Halos can be a small band of light, a circle of rays or a vast golden disc. They help to identify the holy people in an image. A person who is still living, for example a pope or emperor, might wear a square halo.
Originally associated with the sun god Apollo, the halo appeared in images of the Roman emperor. Later it was used for angels, saints and anyone else that Christians regarded as specially holy.
- Stained glass panel showing Christ and St Peter with halos
- France, about 1525-30
- Museum no. 2207-1855