Christ the Door
John 10:9
This iconographic type seems to be Greek in origin and appears in western locations where there was Greek influence. It arises from John 10:9, "I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures." The phrase appears in Greek in the picture at right, a mosaic above the door of a Greek church, and also in Greek in the second picture, a South Italian plaque, but in Latin in the third picture, from St. Mark's in Venice. In all three Christ has the same beard and hair style and is flanked by the letters ΙC ΧC, which abbreviate the Greek for "Jesus Christ." Only in the St. Mark's version is he also flanked by two saints.

Prepared in 2016 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University. Revised 2016-10-04.


The mosaic above the central door to San Giorgio dei Greci, Venice, probably 16th century. (See the description page)

South Italian plaque, ca. 1100 (See the description page)

Mosaic in St. Mark's Cathedral, Venice (See the description page)