This Byzantine mosaic is in the church Saint-Vital of Ravenna, Italy. The church was started by the bishop Ecclesius in 525 and was consecrated during the reign of the Emperor Justinien (527-565). This city was the seat of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and then of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century. The mosaic i use in this polyvore set is a part of a scene representing Empress Theodora (527-548) who was the Emperor Justinien’s wife with civil dignitaries and court ladies.
The mosaic is on a gold background which is a caracteristic of the Byzantine art. Wearing a purple coat, Theodora is adorned with a rich diadem inlaying of pearls and gems and is surrounded by a halo.
Theodora had a significant influence on her husband ; a lot of historians think it’s her and not Justinien who governed the Byzantine Empire. Theodora is one of the first sovereigns to acknowledge women rights (laws against protitution, increase of the pensions granted to the women in case of divorce…). She tries also to mitigate laws aginst the Monophysites (people holding the doctrine that Christ has a single inseparable nature that is at once divine and human). She achieves to end their persecution.