Mosaic at San Clemente
The mosaic at San Clemente Church in in Rome is located in the apse of the church. It is a mosaic consisting of mainly green and gold tesserae placed irregularly to intensify the shining of the gold pieces. It was made in the twelfth century and is similar to the christian mosaic style. This piece is very different from many other crucifixion pieces in that it is based around the resurrection of Christ that follows the crucifixion. Although it gives a different feel than most, the mosaic still consists of mourning Mary and St. John. On the stems of the cross there are twelve doves that symbolize the apostles as well as bring a sense of peace to the depicted scene. Below the cross the apostles are again depicted as sheep with Christ in the center shown by the golden halo around the center sheep’s head. All the sheep look towards the center sheep showing their worship and following of Christ. The cross that Christ is hanging from emerges from a scroll that is filled with life like birds, animals, and people. It creates a more lively feeling rather than darkness and sadness. Additionally, the tree of eternal life is present reaching from the earth to heaven joining the two symbolizing the rising of Christ after his death. At the top of the mosaic God holds out a victor’s wreath to Christ as he has overcome death and achieved victory and triumph.