MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, Italian
(active 1020s in Aquileia)
In the second half of the tenth century, the architectural decoration of religious buildings were usually very simple, large-size capital was very rare insofar as the large buildings used rectangular pillars as an element of separation between nave and side aisles. The first experiments in carving capitals represent one of the essential aspects of the rise of monumental Romanesque sculpture during the first half of the eleventh century. They are part of the working out of the different features of early Romanesque architecture.
At Aquileia, around 1020-1030, under the patriarchate of Poppo, the workshop was inspired by an antique capital in carving all the capitals in the basilica and its members were so proud of the result that they placed and exhibited the original in a privileged location at the crossing of the transept.
The picture shows one of the capitals in the basilica of Aquileia, inspired by antique Corinthian. (The abacus is Gothic.)