Ravenna, Italy: Mausoleum of Galla Placidia: Lateral Lunette 1

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Sheppard, Beth M.
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5/22/2017
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Italy , Ravenna , Mausoleo di Galla Placidia , Galla Placidia Mausoleum , Mausoleum of Galla Placidia , Byzantine Art , Mosaics , Deer in Art , Acanthus in Art , Alabaster Windows , Chi-Rho in Art , Alpha and Omega in Art , Grape Vines in Art
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The four vaults of the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia (Galla Placidia Mausoleum; Mausoleum of Galla Placidia) in Ravenna, Italy are strewn with vines and flowers. The four vaults represent the four rivers that flow from the river in Eden. The lunettes at the end of each arm are decorated with different scenes. In the two lateral (east and west) wings, deer with large horns (heavily entwined in acanthus leaves) are drinking at a spring under a window, which symbolizes the light that quenches the thirst of the faithful. The window is made of alabaster. Above the pictured lunette, at the crown of the vault, is a central medallion victory wreath. It contains a Chi-Rho, which is the first two letters of Christ's name in Greek (XP), flanked by the beginning and end symbology of the Alpha and Omega, which are also Greek letters. The grape vines (which grow from acanthus leaves at their bases) twine around the medallion and are representative of the wine of the Last Supper--the blood of Christ. Amid the vines are two men, each with a scroll.
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CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
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