EARLY CHRISTIAN PAINTER, Italian
(active in 3rd century in Rome)

Wall decoration

3rd century
Fresco
Catacombs of St Callixtus, Rome

The "gallery of the sacraments" was the heart of the great complex of San Callisto. The second-century catacombs were deepened several times, and in the first half of the third century a number of "cubicula" were dug, including the "crypt of the popes" and the "gallery of sacraments." These cubicula, with flat ceilings and large burial niches in the walls, were frescoed with the usual red and green lines against a white background. Small scenes with figures were set in the resulting frames. The abbreviated scenes, which have only a few figures and are difficult to interpret, are halfway up the wall, as if suspended in the frames reserved for them, creating an illusionistic effect and underlining their symbolic purpose.

The picture shows the rear wall of the sacramental chamber. The murals show a supper scene framed by two praying figures.