Photographer's Note

A 180 degree turn from the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is the church of San Vitale. This is one of the finest examples of the Eastern Roman influence on art in Italy. Consecrated in 548 it is a centralized plan church rather than a basilica plan. It is a domed octagon (17 meters in diameter and 30 meters tall) surrounded by aisle. The interior is lit beautifully through alabaster windows.

But it's the mosaics of the floors and walls that this church is well known for. The floor includes one of the early Christian mazes and the walls of the apse contain beautiful mosaics of biblical imagery. It also includes mosaics of the Emperor Justinian and attendants, including possibly General Belisarius who reunited much of the East and West for Justinian, on one side of the apse. On the other side is Justinian's wife, Empress Theodora, and her attendants. Though neither ever travelled to Ravenna from Constantinople.

It's a stunning building that soars on the interior. Another example of the simple brick exterior of so many early Christian monuments hiding a magnificent interior. Yet it also gives a hint at the massing of the interior and its lofty space, though not its sumptuousness.

In post processing I increased the saturation of the greens, red and yellows to bring back some life to the colors on this dreary day. I also cropped out a crane on the right. I think it was a crane. I don't have the original handy to look at and I did this a while back. I also apologize for having the tree in the way of the church's dome. It was raining and I was taking this from the shelter of the trees in my rush over to the Mausoleum.

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Additional Photos by Paul Mastrogiacomo (pamastro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2680 W: 165 N: 2694] (7290)
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