The Apsidal Arch at Santa Maria Maggiore
Maria Maggiore, Rome
What was designed as an apsidal arch became a "triumphal arch" when the
apse was moved back to make space for a transept. Above is the center
of the arch, with St. Peter (left) and St. Paul flanking an image of a throne with the cross representing the person of Christ.
Even at this early date, SS. Peter and Paul have the faces artists will
use ever after: a square beard for Peter and a pointy beard for the
Paul, who is balding from the front of his head. Behind them, as if
arranged on a low balcony, are symbolic representations of the evangelists (left to right): Luke,
Matthew, Mark, and John.
The following photographs of the arch are available:
Photographed at the
site by Richard Stracke