N E W L S

East Side - E24Sh48

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Easter

Different events after the resurrection of Christ, such as the Easter scene with the three women at the tomb and the message of the angel, set the theme of this double capital.  Great similarities exist between the mosaics in the northern transept of the cathedral and the north side of this capital, which shows the visitatio sepulchre. Portrayed in the gospels of Mark and Luke, the three women come with unguents to embalm the body of the dead Christ and are greeted by an angel who sits upon the stone that has been rolled away from the tomb’s entrance. Both capital and mosaics correspond closely in various aspects, such as the gesture and bearing of the angel and the women, the position of the sleeping guards, as well as the shroud that was left behind in the tomb.

On the east side stands Christ – unmistakable with the crossed nimbus – across from an apostle. The encounter between Christ and Peter before the gates of Rome is described in the apocryphal text of the Acts of Peter (35). As the apostle is fleeing Rome he meets Christ at the city gate and asks him, "Quo vadis, Domine? – Lord, where are you going?", to which Christ replies, "Venio Romam iterum crucifigi. – I am going to Rome to be crucified anew."

This rarely represented scene of the Quo vadis was already identified at Monreale by Adolfo Venturi.

Venturi, Adolfo: Storia dell'arte italiana - L'arte romanica, 1904, S. 632