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Explore the medieval Christian art of Ravenna in this Smithsonian class

Basilica of San Vitale

Renata Sedmakova | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 06/15/21

Smithsonian Associates is offering a one-day online lecture on the extraordinary early Christian-era art of medieval Ravenna.

On July 9, Smithsonian Associates, the largest museum-based education program in the world, will host a one-day online lecture on the artistic traditions of Ravenna, Italy. Those who attend can earn a half a credit towards a certificate in World Art History. 

The class, titled Ravenna: The Twilight of the Roman Empire, will be hosted by art historian Elaine Ruffolo. During the lecture, Ruffolo will explore Ravenna’s extraordinary early Christian-era structures. Many of these buildings are protected as UNESCO heritage sites for their magnificent mosaic art. 

The course

This brief seminar will examine Ravenna’s art with an eye towards the relationships between art and religion during an important period of European history. An excerpt from the course’s synopsis reads: 

For a brief, dazzling moment, Ravenna was an unlikely refuge for a world falling apart. The city’s history, enshrined in superb Byzantine mosaics, reflects the twilight of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages. 

While age-old monuments were crumbling everywhere, Ravenna was filled with magnificent new palaces and churches. As the capital of the western outpost of the Roman Empire in its last days, then of the occidental provinces of the Byzantine Empire, it offered a refuge of luxury and splendor, a return to antique civilization rising above relentless seas of barbarism.

Registration for the lecture is open until the morning of the July 9 event. Tickets to the online lecture are $20 dollars. This price can be discounted up to 20% for members of Smithsonian Associates.

Those who attend the lecture will earn a half a credit towards a World Art History certificate. This unique certificate program examines the major creators, movements, and historical periods that shaped art across civilizations and centuries.

The certificate takes only 10 credits to earn. This means attending Ravenna: The Twilight of the Roman Empire via Zoom will put you on track for the certificate.

Learn more about this art education program at Smithsonian Associates. 
Click here to learn more about Ravenna: The Twilight of the Roman Empire.

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