FILE : Duomo 3
TITLE : Creation of Adam—Creation of Eve


LOCATION: Pisa Duomo, window n XI

DIMENSIONS: 2.23 X 0.95 m. (panel 2, arched, 2.23 x 0.95 m.—panel 1, rectangle, 0.995 x 0.95 m.)

PROVENANCE: Original location.

CHRONOLOGY: 1453-1454

AUTHOR: Della Scarperia workshop; payment to "m(aestr)o Lunardo e Ghoro di Bartolomeo da la Scharparia e co(m)pagni maestri de le finestre dil vetro"; Leonardo di Bartolomeo Della Scarperia, called "Lastra" (attribution).

PATRON: Opera della Primaziale

SUBJECT/I: Creation of Eve: God, surrounded by angels in the Garden of Eden, raises his right hand in a gesture of creation toward Eve who, hands folded in prayer, emerges from the side of the sleeping Adam. Creation of Adam: in the Garden of Eden, God, surrounded by angels, invites Adam to rise to his feet by gesturing towards him with his right hand; he extends his left hand to help a reclined Adam to stand.

CRITICAL NOTES: The stained glass windows in the Duomo of Pisa had been scarcely noticed by scholars. The present author re-evaluated this corpus in a study that included direct examination of the windows and exploration of the glazing cycle’s rich documentation. As a result of that research—recently published—the artistic personality of master "Lunardo" [Leonardo] was defined and distinguished from that of other members of the Della Scarperia workshop. Documents reveal that Leonardo and his brother Goro received payments from the Opera della Primaziale (large sums that corresponded to more than one window) but archival documents offer little information that aids in a reconstruction of the artistic personalities in the bottega. Leonardo’s activity in the workshop is documented for a decade, but Goro’s name disappears from the documentation after one year. This is one of the reasons for attributing to Leonardo some of the first windows of the Genesis cycle in which there appears a particularly advanced technique: the use of flashed glass that has been abraded and then touched with "sanguine" (incarnato), a pigment applied to glass before firing. Some of the other windows attributed to Leonardo on the basis of their technique are: Lamech kills Cain (Pisa duomo 6) and Noah’s Ark (Pisa duomo 7), while other windows reveal a collaboration between Leonardo and his cousin "Banco", such as the Sacrifice of Abram (Pisa duomo 8). Stylistically, the design of n XI was influenced by the Genesis frescoes attributed to Paolo Uccello and Dello Delli in the Chiostro Verde of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. In this window, as in some of the others, there appears an uncanny resemblance to the scenes of the Florentine frescoes. It seems that Leonardo had access to the fresco cartoons, whose compositions he adapted to the reduced scale of the stained glass windows. The technique used by the glazier for the two heads of God the Father is notable: a flashed rose glass was abraded with acid and touched with grisaille and sanguine.

Partition of  15th century windows 

CONDITION: Extensive use of epoxy in the last restoration (completed in the early 1990s) made it possible to remove many mending leads and improve the legibility of the figures. Nevertheless, the window’s condition is poor because of the fracturing of the glass that occurred during the 1595 cathedral fire and the re-adaption of the window to the reduced size of its window opening (after it was partially blocked). A reconstruction of the glazing cycle (see partitura compositiva) reveals that the window’s base panel, which would have displayed the emblem of the Opera della Primaziale, has been lost.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: See Bibl. Pisa Duomo – in recent volume by R. K. BURNAM Le vetrate del Duomo di Pisa "Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi - Italia, vol. 2, Quaderni della Scuola Normale di Pisa, Pisa, 2003.

PHOTOGRAPHIC REF.: R. K. Burnam Archive

EDITOR: R. K. Burnam, June 2003