Nicola d'Angelo and Pietro Vassalletto
Easter Candle Stand: Top Tier, View 2 – The Resurrection

Circa 1170
St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

Christ rises from a sarcophagus that is "strigillated," a motif popular in the mid-second to early fifth centuries. In his left hand he holds a long cross and in his right a disc with a Greek cross and four circles.

The iconography borrows from that of Byzantine emperors. Christ wears a toga and is framed by columns and an arch. The sarcophagus is bowed out like a balcony. The disc is probably meant to represent a globe, "a sign of sovereignty and worldly power when held by God the Father or by Christ" (Sill, 131). Indeed the holding of a globe in the right hand and a sceptre in the left goes back to the pagan iconography of Jupiter, as in the picture at left.

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Photographed at St. Paul Outside the Walls by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.