The Parting of Lot and Abraham and Shepherds in a Landscape
Date ca. 432-40 CE
Movement Early Christian
Located at Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy
Much like the Column of Trajan, the artists here employed shorthand devices to recount narratives —it was more important to understand the main points of an event or story than providing a realistic depiction of how it may have looked. Here, Lot and Abraham part ways at Sodom and Gomorra; it is understood that each grouping contains a multitude of people, given the bunch of silhouetted figures and heads that appear behind the main characters. Shepherds appear below, while sheep float abstractly on islands of grass in the expansive gold background.