Saint Apollinaris Amid Sheep
From: Ravenna, Italy
This large apse mosaic is of Saint Apollinaris, a martyr, and the first Bishop of Ravenna. The mosaic depicts the Transfiguration-Jesus' revelation of his divinity, in which Jesus scales a high mountain in the presence of Peter, James, and John, who are represented by three sheep. God speaking from the clouds reveals that Jesus is his son. At the top of the mosaic the hang of God and the figures of Moses and Elijah in the heavens. The artist made the art in such a way that it didnt appear distorted, even it was on a dome, and all the figures and plants appear to be on the same level, something characteristic of Byzantine mosaics.
Why This Artwork?
This artwork was chosen to show the illusionism of Byzantine mosaics. This shows that they went to great lengths to make domes, even if it meant going through the painstaking task of measuring out all the figures to make them not appear distorted to the viewer in the church. It is also characteristic of other mosaics, which appear in mostly the same way, with little difference in them.