Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, Emilia Romagna, Italy
The mosaic in the apse
The mosaic decorating the round vault is highly symbolic, it was made in the 6th century and can be divided into an upper and a lower part. In the upper section there is a huge cross in a starred sky, with Christ's face in the centre. Above the cross God's hand comes out of the clouds, and at the sides of the cross are the figures of Elias and Moses. Three lambs below the cross represent the apostles Peter, James and John. In the lower section a wide green valley is represented, with flowers, bushes, trees and birds, and in the centre Saint Apollinaire, with open arms in the attitude of praying for the 12 lambs around him, the faithful of whom he is the shepherd.
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