Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christ as the Good Shepherd

Christ as the Good Shepherd from the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
ca. 400 CE
Decorative Mosaic
--Christ as the Good Shepherd is the subject of the lunette above the entrance to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. This piece depicts Christ as a young man, beardless (symbolizing innocence), haloed (piety) and dressed in purple and gold (regality), sitting among his flock instead of carrying a lamb on his shoulder as in earlier depictions. The loose, informal arrangement of the figures and easy posture of Christ reflect the early Christian perspective of the Church as kind and welcoming. The creator of this mosaic was still rooted in the classical tradition, as many Greco-Roman devices for conveying perspective are used.

(Christ as the Good Shepherd)

(Detail of Christ)

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