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Lucca Cathedral

By Guidetto da Como and Nicola Pisano


South elevation of nave, detail view of upper level; Dedicated to S Martino, Lucca Cathedral, which was built on the site of an Early Christian building, was begun in 1060 by Archbishop Anselmo da Baggio (later Pope Alexander II, reigned 1061-1073) and consecrated in 1070. The decoration on the north front, which features blind arches outlined by curved lintels decorated with delicate acanthus leaves, probably dates from this period. The main portico , with three majestic semicircular arches, is derived from imperial Roman architecture and has been variously assigned to the early or mid-12th century. Around 1258-1260 Nicola Pisano decorated the left-hand façade portal under the portico with reliefs of the Nativity and Deposition, thus insinuating himself into a context where the Lombard masters may still have been at work. His sculpture was executed in a radically new style that marked a sharp break with previous Luccan tradition and was the basis of further decoration carried out at the cathedral in subsequent centuries. The interior of the cathedral was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 14th-15th centuries and has an aisled nave and transepts. Source: Grove Art Online; (accessed 7/16/2008

Topics: architectural exteriors, saints, St. Martin, San Martino, Saint Martin, Romanesque, Gothic (Medieval)
Year: 1060
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Provided by: MIT Libraries Dome
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