Above: My original mosaic inspired by the Lion of St. Mark, from Ravenna
Conrado Ricci was Italy’s Director-General of Antiquities and Fine Arts in the early 20th century. He wrote authoritatively about the mosaics of Ravenna. The selection I read for the 72nd volume of the Short Nonfiction Collection focuses on the church of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo.
“Ravenna Felix is the legend stamped on many ancient coins. To recognize the fitness of the epithet we must look in history for records of Ravenna’s past greatness, and in surviving monuments for traces of her splendour. The sea which once bathed her walls and towers has now withdrawn to a distance of several miles. The crescent shaped harbour strengthened by the Emperor Augustus with marble sides… perished under the assaults of man, or of the elements, and is now buried under alluvial deposits.” Conrado Ricci
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