Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ravenna in Detail (for Barbara)

Among many other things, Barbara and I share a love of Ravenna's majestic collection of mosaics. These treasures are primarily found within a half dozen buildings inside the city walls of this small northern Italian town. While traveling to Ravenna last weekend with Dave, he and I visited all of these 5th and 6th C. sites, reveling in their color, physicality and reflectivity.

As I looked I also frequently thought, "I wonder what Barbara would think of that?" or "I bet Barbara would love this." Or, "That looks like a quilt Barbara might make or a painting she might paint." Since Barbara had her hands full back in Florence with her energetic two-year old son, Jamie, I took more details of mosaic floors and walls than I probably ever have in the hopes of capturing something of that excitement I was sure Barbara would feel were she there as well.

Although mosaics really need to be seen in person to fully appreciate their qualities, here in this post I pass along some's to you Barbara. I look forward to our glass of wine in Greensboro post-Italy and a lively conversation about early medieval abstraction and its place in contemporary painting/textile making! : )

San Vitale

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

And for fun...St. Lawrence.

Arian Baptistery

St. Michael at San Appollinare in Classe (stay tuned for a post focused on this single site)

(detail of original floor)

Neonian (Orthodox) Baptistery

Original flooring from the now destroyed early 6th C. palace of Theodoric.

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