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Entry into Jerusalem

mosaic — c. 1145 Museum Cappella Palatina, Palermo

This work is linked to Luke 19:37

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Seated on a she-asses' foal and in the company of his disciples, Jesus arrives at the gates of Jerusalem, where a priest awaits him. The tree in the background is a palm tree. People lay cloths and palm branches on Jesus' path. The scroll in his hand symbolizes wisdom.

Riding next to Jesus is Peter. The beardless disciple is probably John.

The mosaic is in the chapel of the Royal Palace in Palermo. It is part of a New Testament cycle. The chapel was built in 1130-1140 by the Normans, who at the time ruled over Sicily. The chapel and the mosaics were commissioned by king Roger II. The sculptor of the mosaic probably was from Venice. He worked in the Byzantine tradition.

It was damaged during a restoration effort in the 19th century. The artist in charge, one Rosario Riolo, was kind enough to make a copy of the original version. The replica (below) now is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Entry into Jerusalem

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