Nanni di Bartolo, Prophet Obadiah

Nanni di Bartolo, known as "il Rosso"
Original location
Giotto's bell tower, west side, niche
White marble
Height: 203,5 cm; Width: 107,4 cm; Depth: 55,8 cm;

This white marble sculpture depicting the minor prophet Obadiah is the work of Giovanni "Nanni" di Bartolo (also known “il Rosso”, or “the Red”). The work was completed around 1422 and installed on the west side of the Giotto’s Bell Tower, in the niche on the far right. The attribution to Nanni di Bartolo and the iconographic subject are derived from the Latin inscription on the cartouche "Johannes Rossus Prophetam me sculpsit Abdiam" (<I am> the prophet Obadiah, John the Red sculpted me).

Nanni, "companion" of the young Donatello and one of the Florentine masters of sculpture of the early Renaissance, portrayed the prophet, author of the biblical book that bears his name, as a handsome young man. Clothed in an ample robe and cloak, he is caught in the act of turning to the left to show the gathered observers the contents of the scroll he is unwinding. His gaze is mild, sure and compassionate, in reference to the content of his prophecy, foreseeing a severe threat to the Edomites, enemy people of Israel.

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