This is the currently selected item. Two deer are drinking these waters flowing out the tree of life. Hayes, Holly. At first glance it seems as though the Apse is a jumbled mess surrounding a simple crucifixion scene, however, the symbolism is simply genius as every image and character depicted holds great importance. The risen and regnant Christ is above the entire work, in a medallion over the highest point of the arch. The vine grows out of the tree at the base of the cross, from which flow the four rivers of Eden. The focal point of the apse mosaic is the cross, which is planted in a font from which flow water and grows two large vines. The dedication is to Pope St Clement I. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Christian Symbols. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Read more about stag symbolism. As we prepare to celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, my mind turns to my favourite crucifix: a 12th-century mosaic set in the apse of the church of San Clemente in Rome. Hence, officially San Clemente refers to San Clemente a Monte Sacro and the basilica is San Clemente al Laterano. ( Log Out /  In the Catholic faith doves are symbols of peace and is a sign of the Holy Spirit filling the earth on Pentecost. There are what seem to be endless amounts of symbols in this mosaic and each time you look at it there is something new to analyze. The apse of San Clemente's upper church dates to the 1120s and was probably executed by artisans from Byzantium. The vine is identified as the Church by an inscription along the band just above the sheep: Ecclesiam Christi viti similabimus isti de ligno crucis Jacobi dens, Ignatiiq[ue] insupra scripti requiescunt corpore Christi quam lex arentem, sed crux facit esse virentem, "We have likened the Church of Christ to this vine; the Law made it wither but the Cross made it bloom. Change ), Crucifix With Eight Stories From The Passion, http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-san-clemente, http://www.aug.edu/augusta/iconography/sanClemente/apse.html. The hand of God reaches down from the jewelled heavens to complete the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Some may even refer to the cross itself as being the tree of life which can be seen with the way the cross emerges out of the tree and is then wrapped with the vines. Branching out from the tree on both sides are swirling vines that cover the entire mosaic branching out to all of humanity. Twelfth century apse mosaic, Basilica of San Clemente, Rome – This exceptional mosaic vividly represents the image of the cross with vines, which was commonly depicted in the Middle Byzantine period. In the body of Christ above this inscription rest [some] wood from the Cross, a tooth of James, and of Ignatius." First, the apostles appear as doves surrounding Jesus on the cross. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. http://www.fisheaters.com/symbols.html (accessed December 3, 2011). May 10, 2010. http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-san-clemente (accessed November 28, 2011). Ecclesiam Christi viti similabimus isti de ligno crucis Jacobi dens, Ignatiiq[ue] insupra scripti requiescunt corpore Christi quam lex arentem, sed crux facit esse virentem. The Apostles are again represented at the very bottom of the Mosaic as twelve sheep. Few people take any notice of this in real life -although the author of the Italian Wikipedia article has. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 12th or 13th century The apse mosaic, which sits above the high altar of San Clemente as the basilica’s crowning jewel, presents itself as a fitting subject for reflection as we celebrate the feast of Pope St. Clement on this Friday, November 23, 2012. The central lamb has a cruciform halo, symbolizing Christ.            PREVIOUS                              NEXT. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Once inside, you can not miss the beautifully painted ceiling or the original golden mosaic strikingly lit up in the apse. San Clemente, Rome. Over minor basilicas in roughly two hundred years Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license:... Associated with the resurrection of Christ are represented several different ways in the Catholic faith doves are of. 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