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'Sensational' sixth-century fresco of St Paul discovered

Naples find one of 'most intense' images of late antiquity

28 June, 18:27
'Sensational' sixth-century fresco of St Paul discovered (ANSA) - Vatican City, June 28 - A sixth-century fresco of Saint Paul has been discovered in Naples, Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has said, describing the find as ''sensational''. The fresco was found during restoration work at the city's Catacombs of San Gennaro (Saint Januarius) by experts from the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Art. The apostle is depicted with a long neck, a slightly pink complexion, thinning hair and big eyes that give his face a languid, spiritual air.

The saint is wearing a tunic with the letter 'I' on the hem, which may stand for 'Iesus' (Latin for Jesus).

''The image, which dates to the start of the sixth century, is one of the most intense, austere figures of late antiquity,'' read the piece announcing the discovery, which will be published in Wednesday's L'Osservatore Romano.

The right side of the work has not survived the last 1,500 years.

The commission said details suggest that an image of Saint Peter would have been there. photo: a fresco of Saint Paul.

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