SIGNORELLI, Luca
(b. ca. 1450, Cortona, d. 1523, Cortona)

Fresco fragment

1499-1502
Fresco
Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto

The man lying on the ground and biting his hand in the badly damaged fragment on the altar walls thought to represent Cain. In fact, biting one's hand is a traditional symbol of envy, one of Cain's seven sins. In the medallion of the grotesque decor below, a murder scene with Triton-like creatures is depicted. Here the murder weapon is the jawbone of an ass, the one used by Cain in killing his brother Abel.

This fresco fragment was discovered during a recent restoration.