Doctors, Christ in Conference With

Doctors, Christ In Conference With

The subject is represented in a fresco of the first cubiculum of the Callixtine catacomb. Our Lord is on a lofty seat in the midst, with hand upraised in the act of speaking; the doctors on his right and left, with some expression of wonder on their countenances. The only sarcophagus besides that of Junius Bassus, which indisputably contains this subject, is said by Martigny to be in San Ambrogio, at Milan. In this, representation Christ is placed in a stall or edicule above the surrounding figures, which are seated, while two palms stand by him, one on either side. He holds in his hand a book or scroll, which is partly unrolled, while the doctors have closed theirs. In Allegranza, tav. 1, a mosaic from San Aquilino of Milan represents the Lord's elevated seat on a rock, with the divine lamb below, referring to Revelation 5, "able to open the book." On his right and left are Joseph and Mary in the attitude of adoration. Perret gives a copy of a very skilful painting from the catacombs, which place's two doctors on the Lord's right hand, who are expressing attention and wonder, and Joseph and Mary on the other, with looks of patient waiting for him. The fine diptych of the 5th century at the cathedral of Milan, and that of Murano, also represent our Lord sitting, with the doctors standing before him. His appearance here is more mature than the Gospels warrant. Below his feet is a figure, supposed to represent Uranus, or the firmament of the heavens (Ps 18:9).

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