(active 1140s in Rome)

Overall view of the apse calotte

Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome

The centre of the apse composition in Santa Maria in Trastevere features a subject previously unknown in Roman monumental art. Here, for the first time, Mary is pictured seated next to Christ on a richly ornamented heavenly throne. Both are dressed in precious garments; Christ wears a tunic with decorative borders and a gold pallium, while Mary's outer garment is also gold and covered with intricate embroidery. She is further adorned with a bejewelled collar and a gold crown. Christ, pictured in a strictly frontal view, has placed his right hand on Mary's shoulder, and with his left presents an open book inscribed with a portion of the liturgy for the feast of Assumption.

Six saints have gathered around the throne along with the donor. At the right side Peter is followed by the popes Cornelius, Julius I, and Calepodius. At the left Pope Calixtus stands next to Mary followed by St Lawrence. At the far left Pope Innocent II appears as the donor, holding a model of the church.

At the bottom appears a frieze of lambs, with the Lamb of God in the centre, the city of Jerusalem on the left, and Bethlehem on the right. These are largely motifs borrowed from Early Christian apse mosaics.

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