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Christ as Sol Invictus - Late Third Century
This mosaic is a detail of a vault mosaic in the Mausoleum of the Julii in Rome, Italy from the late third century. The mosaic depicts Christ as a familiar pagan deity, the Invincible Sun, as he drives the sun chariot through the heavens. Christ holds an orb in his left hand which represents that he is the ruler of the universe. He also has a halo around his head which signifies that he is the Christ because of its cross pattern.
(Emily Rice)

Christ as the Good Shepherd
ca. 425
Featured in this lunette is Christ as the Good Shepherd with sheep evenly distributed to his left and right. This mosaic shows Christ sitting with the flock rather than the traditional pose of carrying it. We know this is Christ because of the halo around the head and the colors of purple and gold featured on His body. This is the first time He is depicted with a cross. Located in Ravenna, Italy, this is the entrance wall of the mausoleum of Galla Placidia. This Early Christian mosaic is featured as classicism and shows a new type of 3D bulk with shadows and placement of the sheep.
(Allie Bailey)

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"The Good Shepard, The Story of Jonah" (Catacombs)
Early 14th century
These paintings are located on the ceiling of a catacomb in Rome. Catacombs were family burial spaces. You can see in the dark horizontal band that there are skulls from the deceased. Christians also used them to worship in secret. In the center is Jesus. In the lunettes or semi-circles around Jesus is the story of Jonah. Jonah is a precursor to Jesus. Jonah was in the belly of the serpent for three days and Jesus was in the tomb for three days before the resurrection. The painting is a fresco and resembles a cross.
(Peyton Fowler)


"Christ Seated" ca. 350-375
Since the Bible forbade it, Christ was rarely made into an "idol" figure. Yet, a rebellion in art can be seen through this marble idol statue of Christ seated from the Early Christian period. This statue was found in Civita Latina, Italy. There is obvious Greco-Roman influence as shown by Christ's Apollo-like youth, Roman tunic, long hair, toga, sandals, and intelligible look, through the scroll he holds (which was destroyed.)
(Jessica Rances)

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Sarcophagus from Junius Bassus, unknown sculptor, ca. 359
The earthly and heavenly triumphs are divided amongst two registers, and the narrations are separated into five compartments. This is easily classified as very early christian, or Late Antiquity, because you can still see the pagan Roman influence. For example, there is a sky god included in this high relief. Another characteristic of early christianity that this exemplifies is that the crucifixion, a rather important part of the christian story, is not included. The young christ that sits between Peter and Paul in the third compartment of the top register is the same one as the freestanding sculpture above.
( Jordan Brown )


Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (5th-6th centuries)
This image depicts a miracle that Jesus performed for the people. This is the miracle of the loaves and fishes. In the center is Jesus with the loaves in his right hand and the fishes in his left hand. He is handing the food to his disciples. This image is a mosaic made in Ravenna for
-Cody Taflinger

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Parting of Lot and Abraham mosaic432-440

Old testament were very popular themes in mosaics located in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. In this particular mosaic we see Abraham and his nephew Lot agree to disagree. Lot leads his family and followers to the right, toward the city of Sodom while Abraham heads for Canaan, moving towards a building which some believe to be a church. Lot's choice is the evil choice and him and his followers are led by the instruments of evil (Lot's two daughters). The figure of the unborn Isaac, the instrument of good is in front of his father and his father's followers. Each group is created through a technique called "head cluster". The figures turn from each other in a sharp, distinctive way. They have wide eyes, enlarged hands and their sockets are turned in. ~Allison Abernathy
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Justinian, Bishop Maximianus, and Attendants: 547
This mosaic is located on the choir wall left of the apse in San Vitale. It is a prime example of Byzantine art because it possesses the four main elements: 1) Flat 2) Frontal 3) Floating and 4) Gold. The positions of the figures are important in this image. They are divided in three grous: emperor and his staff, clergy, and imperial guard. Also, Justinian's and Bishop Maximianus' positions symbolize te imperial and church power is balanced.

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Theodora and attendants, 547
This mosaic is found on the south wall of the apse in San Vitale. Theodora is proceeding from right to left preparing to take part in the Eucharist. Theodora carries the golden cup of wine. Theodora was a very powerful empress. Theodora stands under an imperial canopy waiting to follow Justinian in the procession to the Eucharist. Her servant gestures for her to go through a curtain to follow the procession. The fact that she is outside with a fountain shows that her part in the ceremony is less important than Justinian's. This mosaic has all four of the Byzantine characteristics including: gold, frontal, flat, and floating.
(Erin Golotko)
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Saint Apollinaris amid sheep ---- ca. 533-549
A Christian church built during the Early Byzantine time period with a classical dome with a triumphal arch. There are 12 disciples represented by 12 sheep. Jesus, commonly placed in the middle with God's hand on top. There are 5 windows also representing the 5 wounds of Christ. The 3 sheep on the top represent Peter, Paul, and James. On top of Jesus, is a Latin cross with an A on the left and a W on the right. The A stands for Alpha, and the W stands for Omega. The classic Byzantine mosaic characteristics are present here, floating, flat, frontal, and gold. (Marcela Algave)

Annunciation to the Shepherds - 1002-1014 B.C.E.
The Annunciation to the Shepherds was commisioned by Henery II, the last Ottonian Emperor, as a gift to Bamberg Cathedral. This image was significant because it showed textures in the rocks and also show grazing animals alongside. These were basic classical elements that were not commonly used at the time. The golden background is a Byzantine element which was used to portray the power of god and his knowledge. This Painting was crated to emphasize the power of god and his almighty work.
(Davis Phillips)

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Gero Crucifix (965-970)

the oldest large sculpture of Christ Crucified and has always been displayed in Cologne Cathedral in Germany . It was commissioned by Archbishop Gero, who died in 976. It is carved in oak and gilded. It is one of the first pieces to show the verristic qualities of the actual crucifixion of Christ. His body is shown sliding to one side and he looks like he has endured more pain than imaginable. This shows the first actual Crucifixion scene and caused a very grotesque and serious reaction when people would look at this scene for the first time.

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Doors withe relief panels-1015
The doors are located in Saint Michael's in Hildesheim, Germany. They were commissioned by Bishop Bernard and stand 16 feet tall. The 16 individual panels may be compared to the covers of the Carolingian and Ottonian books. The panels on he left side of the door illustrate the creation of Adam and Eve and end with the murder of their son Abel by his brother Cain, reading from top to bottom. On the right side of the door it illustrates the life of Christ, reading from the bottom up. The situations accuring on the left side of the door are opposite from the right. For example, the first panel on the left side depicts the creation of Adam and Eve, here paradise was lost and on the first panel on the right side is the resurrection of Christ, where paradise is gained.
(Nicole Swisher)

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Virgin and Child (Vladmir Virgin), late 11th to early 12th century
This tempera on wood masterpiece features the Virgin Mary with her baby son Jesus. The Virgin's long straight nose and small mouth are characteristic traits of the Byzantine icon of the Virgin and Child. Unlike many icons of her where she is usually presented as a stern, serious mother, this piece features her being more intimate with her son. She is depicted as the Virgin of Compassion. This image is infused with deep pathos as Mary contemplates the future sacrifice of her son.
(Tara Lassi)

Christ as Pantokrator
In this particular piece, Pantokrator, meaning "ruler of all", usually depicts Christ during his role of the Last Judgement. This mosaic features many different elements of the Byzantine Style including the golden background, his flat figure, and his frontal positioning. Jesus's emotion in this piece seems to give off a strict and forceful expression. Hovering dramatically in space is a typical theme through the Byzantine Era. It expressed an awestruck connection through the worshiper in the church below the heaven through Christ. (Blake Denz)