From the Jan/Feb, 2016 issue of Touchstone
art Apse Mosaic by Mary Elizabeth Podles

Column: A Thousand Words

Apse Mosaic

Church of Sant'Apollinare in Classe
by Mary Elizabeth Podles

The Church of Sant'Apollinare, particularly its glorious apse mosaic, is the happy byproduct of the political, economic, and artistic boom in Ravenna, Italy, in the fifth and sixth centuries a.d.; the subsequent bust preserved it practically intact. Saint Apollinaris, pictured in the lower half of the mosaic, was the first bishop of Ravenna and was martyred under the reign of Vespasian. His relics were enshrined in the basilica when it was consecrated in 549 by the (legendarily disliked) Bishop Maximianus. Thus the saint's prominent placement in the apse.

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more on art from the online archives


more from the online archives

14.6—July/August 2001

The Transformed Relics of the Fall

on the Fulfillment of History in Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon

10.4—Fall 1997

Lessons from the Nursery

The Catholic Imagination Encounters Bambi by James L. Sauer

20.2—March 2007

Simply Lewis

Reflections on a Master Apologist After 60 Years by N. T. Wright

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