The Apse Mosaic at St. Paul Outside the Walls: Detail of the Cross Enthroned

Circa 1220
Mosaic
St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

In an echo of much earlier mosaics, Christ is represented by a cross, in this case enthroned as in Heaven. In the center of the cross is a tiny image of Christ himself, and below the crossbars are the crown of thorns and the nails of the crucifixion standing in a chalice. The archangels flanking the throne hold scrolls with the first words of the phrases GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO (right) and ET IN TERRA PAX HOMINIBUS BONAE VOLUNTATIS (left) – "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will."

This image in full resolution
A long view of the apse in the basilica
More of the Cross as symbol

Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.