Saturday, February 22, 2014


One of the most important funerary complexes of the first half of the third century AD, discovered in 1919
On the floor of the main hall which is in communication with some catacomb tunnels there is a mosaic inscription mentioning four characters of the gens Aurelia, the Aurelii family
Paintings "Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden", "Creation of Adam" and "Doctors"
"Male and female figures draped", "Veiled woman", "Men with rods", "Decorations with birds, dolphins and sea horses", "Cupid and Psyche", "Male figure with a scroll" and "Man points to a cross"
Enigmatic "Banquet scene with eleven characters and a woman who touches the head of one of the guests", maybe "Sermon of Jesus on the mountain with goats and sheep", "Episode from the life of Ulysses", "Cities with turreted walls" maybe the heavenly Jerusalem, and "Knight who enters triumphantly into town"
"Appearing at an early age, even in the first half of the third century, with the famous and discussed banquet in the Hypogeum of the Aurelii, the image of the banquet will have a constant fortune in the catacombs of Rome, becoming one of the key representations of the early Christian figurative language. (...) Such scenes echo, first of all, the ancient Hellenistic funerary meals, sacrificial and leisurely, besides being funerary. These meals found a solution of continuity within the Italic, Etruscan and Roman culture with various types of funerary banquet. (...) In truth, in the catacombs' depictions of banquets, one can find most of the iconographic models and symbolic meanings created by the earlier figurative culture, even if the Christian sense, in ritual and symbolic key prevails and emerges on other senses" (Fabrizio Bisconti)

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