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Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

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The story The mausoleum of Galla Placidia (386-452), Roman emperor Honorius’ sister, is a Christian funerary monument. Built in the shape of a Latin cross, the building has come almost intact in the architecture and mosaics. We are in a place of transit, of passage from life in time to that eternal: a work of ethical and aesthetic appeal, where the mosaic masters embrace those of faith.

The Mosaics The dome, a symbol of heaven, contains the most expressive and most famous part of the decoration. Among the 570 gold stars and the deep blue of the sky reveals the glorious Cross, Christian signum of the resurrection. The night atmosphere, which already struck D’Annunzio and inspired Cole Porter. the song Night and Day, is magic: all the iconographic themes (from the four animals of the Apocalypse to the Apostles) represent the victory of life over death, where the cross triumphs as a path to resurrection and eternal life. Wherever dark dominant triumph, juxtaposed touches to gold and vermilion, and the warm glow of alabaster: the effect is a widespread atmosphere of calm, consonant to a tomb and his message of Life after life.

The Redeemer pastor, the conqueror of death Towards the front door the Redeemer, the Christ Lord has for scepter the Cross. Portrait with six sheep in a quiet and bucolic landscape, Christ is portrayed in its full majesty, young and beardless, dominus on time and on history.

Lunette of San Lorenzo San Lorenzo martyr follows the martyrdom of Christ. As Christ triumphed with the cross, so Lorenzo (and Galla Placidia) will have salvation from the cross. A salvation preached by the Apostles, especially Peter and Paul that indicate the Cross. The arrangement of funeratizi Christian symbols is complete with doves matched the gushing spring in the four walls of the drum, and the deer in the lunettes portraits that express the baptismal water of life (Psalm 41: 1-3). The sky abstract starry vault with decoration plants, flowers and fruits indicates the abundance of life in the Kingdom, the ultimate goal of the whole human story in the history of salvation.


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