The Roman catacombs are the cemeteries of the early Christian community at Rome. They preserve the first documentation of Christian art in the western Roman Empire. From the early third century on, the owners of private burial spaces decorated the graves of their deceased and themselves with images of their faith and hope for eternal life and salvation, depicting biblical scenes for the first time. Three traditional elements were included in this sepulchral art: a bucolic shepherd was transformed into the Good Shepherd of John’s parable, the former image of piety became the orant, an image of the Christian prayer, and the banquet scene now became the scene of refregerium, a meal for the bereaved and a symbol of the eternal banquet. Besides these older scenes, completely new iconographies were invented, picturing some 20 biblical events from both Old and New Testament. From the late third century on, the image of the deceased was also integrated into the imagery of catacomb paintings. From the mid-fourth century forward, when churches were built and decorated, the catacomb paintings reflect their theological programs. With pope Damasus (366–384) the martyrs became part of the images. Finally, at the end of the catacombs and their paintings in the early fifth century, the monumental documentation of Christian art outside the catacombs begins. Catacomb art fortunately is the missing link of early Christian art and tells us its earliest development.