Miracles of Christ: Healing of the Ten Lepers (detail), Byzantine mosaic (12th century)

September 6, 2016
Photo © Alfredo Dagli Orti / Art Resocurce, NY

This mosaic depicting Christ healing the ten lepers (Luke 17:11–19) decorates the Monreale Cathedral in Sicily. The church features some of the largest and most important Greek mosaics of the twelfth century, including a Life of Christ that is dominated by images depicting Jesus’ miracles. In Christ’s encounter with the lepers, the apostles seem less than pleased. The lepers are covered in dark spots, the conventional markers of leprosy in art (which apparently originated in earlier images of Job), and they are shown gesturing frantically to gain Jesus’ attention.