Procession of Virgin Martyrs

Procession of Virgin Martyrs, 504 CE Mosaic, from the nave of Church of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna.

The Church of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo reflects the major historical, political and religious events that took place in Ravenna. Ravenna was the capital of the Western Roman Empire in 402 AD, then the capital of the Ostrogothic Empire in 493 AD and then the Byzantine capital in Italy through the fifth and sixth centuries. On the left wall of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo are the mosaics of three Magi and a procession of 22 virgins with gifts for the Madonna and Child surrounded by four angels. During the fifth century AD Ravenna became a center of Christian mosaic art.

Mosaic artists used small pieces of stone, glass, ceramic, or other hard material cut in a cubical or some other regular shapes to form figures much like a pointillist painter. Many of the figures in Sant’Apollinare Nuovo wear costumes of white and gold set in a background of green and gold glass cubes producing a striking similarity to rich silk brocade. n effect 

Procession of Virgin Martyrs, 504 C.E.

Relating to the Byzantine empire, which ruled the Eastern Mediterranean from the fifth century CE to 1453; its capital was Byzantium (modern Istanbul).

A broad, diverse group of nations ruled by the government of a single nation.

An artistic form created by sandwiching and sealing gold leaf between layers of transparent glass.

of or relating to Moses or the writings attributed to him.

of or relating to Moses or the writings attributed to him.

The territories ruled by ancient Rome, from roughly 27 B.C.E. to 476 C.E., encompassing terrorities in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

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