Symbolism in 'The Scapegoat'
The top of the frame
The frame was designed by Hunt and was intended to complement the painting. The seven stars at the top may be derived from the apocalyptic text mentioning the seven stars that fell on the day of wrath, or it may indicate the Book of Revelation's 'ancient' Christ who held seven stars in his right hand.
The dove with olive branch on the left (shown above left) suggests God's saving of Noah from the Flood. In Christian iconography these are twin signs of peace and reconciliation. On the right side (shown above right) is a quatrefoil (four-leafed design) with the flower heartsease or Star of Bethlehem.
A seven branched candlestick (shown above) at the bottom of the picture indicates Mosaic law.