Gustav Klimt and the Ravenna Mosaics

Emma Rose Millar

The splendour of Byzantine churches with their glinting domes and stunning mosaics spread throughout the Mediterranean. Nowhere are they more beautiful than in Italy; St Marks in Venice and Monreale Cathedral being two of the most spectacular examples.

venice-st-marks-basilica St. Marks Basillica, Venice

We know that Gustav Klimt was a frequent visitor to both Venice and Ravenna, and it seems likely that he drew inspiration from the glorious Byzantine art which he would have been surrounded by in both cities.


In ancient times, Ravenna was a thriving seaport, which rose to power in the 1st century BC under the Emperor Augustus. The town converted to Christianity in the early 2nd century AD. As Rome’s power declined, Ravenna was made capital of the Western Empire in 402 AD. The following century it came under the rule of Thedoric and the Arian Ostrogoths, and in 540 the city became part of the Byzantine…

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About emmarosemillar

Mum, chocolate maker, author of THE WOMEN FRIENDS: SELINA and the award-winning novel FIVE GUNS BLAZING.
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