Halo (religious iconography)

A halo (from Greek ἅλως, halōs;[1] also known as a nimbus, aureole, glory, or gloriole) is a crown of light rays, circle or disk of light[2] that surrounds a person in art. It has been used in the iconography of many religions to indicate holy or sacred figures, and has at various periods also been used in images of rulers or heroes. In the religious art of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, among other religions, sacred persons may be depicted with a halo in the form of a circular glow, or flames in Asian art, around the head or around the whole body—this last one is often called a mandorla. Halos may be shown as almost any colour or combination of colours, but are most often depicted as golden, yellow or white when representing light or red when representing flames.

Standing Buddha with a halo, 1st–2nd century AD (or earlier), Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara.
Jesus and nine of the Twelve Apostles depicted with "Floating" disk haloes in perspective (detail from The Tribute Money, illustrating Matthew 17:24–27, by Masaccio, 1424, Brancacci Chapel).