PISANO, Andrea
(active c. 1290-1349 in Pisa)


Marble, 83 x 69 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

This is one of the hexagonal reliefs on the Campanile. It represents a smithy scene with a man clothed in a long garment with a leather apron covering his lap to protect him from sparks. With a pair of tongs he holds the piece he is working on over the forge, which is fanned by the bellows behind him. Although the scene is contemporary, the man does not have the appearance of a contemporary smith. His hair and beard, influenced by models from antiquity, are in effect identifying attributes that place him in the dim past of ancient Greek or biblical myths of humanity's beginnings. He is Tubal Cain, the biblical metalworker descended from Cain to whom was attributed the invention of metalworker's craft.