Model of the Baptistery, the Christian Meeting House

Model of the Baptistery, the Christian Meeting House

Date before 256 CE

Movement Early Christian

Medium Marble

Dimensions 1’11.25″ x 7’2”

Provenanace Dura-Europos, Syria

Housed at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT


Early Christian congregations mostly took place in homes, given the religion’s clandestine nature (it was then unlawful to practice). Here, a lunette depicting the now-familiar shepherd tops the baptistry font, while a juxtaposing scene shows the narrative of Adam and Eve, and the wall to the right depicts the three Mary’s as they visit Jesus’ tomb. The combination of these scenes help to emphasize the cohesiveness of the religion’s narrative—especially in this baptistery context— from Adam and Eve.