When comparing various works of art belonging to different religions, it is fascinating to discover the similarities and distinctions. For example, in the mosaic Christ, San Vitale, Ecclesius, and Angels from the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, and the Shaka Triad statue from Horyu-Ji Temple in Japan, common features can be seen.
In both cases, the divine figure is placed in the center, Jesus on the mosaic and Buddha on the statue. Furthermore, they both are surrounded by servants and angels around Christ and bodhisattvas on the two sides of Buddha. Moreover, the halo can be seen above Jesus’s, Buddha’s, and other saints’ heads. The two works were created to represent the essence of the Christian and Buddhist religions, respectively.
Indeed, the mosaic shows Jesus as a central figure who is supported by angels from paradise and carries essential knowledge for humanity. The statue demonstrates that Buddha, the leading figure who created this teaching, attained nirvana, but some bodhisattvas willingly stayed on earth to teach people.
The main differences between these works of art are their type, material, and size. The Christ, San Vitale, Ecclesius, and Angels is a large glass mosaic in the Church of San Vitale. Shaka Triad is a bronze statue 35’’ in size, which is smaller than the Byzantine artwork but still a relatively tall figure.
Dressing also plays a critical role in both works because Jesus and Buddha are wearing robes that distinguish them from others. In fact, Christ is dressed in a purple cloak, which indicates his nobility in the kingdom of heaven since he is the son of God, while angels have white robes. On the other hand, Buddha’s clothes are simpler compared to his bodhisattvas.