Art: LIGHT FROM THE DARK AGES

RAVENNA is the world's chief repository of early Byzantine art, surpassing even Istanbul, the capital of Byzantium. The ancient churches and chapels of the sleepy Italian town (pop. 35,000) are lit by windowpanes of translucent alabaster and by the glitter and blaze of great mosaics such as the triumphant Christ opposite. Ravenna's mosaics, made of innumerable bits of glass, gold and marble chips stuck in plaster, have neither the drama of Gothic church art nor the human warmth of the Renaissance masters. Yet they are equally great, and gayer than either. Their gaiety...

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