Giulio Quaglio, Glory of St. Nicholas

Late 17th century
Ceiling of St. Nicholas Cathedral, Ljubljana, Slovenia

According to the cathedral's printed guide book, the roundels at either end of the composition refer not directly to St. Nicholas but to the Christians who were martyred under Nero and Diocletian. At the "bottom" of this photograph they are being put to the sword while putti bring them palm branches and laurel crowns and a figure in white (perhaps the Virgin Mary) points the way through Jesus' own martyrdom on the cross to Heaven above. A similar scene is in the other roundel, and further scenes of martyrdom line the edges. The figure closest to the very center, in brown tunic and flowing gray mantle, is Nicholas himself.

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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.