Altar Screen Fragment with Scenes from Matthew 2
In the 1030-40 AD
Originally in the Church of St. Domenica (Sv. Nedilijica), Zadar, Croatia Archeological Museum, Zadar
On the left is the story of the Slaughter of the Innocents (Matthew 2:16-18); on the right, the Flight into Egypy (Matthew 2:13-15). The first three panels clearly belong to the Slaughter story: Herod orders the massacre, a soldier kills a baby, and a woman weeps. The woman in the fourth panel is dressed and coiffed just like the weeping woman, so she may belong to the Slaughter story, although this is not certain.
On the right, in four panels, are the traditional figures of the Flight into Egypt. Mary rides on the ass holding the Christ Child, passing the palm tree that figures in chapter 20 of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. The man on the far right must be St. Joseph. He has a halo and wears a mantle over a long tunic, whereas the man behind him wears only a short tunic and has no halo. The man in the short tunic is Salome, who accompanied the family in The History of Joseph the Carpenter. According to some manuscripts of Pseudo-Matthew he was Mary's stepfather. He also appears with his beard, satchel, and staff in another Croatian work of five centuries later.
This image in full resolution
More of the Flight into Egypt
Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.