EARLY CHRISTIAN SCULPTOR, Italian
(active around 340 in Rome)

Front panel of a sarcophagus

4th century
Marble
Museu Frederic Marès, Barcelona

This front sarcophagus panel was probably carved in a Roman workshop in the 4th century during the reign of Emperor Constantine and it was exported to Hispania.

This marble piece has been carved in alto relievo and features scenes from the Old and New Testaments in a continuous frieze without separating elements.

From left to right: the resurrection of Lazarus, Abraham's sacrifice, the miracle of the loaves and fishes in which Jesus appears between Saint Peter and Saint Andrew, a central figure seen in prayer who is the deceased, Adam and Eve and finally, the adoration of the Magi.

The scenes are not arranged chronologically, but are rather linked to one another through the common theme of the divinity of Jesus, the Eucharist and Redemption.

The complete sarcophagus was discovered in the 17th century in Layos, in the province of Toledo. Later, this front panel was separated from the sarcophagus to be used as a tombstone for a noble family, whose coats-of-arms can be seen on the back.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.