Square as Christian Symbol



Square


Square halo in Christian mosaic
Mosaic of Pope Paschal I in Santa Prassede, Rome. Photo: Sacred Destinations.

Square halo in Christian mosaic
Pope Paschal's mother Theodora with square nimbus and accompanied by saints, also in Santa Prassede. Photo: Sacred Destinations.

In Christian symbolism, a square represents concepts related to the number four, such as the four corners of the earth and the Four Evangelists.

In Christian art, the square is most frequently found as a nimbus (halo), where it denotes a saintly person who was still living at the time of the artwork.

This is based on the identification of the number four with earth or live on earth.

For more symbolism related to the number four, see Christian Number Symbolism.




Sources

  1. "halo." Peter and Linda Murray, Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art (2004).
  2. Symbols in Christian Art and Architecture by Walter E. Gast. Top illustration of the square also by Mr. Gast.