S. Vitale

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/05/03/001
Level Item
Place Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna
Scope and Content Empress Theodora and her Ladies (sanctuary apse, north side wall). This is a commercial photograph. It is annotated in pencil at the back. Creator unknown.
Further information The church of S. Vitale (546-548) is an octagonal vaulted building with galleries modelled on the Constantinopolitan church of Hagioi Sergios and Bakchos and built exclusively of bricks. Low circular chapels flank the polygonal apse. Worth noting is the interior decoration of the building which consists of richly-veined marble revetments, elaborate capitals, impressive opus sectile on the pavement and lavish mosaics. The architect, although most probably a westerner, seems to have been acquainted with the new Constantinopolitan architecture during the Justinian period. The mosaic decoration of the monument was probably executed by the imperial workshop of the Justinian court. The construction of the monument was financed by Justinian who, soon after the recapture of Ravenna embarked on huge building projects to support the orthodox population in Italy.