Santa Costanza--page 2 (of four pages)

350 C.E.

Ambulatory mosaics, mid-fourth century

These mosaics on the barrel vault depict secular themes--patterns of found objects scattered with fruit, birds, vessels, foliage, with intertwining grape vines and cupids engaged in the harvest of grapes. These motifs were not uncommon in Roman houses. But what had been Bacchic motifs now in a Christian context allude to the Eucharist. There are also two portrait heads, with the female perhaps representing Constantina.

Note that some of the images were taken with a flash, some with high speed settings on the camera; thus the color is different.

Putti transporting grapes or stomping grapes to make wine.


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© 2006 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.