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Poreč, Cathedral of Eufrasius, mosaic, south side of apse, Visitation

Poreč, Cathedral of Eufrasius, mosaic, south side of apse, Visitation

Two narrative scenes, the Annunciation and the Visitation, are displayed on the lower walls of the north and south sides of the main apse. Their choice and prominence are consistent with the placement of Mary in the central apse and the emphasis on the humanity of Jesus, a doctrine upheld by the Istrian bishops during the schism triggered by Emperor Justinian’s condemnation of the Three Chapters. In the Visitation (a story narrated in the Gospel of Luke 1: 39-56), Mary visits her cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist: the accented breasts and pregnancy of both women highlight their maternity. This might allude, as well, to the Gospel verses that refer to John the Baptist leaping in his mother’s womb. From early Christian times, theologians suggested that John the Baptist already recognized and greeted the infant Jesus from the womb. Poreč (Parentium) had a specific connection with St. John the Baptist because a deacon who had helped rescue the relics of John from the followers of the pagan emperor Julian, later became a bishop of Parentium (Terry and Maguire [2007], pp. 137-39). Both John the Baptist and his father, Zacharias, are represented in mosaic panels in the sanctuary. The glow surrounding Mary and Elizabeth may be understood as a divine radiance, but, aesthetically, it sets the figures off from the reflective background (Terry and Maguire [2007], p. 96). The sashes the two women wear beneath their mantles are original and parallels at Ravenna and in other early Christian works suggest that they were part of women’s secular attire, without specifically religious usage (Terry and Maguire [2007], p. 104). Cited sources: Terry, Ann and Henry Maguire. Dynamic Splendor: The Wall Mosaics in the Cathedral of Eufrasius at Poreč. Univ. Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State UP, 2007. D'Emilio photo archive no. 19773722_1284u
Galleries: Cathedral of Eufrasius, Poreč, Croatia, Italy and the Adriatic, 500s, Mosaic, Mosaics on apse and choir walls, Visitation
Keywords: curtain, halo, sash
Photo Location: Poreč, Croatia
Photographer: Dr. James D’Emilio
Device Make: Nikon
Device Model: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Original Dimensions: 4998×3578
Picture Orientation: Landscape
GPS Coordinates:
Picture Number: 22294