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Poreč, Cathedral of Eufrasius, apse, opus sectile

Poreč, Cathedral of Eufrasius, apse, opus sectile

The apse wall of the Cathedral of Eufrasius bears a revetment of opus sectile, panelling made up of different colored marbles and glass cut in different shapes. In her study of the panels, Ann Terry noted the exceptional quality of the ensemble and its preservation without significant restoration. The materials include red and green porphyry, giallo antico (a yellow marble with veins of diverse colors quarried in Tunisia), pavonazzetto (a white marble mottled with deep purple and crimson veins) and mother of pearl, as well as fifteen other marbles and eight other colors of glass (Terry [1986], 148). Among the richly varied details, one may note the pairs of dolphins in giallo antico set against turquoise colored glass on the left panel. In the third panel, ivory is used as a border for the green or serpentine porphyry and the upper and lower sections each exhibit a trident between two cornucopia. In the fourth panel, an ivy vine of mother of pearl, accented with turquoise colored glass, is set against green porphyry in a thick frame. The columns on the innermost panel in this photograph are made to resemble the inlaid columns of early Byzantine churches. Throughout the work, close inspection reveals the use of spolia and filler pieces to surround the larger discs or rectangles. Cited sources: Terry, Ann. “The Opus Sectile in the Cathedral at Poreč,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 40 (1986): 147-64, especially 150-53 for discussion of the panels illustrated here. D'Emilio photo archive no. 19773735_1297u
Galleries: Cathedral of Eufrasius, Poreč, Croatia, Italy and the Adriatic, 500s, Opus Sectile
Keywords: discs, mother of pearl, porphyry, vinescrolls
Photo Location: Poreč, Croatia
Photographer: Dr. James D’Emilio
Device Make: Nikon
Device Model: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Original Dimensions: 5270×3546
Picture Orientation: Landscape
GPS Coordinates:
Picture Number: 22310