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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/645

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MOSAICS


587


MOSAICS


worn by Persians in the Pompeiian mosaic of the "Battle of Issus" (Fig. 1] which is not unhide that in the painting of the three children in the furnace, in the catacomb of St. Priscilla, and that in the mosaic of the prophet Daniel at Daphne. The


ornamented with a mosaic of Christ appearing to the Apostles. On the sides were the groups of Christ and St. Sylvester, Constantine, Copronicus, and St. Pel er with Leo III and Charlemagne — all these mosaics, never of high class, were injured by removal


mosaic from S. Michele-in-affrisco at Ravenna was and restoration in the eighteenth century. The


taken to Berlin 1S47 and Pope Ad- rian I permitted Charlemagne to take what he chose of mar- ble and mosaic for his cathedral at Aachen. In Rome the church of Saints Cosmas and Damian (526-530) has mo- saics of an entirely different character from those at Ra- venna and of a ruder type. In Rome also the basilica of St. Lawrence was decorated with mo- saic (577-590). These have been re- stored. In Paris the church of the Apos- tles which occupied the site where the Pantheon now is was decorated with mosaic about this period.

Notwithstanding the deplorable condition of Rome in the seventh century, the arts were still kept alive and Pope Honorius decorated the tribune of the apse of St. Agnes's with a beautifully designed mo- saic which still remains. The composition repre- sents in the centre St. Agnes, above her the Divine Hand blessing, and the popes Honorius and Sym- machus on each side. The work ap- pears to be Greek. In the chapel of St. Venantius at St. John Lateran's, and at St. Stephen's on the Ca>lian Hill some mosaics were placed by John IV; other works were done at St. Peter's and at St. Costanza's on the Via Nomentana. Mo- saics were also exe- cuted for Autun and Auxerre in France. Animmense and very fine pavement of this period was found by M. Renan in ancient Tyre, but it is not Christianart. Of the eighth century very little mosaic re mains. Consider- able work was done in the old basilica of St. Peter, of which only a fragment, which came from one of the chapels, exists. It is in S. Maria in Cosmedin, and represents part of the "Adoration of the Wise Men" and strikingly resembles the design of same subject in enamel on the " Chasse de Huy ". The mosaic was commissioned by John VII in 705-8. In the apse of St. Theodore's, restored in the last quarter of the eighth century, there is a "majesty": Christ is seated on an orb, with Sts. Peter, Paul, and Theo- dore. The triclinium of the Lateran Palace was


Fig. 7 — Fourth-century Mosaic From apse of St. Pudentiana's. Rome


Fig. 8 — Sixth-century Mosaic From S. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy


cathedral of Aachen executed from the orders of C h a r 1 e - magne at this period was injured by fire in 1650, and utterly destroyed soon after- wards. Certain mo- saics are known to have existed in Pic- ardy, and were even- tually destroyed by fire in the twelfth century. Some good fragments of inter- esting mosaic of the early ninth century remain at Germingy- des-Pr^s, Loiret, France.

In the ninth cen- tury, although the decadence in mosaic work was complete, there was, however, an attempt at a slight revival. In Rome mosaics were placed in the churches of Sts. Nereus and Achilles (795-816), S. Maria (817-824), S. Prassede, S. Ce- cilia, St. Mark, Sts. Sylvester and Martin (844-847), and portions of St. Peter's and of S. Maria in Traste- vere (885-888). Mosaic was placed in S. Margaretta in Venice (837), in St. Ambrose's, Milan, and in Sancta Sophia at Constantinople, and some subjects were inserted in the cathedrals of Capua and Padua. Probably the most interesting of the period are those in S. Prassede, where that in the apse appears to be an adaptation of an older design in Saints Cosmas and Damian's. In the tenth and eleventh centuries some mo- saics were placed in St. Mark's, Venice, one subject repre- Hcnting Christ, with the Blessed Virgin and St. John on each side, and in 1071- 1084 the Doge Do- menico Selvo had other mosaics exe- cuted, notably in the grand dome, and por- tions of the pave- ment. It is likely that the smalti were made by the Greeks, who were also probably the de- signers and executants.

A comparison of the western works of this period with those in the east is very unfavourable to the for- mer. The art had been degenerating in the West, and in certain instances, such as that of Sancta Maria Antiqua, painting on the wall had taken its place. Evidence of this decay, both in design and practice is shown in the fact that when Abbot Desiderius, formerly legate at Constantinople and who became pope as Victor III, wished to decorate the monastery of