EARLY CHRISTIAN PAINTER, Italian
(active 2nd century in Rome)

Interior view

after 150
Fresco
Catacombs of St Callixtus, Rome

The Catacombs of San Callisto, located along the Via Appia Antica, were built after AD 150, with some private Christian hypogea and a funeral area directly dependent on the Catholic Church. It takes its name from the deacon Saint Callixtus, proposed by Pope Zephyrinus on his accession as pope. The Pope enlarged the complex, that soon became the official one for the Roman Church. The arcades, where more than fifty martyrs and sixteen pontiffs were buried, form part of a complex graveyard that occupies fifteen hectares and is almost 20 km long.

The photo shows the Crypt of the Popes. Situated on a prominent place on the front wall is the table-tomb of Pope Sixtus II who was martyred under the emperor Valerian in AD 258.