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The Anchor

The Meaning of the anchor in Early Christian Painting

 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

The anchor has quite a lot of different spiritual connotations in Christian art:

The anchor represents hope in Jesus and is a sign of sanctuary, commitment and hope.

The anchor symbolizes the concept of faithfulness, shelter, and hope because it represents the safe arrival of the ship in harbor after a hazardous voyage at sea.

The anchor is the emblem of St Clement who was the 4th Bishop of Rome. He was martyred just 100 years after the death of Christ by being tossed into the stormy sea with an anchor tied around his neck. The anchor became his usual emblem in art.

The anchor was used as a hidden form of the cross  inscribed on the walls  the catacombs 9underground burial chambers for early Christians.) In Christian

The anchor hidden in the Cross symbolizes the Christian's salvation in Christ and the arrival of the soul in the harbor of  everlasting life.

The anchor is a symbol the commitment of the believer to the Christian faith and the word of God.

The Meaning of Sacred Symbols in Paintings. Most prominently featured  symbols and their meaning:

The  Serpent

Good Shepherd

Adam and Eve




Virgin Mary



The Anchor

The Apostles



The Cross

Architectural Elements


The Saints









Household Objects

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better. -André Gide



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