Byzantine art

Venice and Ravenna

Both Venice and Ravenna had strong ties to the Byzantine Empire.

c. 330 - 1453 C.E.

Beginner's guide

Generally speaking, Byzantine art differs from the art of ancient Rome in that it is interested in depicting that which we cannot see—the intangible world of Heaven and the spiritual.

videos + essays

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Plunder, War, and the Horses of San Marco
Plunder, War, and the Horses of San Marco

To the victor go the spoils? These sculptures were taken by the Byzantines, the Venetians, and Napoleon.

Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice
Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice

In this jewel box of a Byzantine church, the solid walls of a Greek-cross plan dissolve into golden light.

Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna (Italy)
Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna (Italy)

Here Christ, represented by the cross, reveals his divine nature to the Apostles—and to the 6th-century worshiper.

San Vitale and the <em>Justinian Mosaic</em>
San Vitale and the Justinian Mosaic

Gold, glass, and marble dazzle the eye in this 6th-century church. High above us, Emperor Justinian presides.

Selected Contributors | Venice and Ravenna