observer.
It may be seen as an indicator of the suspense between the emperor's power and the ecclesi.