sabato 16 ottobre 2021

Mosaic of the Good Shepherd in unusual costume

Mosaico del Buon Pastore dall'abito singolare, Fondo Cossar, Area Archeologica Aquileia | Foto: © Gianluca Baronchelli
The mosaic of the “Buon pastore dall’abito singolare” (the Good Shepherd in unusual costume, currently under restoration) adorned a huge stateroom that lies to the north of the central domus. Within a frame of little arches, the figure of the Good Shepherd, holding his characteristic crook with sheep behind him, stands inside a circle, which in turn is inscribed within a larger one: the space between them is filled with vine shoots, pheasants and peacocks. In the corners between the larger circle and the square frame around it, the figures of the Four Seasons appear. The mosaic’s figurative themes are typical of 4th-century art, although not necessarily Christian. Hence, it is now considered unlikely that the hall was a Christian oratory.