• The fish is an ancient symbol for Christ.
  • The first Christians used the ancient Greek word ἰχθyς (ichthus, "fish") as a metaphor of His divine name, by turning its letters into an acronym for Ιησοῦς Χριστός Θεος Υἱός Σωτήρ (Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior).

The artist portrays a detachment of crusaders drawn in the form of a fish.

Throughout history, it has been common for a military formation to have metaphorical significance. Recall the phalanx of Alexander the Great in which a group of soldiers
held a tight formation, or the boar, a wedge-shaped formation from which the Vikings and
German knights threw themselves into battle.

However, the shields of the warriors in the painting – the scales so to speak – are not in the red color of fury, but reflect the peaceful azure of sky and sea. In the banks of clouds hanging over the Sea of Galilee, our imaginations can make out the airy courts and towers of the heavenly Jerusalem.