Virgin and Child

Early 3rd century
Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome

This may be the earliest image of the Virgin Mary not in a representation of the Adoration of the Magi. The Christ Child (presumably) is nursing at his mother's breast while a man on the left points up at what could be a star. If these presumptions are true the subject of the fresco would be the Nativity and the man would be the prophet Balaam, whose prophecy of a star rising "from Jacob" (Numbers 24:17) was believed to foretell the star that would guide the Magi to the Christ Child.

Read more about portraits of Mary and about the birth of Christ.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.