Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Lectern for the Reading of the Gospels with the Eagle of Saint John the Evangelist

Artist:
Giovanni Pisano (Italian, Pisa ca. 1240–1319 Siena)
Date:
ca. 1301, with later additions
Geography:
Made in Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Carrera marble with addition of Pentelic marble
Dimensions:
Overall: 27 3/4 x 24 3/16 x 16in. (70.5 x 61.5 x 40.6cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Stone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1918
Accession Number:
18.70.28
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
Sculpted by Giovanni Pisano, one of the finest sculptors of the Gothic period, this lectern was once a part of the pulpit at the Church of Sant' Andrea at Pistoia. It is in the shape of an imposing full-size figure of an eagle, grasping a book in its talons, which stands with head erect, facing to its left, wings held poised as if ready for flight. The head is a later replacement. A marble bookrest, hexagonal in form with a protruding ledge at the bottom, meant to hold the Gospels for liturgical reading, rests on the bird's wings. The eagle served as the crowning element of a Tetramorph, a sculptural composite of the symbols of the four Evangelists.
From the church of Sant'Andrea, Pistoia, Italy; [ Stefano Bardini, Florence (until 1918)]; his sale, American Art Association, New York (April 23-27, 1918, no. 376)
Townsend, Horace, ed. De Luxe Illustrated Catalogue of the Beautiful Treasures and Antiquities Illustrating the Golden Age of Italian Art Belonging to the Famous Expert and Antiquarian Signor Stefano Bardini of Florence, Italy. New York: American Art Association, April 23–27, 1918. no. 376, ill.

Breck, Joseph. "Notes from the Department of Decorative Arts." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 16, n. 12 (December 1921). p. 265.

Jászai, Géza. Die Pisaner Domkanzel: Neuer Versuch zur Wiederherstellung ihres ursprünglichen Zustandes. Munich, 1968. p. 69, n. 43, fig. 2.

Ayrton, Michael. Giovanni Pisano: Sculptor. London: Thames and Hudson Inc., 1969. pp. 223, 227, 230, fig. 301.

Mellini, Gian Lorenzo. Il pulpito di Giovanni Pisano a Pistoia. Milan: Electa, 1969. pp. 19, 23.

Mellini, Gian Lorenzo. Giovanni Pisano. Milan: Electa, 1970.

Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. "Giovanni Pisano at the Metropolitan Museum Revisited." Metropolitan Museum Journal 5 (1972). pp. 51-, fig. 5, 6, 15, 32.

Sciolla, G.C. "Review of Giovanni Pisano, by Gian Lorenzo Mellini." Bollettino d'Arte 57, no. 2 (April-June 1972). p. 131.

Carli, Enzo. Giovanni Pisano. Scultura. Pisa: Pacini, 1977. p. 74, pl. 107.

Belting, Hans. Das Bild und sein Publikum im Mittelalter: Form und Funktion früher Bildtafeln der Passion. Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1981. p. 258, n. 124.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. no. 32, pp. 350-51.

Belting, Hans. L'arte e il suo pubblico: funzione e forme delle antiche immagini della passione. Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1986. p. 195, n. 124.

Carli, Enzo. Giovanni Pisano: Il pulpito di Pistoia. Milan: Giorgio Mondadori & Associati, 1986. p. 13.

Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 44, no. 1 (Summer 1986). p. 34.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 33, pp. 384-85.

Jászai, Géza. "Giovanni Pisano." In Enciclopedia dell'arte medievale. Vol. 6. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1995. p. 744.

Melcher, Ralph. Die mittelalterlichen Kanzeln der Toskana. Manuskripte zur Kunstwissenschaft in der Wernerschen Verlagsgesellschaft, Vol. 56. Worms: Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2000. pp. 330, 333, 360, 419.

Poeschke, Joachim. Die Skulptur des Mittelalters in Italien: Volume 2, Gotik. Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2000. p. 117.

Nenci, Cinzia. "L'arte in Toscana nell'età di Arnolfo." In La Toscana di Arnolfo : storia, arte, architettura, urbanistica, paesaggi, edited by Italo Moretti, Cinzia Nenci, and Giuliano Pinto. Florence: Olschki, 2003. p. 100.

Moskowitz, Anita F. Nicola and Giovanni Pisano: the Pulpits; Pious Devotion, Pious Diversion. London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2005. p. 74, fig. 64.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at the Metropolitan: 800 to 1400." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 62, no. 4 (2005). p. 44.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth, and Jack Soultanian. Italian Medieval Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010. no. 35, pp. 157–159.

Barnet, Peter, and Atsuyuki Nakahara, ed. Earth, Sea, Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tokyo: Yomiuri Shimbun, 2012. no. 58, pp. 110, 231.



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