|Christ in Majesty
The oldest images of Christ as king are from the fourth century and are consistent with conventional portrayals of the Emperor, centering him in his "court" of saints and angels (example), his head outlined by an architectural element (example) or a halo (example). Later images often use an enclosing circle or mandorla to express his ascent to Heaven. Another variation is to replace his court of saints with the four creatures symbolizing the Evangelists (example) or with the 24 elders of Revelation (example).
At left, Galician tympanum
Relief at Poitiers Cathedral, 12th century
Whalebone carving, 10th century
12th century mosaic in Rome