San Vitale, interior: apse mosaic -- Emperor Justinian, Bishop Maximian and retinue (548)
The Byzantine emperor who reconquered northern Italy from the Christianized Goths is shown participating in bringing the elements of Holy Communion to the altar during the Eucharist. Although elements of dress, space, and the soldiers to the right are generalized, the emperor, Bishop Maximianus next to him, and the members of his retinue are all depicted quite realistically. Such realism in Byzantine art was to become more and more rare, but at this time, the intense realism of Roman art was still a powerful influence in the Eastern Empire.
Artform: ARCHITECTURE, Pre-19th Century
Country/Culture: Byzantine: Italy
Period: 6th century
Museum: © Davis Art Images
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