The Good Shepherd in Paradise

First half of the 5th century
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy

A beardless, youthful Christ sits in the center among his sheep, wearing a dalmatic and pallium and holding a cross. The gesture of his right hand may be intended to suggest feeding, or it may simply be a loving touch.

In the left background is a hill from which rivers flow, suggesting the four rivers of Paradise (Genesis 2:10-14). The same type of hill and rivers can be seen in Lamb of God images on sarcophagi of the period. (See this page) for examples.

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Read more about images of shepherds and sheep in Christian art.

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