Home|Front panel of the sarcophagus with biblical scenes (Hall 1)

Front panel of the sarcophagus with biblical scenes (Hall 1)

This front sarcophagus panel was probably carved in a Roman workshop in the 4th century AD during Constantine's mandate (the first Christian emperor) and it was exported to Hispania.

This marble piece has been carved in alto relievo and features scenes from the old and new testaments in a continuous frieze-that is to say, without separating elements.

From left to right: the resurrection of Lazarus, Abraham's sacrifice, the miracle of the loaves and fishes in which Jesus appears between Saint Peter and Saint Andrew, a central figure seen in prayer who is the deceased, Adam and Eve and finally, the adoration of the Magi.

The scenes are not arranged chronologically, but are rather linked to one another through the common theme of the divinity of Jesus, the Eucharist and Redemption. As far as technique, it is worth noting the use of the trephine to set off details like curly hair, eyes and vegetation. Other details, like the hand of God next to Abraham or the camels in the Epiphany scene, have been carved in a relief that is less severe, placing them on a secondary narrative plane.

The complete sarcophagus was discovered in the 17th century in Layos, in the province of Toledo. Later, this front panel was separated from the sarcophagus to be used as a tombstone for a noble family, whose coats-of-arms can be seen on the back.