Andrea Pisano, Panels from the east side of the Bell tower

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

The marble reliefs depicting Navigation, Social Justice, Agriculture, Entertainment and Architecture are by Andrea Pisano and his workshop 1348-1350. Navigation shows two sailors rowing a small boat, behind them a seated figure has his hand raised in blessing, reminiscent of Christ. Social Justice is symbolically represented by Hercules after his defeat of the monster Cacus (here shown lying in his cave on the Aventine), guilty of stealing some oxen from Geryon’s herd. The death of Cacus in this tenth labor of Hercules is found in Virgil, Livy, Ovid, Horace and Dante, and is here used to illustrate the victory of virtue over sin (in this case theft). The relief depicting Agriculture shows a man plowing, his task lightened by a team of oxen. The final reliefs are dedicated to the performing and figurative arts. Entertainment is represented by a wagon and driver drawn by two horses, typical of 14th century theater companies. The next reliefs in the series were dedicated to Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Architecture is represented by an authoritative bearded figure, seated at his desk on an imposing marble seat, intent on using a compass. Painting and Sculpture had been moved to the Cathedral side of the Campanile in order to have the opening of a new door. 

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