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Sant'Apollinare Nuovo: The Last Supper

The Last Supper

The Last Supper. This interesting composition is similar to a miniature in the 6th-century Codex Purpureus. One of a series of 26 mosaic panels illustrating the life of Christ in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna. The earliest known cycle on the subject, they date from c.500-20 AD under the rule of Theodoric the Goth. Theodoric was an Arian Christian and these panels are a rare example of Arian art. They show Christ naturalistically and in a traditional Hellenistic-Roman artistic style. The mosaics were unaltered by the Catholics who took possession of the church in 560 except for the addition of cruciform haloes around Christ's head.

Credit: Holly Hayes