QUERCIA, Jacopo della
(b. ca. 1367, Quercia Grossa, d. 1438, Siena)

Main Portal: Lunette

Istrian stone
San Petronio, Bologna

The main sculptural features of the portal are three figures in the lunette above the entrance (of which only two, the Virgin and Child and St Petronius, are by Quercia), five upright scenes from the Genesis on each of the lateral supports, and five oblong scenes from the life of Christ running across the architrave.

Of all Quercia's representations of the Virgin and Child, that at Bologna is the most remarkable. The figure is posed at an angle to the front of the lunette; the right knee is advanced, the Child is held forward in the right arm, and the left knee and left arm are drawn back, so that the group falls away on the left side. The planned disequilibrium of this pose has a precedent in the Acca Larentia at Siena, but at Bologna the scheme employed is incomparably richer and more unorthodox.

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