Paradoxplace Lazio and Central Italy Galleries

About Paradoxplace

 

 

PARADOXPLACE CHURCHES OF ROME

 

THE MAJOR BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA MAGGIORE

 

TRIUMPHAL ARCH MOSAICS (c430)

 

NAVE MOSAICS

BACK TO SANTA MARIA MAGGIORE MAIN PAGE

 

 

Back to Paradoxplace Rome pages

 

 

 

 

The most fascinating bit of Santa Maria Maggiore is the Triumphal Arch, which is completely mosaiced with scenes about Mary and the Incarnation.  The arch mosaics date from around 431, and were a public homage to the Marian outcome of the Council of Ephesus.  Like the old testament mosaic panels in the nave, Pope Sixtus paid for the work out of his own pocket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L: Saint Peter between Luke's Bull and Matthew's Man.

C: A crown and mantle surmount the Throne of God, on which rest the Book of the Apocalypse and the New Law.

R: Saint Paul between Mark's Lion and  John's Eagle

"Bishop Sixtus to the people of God"

 

 

Apart from the top centrepiece, there are 8 scenes, all shown in chronological sequence below - though in the arch layout, the chronology is mixed up.  

 

 

 

 

1. Mary is annunciated whilst an angel also gives Joseph a briefing.

3. The Magnificent Magi visit Mary, Joseph and their baby, and one of them points to "the star".

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The magnificent Magi visit Herod and ask where the baby King is - their gear is mirrored by that worn by the Magi in Sant'Apolliniare Nuovo in Ravenna.

 

 

 

 

3. The magnificent Magi visit Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and angels, and one of them points to "the star".

 

 

 

 

4. Mary, Joseph, Jesus and angel escort go to the temple and meet the prophetess Anna, old Simeon and the tribes of Israel.  On the right an angel tells Joseph to flee with his family to Egypt.

6. The holy family arrive in Egypt and King Aphrodisias is converted (see detail below).

 

 

 

 

5. Herod panics and orders all male children up to 2 years old to be killed ("the slaughter of the innocents").

 

 

 

 

6. The holy family arrive in Egypt and King Aphrodisias is converted.

 

 

 

 

Above:  Jerusalem ("Hiervsalam"), where it all ended, or indeed began in earnest.

 

Below:  Bethlehem ("Bethleem"), where it all began.

 

 

 

 

For other Paradoxplace links visit the home page

 

Latest Updates Site Map Travel Services Insight Pages Artists Cathedrals Abbeys France Spain Portugal Britain Italy Venice,  N Italy Tuscany Umbria Rome, Central Italy Sicily, South Italy Book Pages Middle Ages-1350 Renaissance-1600 Map Pages Information

 

All original material on this site Adrian Fletcher  2000-2015 - The contents may not be hotlinked, or reproduced without permission