David Leads the Ark into Jerusalem

Nave, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

The entry of the Ark into Jerusalem is narrated in 2 Samuel 6. The mosaic shows the scene in verse 14: "And David danced with all his might before the Lord: and David was girded with a linen ephod." David is the gray-haired man dancing in the foreground. The "ephod" is the white piece of linen hanging at his right thigh. In the center background two priests carry the ark on their shoulders.

This is part of the extensive series of Old Testament scenes portrayed in mosaics along the two walls of the nave. To view the others follow this link .

One source I have seen says this panel and the one depicting the Temple are frescos installed during the restorations of the 16th century. They certainly do not look like frescos. The modeling of the faces, legs, and garments could reflect a 16th-century aesthetic allied to a respect for the 5th-century mosaics' way of arranging bodies within the frame.

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Read more about King David.

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