David Leads the Ark into Jerusalem

Nave, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

The entry of the Ark into Jerusalem is narrated in 2 Samuel 6:11-14. King David, the old man in the foreground, dances while the bearers bring in the ark. On his thigh is the "linen ephod" of the text is the white cloth on his right thigh. Although the text does not characterize the bearers, the artist has dressed them as priests.

This is part of the extensive series of Old Testament scenes portrayed in mosaics along the two walls of the nave. To view the others follow this link .

One source I have seen says this panel and the one depicting the Temple are frescos installed during the restorations of the 16th century. They certainly do not look like frescos. The modeling of the faces, legs, and garments could reflect a 16th-century aesthetic allied to a respect for the 5th-century mosaics' way of arranging bodies within the frame.

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