Apostle Paul, circa 494–519 C.E. Mosaic, Museo arcivescovile di Ravenna, Italy.
The Archiepiscopal Chapel is the only small worship building from the early Christian era that has been preserved to the present day. It was completed in 519 C.E. by Bishop Peter II as a private oratory for Catholic bishops. The cross-shaped building is constructed with a barrel-vaulted rectangular vestibule that is covered in mosaics at the ceiling. The central roundel motif is a representation of Christ as a warrior; images of various martyrs, apostles, and evangelists radiate outward from it. Shown here is the image of the apostle Paul. A team of artists used thousands of colored tesserae (small bits of stone or tile) to create the images adorning the chapel’s ceiling.