Quantcast
Parent Page/Current Page
Viewpoints: Body Language | Every body has a viewpoint. Join the conversation.

Pilasters of Angels Sounding Trumpets

Pilasters of Angels Sounding Trumpets

Pilaster of Angels Sounding Trumpets from the Parapet of a Pulpit | Workshop of Giovanni Pisano | 10.203.1,2

Workshop of Giovanni Pisano (Italian, 1240–before 1320). Pilaster of Angels Sounding Trumpets from the Parapet of a Pulpit, 1302–10. Marble, traces of paint. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1910 (10.203.1). See related objects.

Also on view in this gallery: Workshop of Giovanni Pisano (Italian, 1240–before 1320). Pilaster of Angels Sounding Trumpets from the Parapet of a Pulpit, 1302–10. Marble, traces of polychromy. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1910 (10.203.2). See related objects.

The trumpet-blowing angels, with puffed out cheeks and furrowed brows, herald the dramatic moment of the Last Judgment. Their hunched shoulders, attenuated bodies, and dynamic wings capture the graceful power of these celestial messengers. The angels once flanked a relief of Christ as Judge. The central pilaster is composed of a compact group with symbols of the Evangelists: the angel of Matthew at center; the ox of Luke at his left; and the lion of Mark on the right. This pilaster supported an eagle lectern (similar to the adjacent one on view in this gallery) for the reading of the Gospels. These elements were originally part of the elaborate pulpit of Pisa Cathedral, where they were seen well above eye level.


"You can see the concentration on their faces."

—Griffith Mann, curator


"Broad gestures and theatricality made sure the figures could be seen from a distance."

—Peter Barnet, curator


"I tried to find a sound on the cello more like a brass instrument."

—Joan Jeanrenaud, cellist and composer


All voices: Sam Pinkleton, choreographer; Peter Barnet, curator; Griffith Mann, curator; Joan Jeanrenaud, cellist and composer

Transcript: Everyday Angels (Video), Announcing on High (Audio), Sounds of Christ's Arrival (Audio)