A mosaic of the Byzantine empress Theodora wearing an elaborate crown and pieces of jewelry. Her halo, averted gaze, and unusually large eyes are all motifs in Early Byzantine imperial portraiture that are meant to symbolize her rule by divine authority.
Pieced together out of tesserae (glass crystal, rock, gold, etc).
Made in 546 in the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy.
The Basilica of San Vitale is a church in Ravenna, Italy and one of the most important examples of early Christian Byzantine art and architecture in Western Europe. The building is styled an “ecclesiastical basilica” in the Roman Catholic Church, though it is not of architectural basilica form. The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of the Emperor Justinian I to survive virtually intact to the present day.