Scala/Art Resource, NY

COMPETITIVE CATACOMBS. The Priscilla Catacombs in Rome contain numerous frescoes, including a representation of the Virgin Mary that dates to the mid-third century—making it competition as the earliest depiction of Mary. Holding Jesus on her lap, she appears in a scene of the Adoration of the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12)—when the wise men from the East present gifts to Jesus. This is the earliest representation of this Biblical scene.