ANTELAMI, Benedetto
(active 1170-1230 in Parma)


Italian Romanesque sculptor, the most notable figure in the history of Italian sculpture before Nicola Pisano. His name first appears on a marble panel representing the Descent from the Cross in Parma Cathedral. He is chiefly known for his reliefs on the doors of the Baptistery at Parma, which was begun in 1196, and it has been suggested that he may have overseen the whole structure as architect as well as sculptor. On stylistic grounds he has also been credited with a hand in the sculptural decorations of Fidenza Cathedral (formerly Borgo San Donnino) and of S. Andrea at Vercelli. His elongated figures, compact compositions, and skilful use of drapery folds give his work a gravity and dramatic expressiveness hitherto unknown to north Italian sculpture.