MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, Italian
(active 1200s in Fidenza)

Portal area of the façade

c. 1200
Stone
Cathedral, Fidenza

On the portal of the church in Fidenza are a group of sculptures and reliefs whose stylistic similarities to those on the Baptistry in Parma have suggested links with Benedetto Antelami and his workshop. The structure of the portal area, in a clever system of horizontal and vertical lines, together with the three projecting portals, give the façade a complex three-dimensional quality. The side portals are separated from the main portal by two sturdy half-columns place in front of the wall. The main element in the horizontal structure is the relief frieze, which runs from the capitals over the northern half-column to its counterpart to the south, and narrates the story of the life, martyrdom and miracles of St Donninus.

The two prophets' statues flanking the central portal, David on the left and Ezekiel on the right, are ascribed to Antelami, while the reliefs with extremely vivid figures and scenes are thought to be by his workshop.