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Lectern for the Reading of the Gospels with the Eagle of Saint John the Evangelist

Giovanni Pisano (Italian, Pisa ca. 1240–1319 Siena)

Date:
ca. 1301, with later additions
Geography:
Made in Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Carrera marble with addition of Pentelic marble
Dimensions:
Overall: 27 3/4 x 24 3/16 x 16in. (70.5 x 61.5 x 40.6cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Stone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1918
Accession Number:
18.70.28
  • Description

    Sculpted by Giovanni Pisano, one of the finest sculptors of the Gothic period, this lectern was once a part of the pulpit at the Church of Sant' Andrea at Pistoia. It is in the shape of an imposing full-size figure of an eagle, grasping a book in its talons, which stands with head erect, facing to its left, wings held poised as if ready for flight. The head is a later replacement. A marble bookrest, hexagonal in form with a protruding ledge at the bottom, meant to hold the Gospels for liturgical reading, rests on the bird's wings. The eagle served as the crowning element of a Tetramorph, a sculptural composite of the symbols of the four Evangelists.

  • Provenance

    From the church of Sant'Andrea, Pistoia, Italy; [ Stefano Bardini, Florence (until 1918)]; his sale, American Art Association, New York (April 23-27, 1918, no. 376)

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
465937

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