San Vitale Church Essay
San Vitale church is the famous church in Rome where you can find the famous monument of Ravenna. It is known as a big, typical important church which simply under the style of ecclesiastical basilica and one remarkable example of Byzantine Art. According to the list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization , the building is one of the eight Ravena Structure. The architect of the church is unknown, but it was believed to be the one of the best architects during that time (Wikipedia). St. Vitalis is the second century martyr who was believed to be the father of Saint Garvase and Saint Prothase.
Also, he is known as the spiritual head of Christianity in Ravena during his time (employees). Under the supremacy of the Ostrogoths, Bishop Ecclesio in 527 started the church and was completed during Byzantine Empire under Maximian in 548 who is known as the 27th Bishop of Ravena. Maximin dedicated the church to St. Vitale. who is known as the Patron Saint of Ravena (Wikipedia). The octagonal shaped church combines Roman Elements with Byzantine Style. Its diameter is 17 meters and the height from the top of the dome is 30 meters.
Also, it is one of the most important church because of its Byzantine art and the only church that survives during the period of Justinian (Sullivan). Julius Argentarius sponsored the construction of the church and spent 26,000 gold pieces. According to the beliefs, they figured out that the real sponsor was the Byzantine Emporor who wanted to influence the people of his ideas of incorporating the new territory into the Empire (Wikipedia). The church was built on the site of the calvary of Saint Vitalis. However, they don’t know who among the two Saints is St Vitalis.
The first is Saint Vitalis of Milan and the other one is Saint Vitale of Bologna 393 (Wikipedia) In the middle part of the church is surrounded by ambulatories. The upper part is the matromoneuim which is perfectly designed for married women. Above the triforia, you can find numerous mosaics which describe the sacrifices from the OLD testament of the Bible specifically the stories of; Abrahan and Melchizedek, sacrifice of Isaac, Moses and the Bush, Jeremiah and Isaiah, 12 tribes of Israel and Cain & Abel. In the lunettes, you can see two angels holding a medallion.
The side walls consist of four Evangelista dressed in white with their symbols angels, lion, bull and eagle respectively (Wikipedia). The symbolism of the lunette on the south is more on the story of the Offering of Cain and Abel wherein Abel is offering his flock which is a part of the story. Also, Melchisedech’s offering is part of the story of Abraham wherein the king of Salem offers Abraham wine and bread. On the eastern spandrel, south wall shows more about the mission of Moses which is dramatically leading the Israelites to leave Egypt. On the north wall describes how Moses receives the 10 commandments.
The south and north walls represents Jeremiah and Isiah Prophecies in which Jeremiah emphasizes more on the incarnation of Christ while Isiah emphasizes more on the Passion of Christ (employees) On the other part of the building which is the presbytery, it is ornamented with beautiful and astonishing flowers near the crown surrounding the Lamb of God. The crown was supported by the 4 angels surrounded by numerous flowers, stars, birds and various peacocks. Beside the two angels holding disc, cities of Jerusalem and Betlehem are properly represented and symbolizes human race, the Jews and Gentiles respectively (Wikipedia).
All mosaics are carried out from the previous civilization which is known as the hellenistic Roman Tradition and were finished under the Gothic Rule (Wikipedia) The apse has a Byzantile style and consists of two chapels, the prothesis and the diaconicon. A curve triumpahal arch located inside with fifteen art medallions in which depletes Jesus Christ, the apostles and Saint Garvacius with Saint Protasius as well (Wikipedia). In 525, under Bishop Ecclesius the theopany started. Jesus Christ dressed in purple comes out seated on a celestial globe offering the Crown to Saint Vitale.
Underneath his feet is a landscape and describes the four rivers of paradise. In the spandrel of the arch, the city of Jerusalem is formed (Sullivan). In 548, two accomplished mosaics was very famous mosaic panels describe the Emperor Justinian dressed in purple with a gold halo. The halo on his head gives him the same view as Christ. He is surrounded by many symbols on Earth and spiritual power as well. It means that the Imperial of Romans recognized God as the supreme civil ruler. The other is the mosaic panel of Empress Theodora with a golden halo and jewels and a line of court girls.
It adds beauty because of its amazing mosaic arts. She is the wife of Emperor Justinian and a Saint in Orthodox church. The unique setting describes a canopy over the ladies (Wikipedia) Another famous mosaics of Emperor Justinian holding Eucharistic bread and Empress Theodora holding Eucharistic wine. Maximinian carries a cross, the priest carries a gospel book and another priest carries an incence swaying back and forth are also included. This describes the presentation of the Eucharist to the church and gifts to offer to the Christ above. It symbolizes the first coming of Christ (Employees).
Christ seated on the globe holding tight the sealed book located in the apse which has the four rivers of paradise. The book itself is known as the Book of Life which emphasizes the second coming of Christ (employees). During the reign of Justinian from 527 until 565, he began to consider himself as the heritage of the empire’s tradition. Many of his contributions were to renevote some of the important buildings of his time. Emperor’s beliefs that they were chosen by God to guide the people about the teachings of God and to provide the needs of the people.
According to the theory, Justinian and Theodora’s mosaics were believed to be a propaganda because the emperor wanted to integrate the new territory into the empire. The mosaics of San Vitale plays an important part on the religious and political concerns. It was served as the public promotion of the emperor to communicate to the people of the west with regards to his continued authority as the emperor. The architech of San Vitale relates the death and resurrection of the saints to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which is significantly a tribute to St. Vitalis for generosity and goodwill to people.