Below are a sample of some of my very favourite mosaics on the ceilings of chapels, baptistries. I find that all of these images are especially beautiful and represent some of the best of early Christian imagery.
1. The Baptistry of Neon – Ravenna. The most ancient monument remaining in the city, it was partly erected on the site of a Roman bath. It is also called the Orthodox Baptistry to distinguish it from the Arian Baptistry constructed on behest of Ostrogothic King Theodoric some 50 years later. Read More.
It depicts the baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist with the Holy Spirit descending upon Christ. With a depiction of the River Jordan holding Christs garments. All while surrounded by the 12 Apostles, with St. Peter and Paul meeting at the foot of the image.
2. The Basilica of Saint Praxedes (Latin: Basilica Sanctae Praxedis, Italian: Basilica di Santa Prassede all’Esquillino), commonly known in Italian as Santa Prassede, is an ancient titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, located near the papal basilica of Saint Mary Major. The current Cardinal Priest of Titulus Sancta Praxedis is Paul Poupard. Read More.
3. The Arian Baptistry in Ravenna, Italy was erected by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great between the end of the 5th century and the beginning of the sixth century, at the same time as the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo. Read More. Read More.
On the left of this image again the River Jordan is depicted as Christ is baptised by St. John the Baptist. As with the Neon Baptistry a procession of the apostles is below the image.
4. Basilica of San Vitale, styled an “ecclesiastical basilica” in the Roman Catholic Church, though it is not of architectural basilica form — is a church in Ravenna, Italy, one of the most important examples of early Christian Byzantine Art and architecture in western Europe. The building is one of eight Ravenna structures inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Read More.
Above the altar in the Basilica is this image. The ancient symbol of Christ as sacrificial lamb.
5. The Archbishop’s Chapel, Ravenna. This is a chapel on the first floor of the bishops’ palace in Ravenna, Italy, the smallest of the famous mosaic sites of the city. It is a private oratory of Trinitarian bishops dating from the turn of the 6th century. Although commonly attributed to St. Peter Chrysologus, Archbishop of Ravenna from 433–450, the chapel was actually built by Peter II shortly after he became archbishop in 495. The mosaics date from the original construction, or soon after. Read More.
Here you have the Evangelists depicted, contemporary sources show these as Matthew the Man (Bottom Centre), Luke the Eagle (Right), Mark the Lion (Top Centre), and John the Ox (Left). If you’ve a mind to read further on this you may find this article useful. Article: Patristic and Insular Traditions of the Evangelists: Exegesis and Iconography of the Four-Symbols Page, by Dr. Jennifer O’Reilly.