Siena Cathedral Baptistery Font (Siena, Italy) : Detail of the upper portion of the font, depicting the surmounting statuette of St. John the Baptist (attributed to Jacopo della Quercia, Begun 1417)
Della Quercia, Jacopo, ca. 1372-1438 Donatello, ca. 1386-1466 Ghiberti, Lorenzo, ca. 1381-1455
Siena Cathedral, Siena, Tuscany, Italy 1416-1431
ca. 1990's 500 AD - 1499 AD
bronze marble stone
In the early 15th century a new type of font developed. This so-called Renaissance font is approached by a flight of steps, at the top of which is a polygonal, square or round basin, supported on a pedestal and covered by a lid. The side of the basin and the lid are usually ornamented. The most influential design in the type's development was the new font (1416-1431) for the Siena Baptistery, on which Lorenzo Ghiberti was commissioned to advise, with decoration by Ghiberti, Donatello, Jacopo della Quercia. This was innovative in its structure, with a lidless basin and a tabernacle, and in its combination of bronze and marble. The hexagonal basin bears six gilded bronze reliefs of the Life of St John the Baptist, separated by six free-standing bronze Virtues set in shallow marble niches. Gold and azure blue enamelled friezes and inscriptions decorate the rim of the basin and the steps. A cluster of columns in the middle of the basin supports the hexagonal marble tabernacle, which is fashioned after Florentine models. On five sides there is the figure of an Apostle, set within a niche, while on the sixth there is a small door, behind which are stored the baptismal ointments. Putti crown the corners of the tabernacle, and above these rise columns supporting a statue of St John the Baptist.
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
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cycles or series; New Testament; saints; John, the Baptist, Saint carving ; casting architectural elements; fonts (religious building fixtures); visual works; sculpture (visual work); visual works; sculpture (visual work); reliefs (sculptures); bas-relief
Archivision Module Two
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC Archivision, Inc. ca. 1990's
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
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