Earliest Icons of Peter and Paul

Saint Paul, 4th Century

Following on from How to Recognize the Holy Apostles in Icons, here are a few photos of the earliest surviving Icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul. They’re from St. Tecla’s catacomb in Rome, and date from the latter half of the fourth century. Although older depictions of the Apostles survive, they are usually part of a narrative scene; these are the oldest surviving Icons of the Apostles in portrait.

St. Peter

Saint Peter, 4th Century

As can be seen, the representations we have today of the two Holy Apostles in iconography date back at least 1600 years. This lends greater credence to the belief that the Icons we have of the Holy Apostles are indeed based upon their actual earthly appearance, as well as being stylized, symbolic representations.

More information on the discovery of these early Icons can be found on St Mary Magdalene blog.

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This entry was posted in History, Iconography, The Saints and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Earliest Icons of Peter and Paul

  1. Pingback: The June Menaion Icon | A Reader's Guide to Orthodox Icons

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