Mosaic wonders of Ravenna

Photos and text by Zoltán György Horváth

The photo exhibition can be seen now: -

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For exhibition halls, schools, culture houses: If you would like to present this photo exhibition, please, contact me through the following e-mail address:
horvi@evt.bme.hu
 

Jesus' baptism from the baptistery of the Arians

 
Justinianus, the Byzantine emperor with his escort in the church S. Vitale


There are two reasons that Ravenna, this little Italian town fascinates the visitors with maybe the most beautiful pieces of art of the European civilization, the almost intact, colourful mosaics. First, with its strategic location and harbour at the Adriatic sea it has played an important role in the 5th to 7th century, from the decline of the Roman Empire through the conquests of the migrant nomadic tribes from East to the restoration attemps of Justinianus, the Byzantine emperor. All three periods enriched the town with new and wonderful buildings, but fortunately without destroying anything else. Second, after the natural decaying of the harbour in the 8th century, after another wave of conquests, it fell into a deep dream.

The beautiful mosaics, which are great evidence of an enormous technical knowledge and a fine aestethic sense, are also unique, because there are hardly any art relics in Europe from this time period as a long political instability prevented productivity in the arts.

The exhibition features mosaics from the following buildings: Orthodox baptistery, mausoleum of empress Galla Placidia, Arian baptistery, churches: S. Appolinare Nuovo, S. Vitale, S. Appolinare in Classe

There is a more detailed text available in Hungarian about the history of the monuments.

The photo exhibition was made with the financial support of the R-club of the Budapest University of Technology.