Baptistery wall painting: Christ Healing the Paralytic Artist: Unknown

ca. A.D. 232

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Dura-Europos

In a scene from the baptistery that depicts Christ’s miraculous works, Christ heals a bedridden man. The man appears twice: in the foreground, he is shown paralyzed, and on the left, he joyfully carries his bed away. The scene signified to viewers the healing quality of baptism in the nearby font, where initiates received forgiveness for sins and began new lives as Christians.


Paint on plaster


57 1/16 × 34 5/8 in. (145 × 88 cm)

Credit Line

Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos

Accession Number



Roman (3rd century A.D.)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Excavated by the Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos (block M8, Christian Building), present-day Syria, 1928–37; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Blair Fowlkes-Childs and Michael Seymour, The World Between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019), 204–5, no. 145A
  • Per Ingesman and Nils Arne Pedersen, Kirkens Historie, 2 vols. (Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag, 2012), 116, Dura-Europos in detail pps. 113–118
    Drawing of the house church, fig. 3.6, reconstruction of the baptistery at Yale University Art Gallery, fig. 3.7
    , fig. 3.8
  • Sebastian P. Brock, Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias Press, 2011), 132
  • Jennifer Chi and Sebastian Heath, eds., Edge of Empires: Pagans, Jews, and Christians at Roman Dura-Europos, exh. cat. (New York: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 2011), 46, no. 22, fig. 2–8
  • Lisa R. Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Dura-Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity (Boston: McMullen Museum of Art, 2011), 334, no. 19, pl. 19
  • Katherine M Kiefer and Susan B. Matheson, Life in an Eastern Province: The Roman Fortress at Dura-Europos, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), no. 5
  • Clark Hopkins, The Discovery of Dura-Europos, ed. Bernard Goldman (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1979), 90–91, 112, ill
  • Ann Perkins, The Art of Dura-Europos, 1st ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), 52–55, pl. 18 left, ill
  • Carl H. Kraeling and C. Bradford Welles, The Excavations at Dura-Europos (New Haven, Conn.: Dura-Europos Publications, 1967), 57–61, fig. 5 is a drawing from a tracing of Christ, pls. 18 (color), 25, 34, 35 (tracing), 38:1 (detail), 38:2 (field photograph), fig. 5
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

religious art

Technical metadata and APIs


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