Maria EcclesiaAtttibuted to Pietro Cavallini
Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome
As in Coronation of the Virgin images of the same century, a crowned Mary sits on a double throne at the right hand of Christ. But here she represents Maria Ecclesia, Mary the Church, the mystical Bride of Christ.
The scroll in the Virgin's hand links her to the Bride in the Song of Solomon. It reads Leva eius sub capite meo et dextera illius amplesabitur me, "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me" (Canticles 2:6, 8:3). (For a brief discussion of the Song of Solomon and Maria Ecclesia, see Ruth Bartal, "Medieval Images of 'Sacred Love,'" Assaph 2  93-110" [cached].)
At the same time, the phrase in Christ's book links her to the Mary of the Assumption: Veni electa mea et ponam in te thronum meum, "Come, my chosen one, and I shall put you on my throne," from Christ's words to Mary in the Golden Legend's account of her welcome in Heaven.
As Maria Ecclesia, Mary represents the whole body of the faithful, chosen by Christ their spouse to enter his kingdom in virginal perfection.
The image also has Christological significance in that the two figures on the throne form an ensemble representing Christ the God-Man, who is also represented by the Lamb of God (note halo with cross) directly below the throne.
The other lambs represent the apostles, 12 in all.
Chris Nybord, writing on the web, has identified the standing figures as (left to right) Pope Innocent II (who restored the church in the 13th century), St. Lawrence, Pope St. Callixtus, St. Peter, Pope St. Cornelius, Pope St. Julius (who built the church in the 4th century), and St. Calepodius.
More of Ecclesia
Photograph: Michelle Roberts