Rome, SS Nereo ed Achilleo
|Location||Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 28, 00153 Roma RM, Italy|
It took me years to get into this one and see the mosaic - it was one of those churches always under restoration, apart from the year it opened with no sense of irony only on April 1st (!) and I, like a fool, was flying out of Rome too early to get to it.
But keep trying. It's a basilica church (rectangular building, apse at the east) and the mosaics survive on the arch over the choir. The church itself was rebuilt by Pope Leo III in c800 and has been remodelled (unfortunately) since then.. There were once some in the apse, recorded in a Renaissance drawing - this shows a central jewelled cross on a small mountain and three sheep approaching it from either side, which might be a sort of transfiguration (see S Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, where Leo is known in fact to have carried out restorations) , At the top of the arch is a scene of the Transfiguration ( EXPLAIN) . To our left is the Annunciation (the Archangel Gabriel telling Mary that she will bear a son who is the Son of God) and to our right, Mary and her Child, flanked by an angel. These are all scenes that sya something about Christ's relationship to his divinity and humanity. EXPLAIN BETTER - In carnation. Leo's monogram is on the arch.