Workshop of Andrea Pisano, The planets

Workshop of Andrea Pisano
Original location
Giotto's bell tower, west side, second register
Marble, ceramic, enamel pigments
Sculpture, modelling, enamelling
Height: 86 cm ca.; Width: 63 cm ca.; Thickness: 12 cm ca.;
Marble, ceramic, enamel pigments

Marble reliefs representing the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon. From the workshop of Andrea Pisano, 1334-1343. The reliefs of the planets are set above the hexagonal portrayals of the creation of Adam and Eve and man’s first activities. This side of the Campanile is dedicated to the concept of man dominated by nature and influenced by the planets. The planets are shown as mythological figures or gods from the Roman and Greek pantheons, each holding a symbol for the purposes of identification. Saturn, who influences the passage of time, is depicted as a bearded old man holding a model of Cronus, the personification of time, in one hand and a wheel representing the eternal cycle in the other. His face is sad, alluding to what was believed to be at the time Saturn’s melancholy influence on the spirits. The panel dedicated to Jupiter, or Jove, shows a monk holding a chalice and a cross, symbol of divine wisdom; his face is appropriately jovial. Mars, the Roman god of war, is a knight in armor with helmet, sword and spear. The Sun is the Greek god Apollo, or Helios, bearing a scepter and sun symbol. Venus, goddess of love, holds two lovers in the palm of her hand. The next relief is traditionally identified with Mercury, following the Ptolemaic order of planets, but it lacks distinguishing features. The Moon is represented as a woman seated on the waters, holding a model of a fountain to symbolize her influence over the waters and the tides. 

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