Milena Stefanović Sajc

The Halo: The Origins and Development of Christian Iconography

pages: 151-172


The article follows a review of the development of the phenomena from the idea of circle as an archetypal motif to the specific iconographic symbol which represents a certain sign language. The halo is a discovery of Hellenistic epoch, and represents an example of taking over an ancient form as well as its Christianization. Theological thought is reflected in the act of its refusal, and then gradual acceptance and the final appearance of halo on the wall frescoes which is the scope of our discussion. This symbol was initially, in the Early Christian art, linked to the dogma of Christ’s Divine nature and the theme of the triumphant imperial iconography, and in the time to follow became iconographic feature linked with saints of the Church. By the end of the sixth century the use of the halo became commonplace.





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