(13th century)

Paschal candlestick

13th century
Cathedral, Gaeta

The monumental Paschal candlestick, conceived as a column with its shaft entirely covered with carvings, was a major theme in 13th-century Campanian art. This coastal region gave its own interpretation to themes and styles from antiquity, from Lombardy, and from Byzantium: the result is a narrative art bristling with action and movement. The characters jostle each other in each register, acting out episodes in the life of Christ, and the overall effect is like an illuminated manuscript - which must in fact have been the direct source of inspiration for these marble reliefs. Despite the apparent disorder of the composition, there is a strong feeling for relief derived from antiquity.