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Photo of Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Mosaic of the Good Shepherd

Mosaic of Christ as the Good Shepherd over the entrance of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, dating from around 430 AD. This image was common in the Roman catacombs of earlier centuries, but there are important developments to be seen in this version. Instead of being shown as a typical countryman, this Good Shepherd has a large golden halo, wears a royal purple mantle over a golden tunic, and holds a tall cross. On either side of him are two groups of three sheep, who look peaceful and gaze up at their Shepherd. Christ tenderly touches the nose of one of them.

Photo © David Joyal.

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