Andrea Pisano, Panels from the west side of Giotto's bell tower

Andrea Pisano and assistant
Original location
Giotto's bell tower, west side, first register
White marble
Height: 80 cm ca.; Width: 70 cm ca.; Thickness: 13 cm ca.;
White marble

Marble reliefs depicting God creating Adam and Eve and the occupations of the forefathers of mankind after their expulsion from Eden; Jabal and early herding and livestock farming; Jubal and the birth of music; Tubalcain and metal-working; the drunkenness of Noah and the beginnings of wine-making. Andrea Pisano and workshop 1334-1348. These reliefs depict the origins of mankind and their first occupations. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, narrates that God created Adam and Eve in his own image. In the medieval tradition God was the eternal craftsman creating everything from the void and calling on man to play his part in creation through his labors: Adam is bent over his work in the fields and Eve plies her spindle. The next reliefs are simple but extremely effective, portraying man’s early labors to satisfy his primary needs. These “primordial” occupations are shown practiced by those whom the book of Genesis credits with their invention, i.e. Jabal, Jubal and Tubalcain, all descended from Cain: Jabal is the first herdsman, Jubal is the first to dedicate himself to the art of music, Tubalcain is held to be the first metal-worker. They are joined by Noah, who after the flood was reported to have "planted a vineyard", thus traditionally launching winemaking. But, as the cycle makes clear, mankind act under the influence of nature, represented by the personification of the seven planets above the hexagonal reliefs. 

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