Celestial pastures in funerary art served as symbols of the kingdom of heaven. Prefigured by Orpheus of pagan mythology, David signified the Judaic shepherd and Jesus the Christian shepherd in catacomb renderings of Paradise.
The Vanished Pastoral Scene
150. On the vandalized rear wall in the Vigna Randanini catacomb, vestiges of an arboreal scene suggest Orpheus, tamer of beasts, a theme common to Christian catacombs. This 1881 view of cubiculum II in the Vigna Randanini catacomb is from a work by Théophile Roller, Les Catacombes de Rome, I, plate UV, b. (See no. 15 fro a recent view of the same.)