Giovanni di Jacopo, Paschal Candelabrum
- Giovanni di Jacopo from Florence - Florentine craftsmen
- C. 1320
- Baptistery of Saint John
- Specific location
- Interior, west side, apse, right
- Height: 285 cm; Width: 32 cm; Depth: 59 cm;
- White marble, green marble
This candelabra for the Easter candle in white marble, with parts in Prato serpentine, is signed ‘Giovanni di Jacopo’ with date 1320: although this is an artist otherwise known, he is stylistically close to Arnolfo di Cambio.
The monumental candelabra would once have had a pendant. The work remaining is structured in three parts: a parallelepiped base with rosettes, above which crouches a lion, in turn surmounted by a doric column, with the shaft worked in half-length depictions of the four Archangels, four Prophets, four Evangelists and four Doctors of the Church. At the top of this is an angel supporting a helical column, for placement of the candle. The Easter candle is a liturgical object of great importance. It alludes to the risen Christ, and for this reason the hosting candelabra are finely decorated: the blessed candle is placed here on Holy Saturday night and kept burning until Pentecost. The Easter liturgy, celebrating the conquering of death by the Savior, is in fact theologically related to the sacrament of Baptism, theme of the Baptistery itself. The elements of the candelabra can be read with these interpretations: the lion is usually seen as a symbol of the taming and crushing of sin, although some scholars would see it as a Christological symbol; the column, always as symbol of solidity, stability and strength, together with the adorning figures, represents the ‘Word made flesh’, meaning Christ, as the path to salvation; the figure supporting the candle recalls the angel in white clothing of Easter morning, found by the women in the tomb, who then went out to give the good news of Easter, for the very first time.