Rome, Sancta Sanctorum

Era 13AD
Location Piazza di S. Giovanni in Laterano, 14, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

Pope Nicholas III made important restorations at the Lateran, including the Capella Sancta Sanctorum, the palace chapel of the pope. The mosaic there is in the shallow barrel vault and shows a half-figure Christ held by four flying angels, vaguely reminiscent of the Zeno Chapel in S Prassede. The lunettes depict Peter and Paul, Laurence, Agnes, Stephen and Nicholas: relics of these last four are in the chapel. Three lunettes on the reverse of the altar wall portray hanging lamps in mosaic. The distinction in the materials (the shift from mosaic to paint) actually follows the separation between the sanctuary (mosaic) and the main body of the church (paint).