De aula Lateranensi

Name of text: De aula Lateranensi
Author of text: Jacobi Grimaldi
Date of text: 1617
Date of person in text:
Name of structure in text: Lateran Palace, Triclinium of Leo III
Type of structure in text: Triclinium/dining hall
Date of structure in text 717-741
Century of structure 1: 8 AD
Century of structure 2:
Country in text: Italy
Region in text: Lazio
City in text: Rome
Specific place of mosaic in text: Apse
Description of mosaic in text:

Central apse shows Christ on a mountain from which spring four rivers of paradise. Blessing with right hand and holds book in left.  Purple garments.  Five apostles on each side, one carries a long cross, none of the others have attributes.  All figures nimbed.  Over Christ’s head a cloud with lightning.  Border of mosaic consists of flowers which spring from two vessels.  In the centre of border, over Christ’s head is the monogram of Leo III:

A second border encircles the arch, containing inscription: GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST: AND ON EARTH PEACE TO MEN OF GOODWILL.  At the feet of the figures runs a frieze with an inscription: GOING THEREFORE, TEACH YE ALL NATIONS, BAPTISING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST.  AND BEHOLD I AM WITH YOU ALL DAYS, EVEN TO THE CONSUMMATION OF THE WORLD.  On the triangular wall left of the apse is a picture of St. Peter, Leo III, black haired, with rectangular nimbus, and Charlemagne receiving a standard from St Peter, six red roses in a blue field.  Charlemagne has two twisted moustaches.

In the vault of the apse are ten apostles, and the eleventh is in the triangle of the apse wall. 

Mosaic date in text: 8 AD
Tesserae silver mentioned in text? No
Tesserae gold mentioned in text? No
Colour descriptions in text: purple

J. Grimaldi, De aula Lateranensi, ed. Philippe Lauer, Le Palais de Latran (Paris: Leroux, 1911), pp. 581-82, quoted in Caecilia Davis-Weyer, Early Medieval Art: 300-1150 (Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1986), pp. 91-92.

Comments: By 1617 the small hall had been made into a garden, with only one of the three apses standing, other two half gone.  Surviving mosaic exposed to the elements.

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