TOSCANA - Pisa
FILE : Duomo 4
TITLE : Expulsion from the Garden of Eden—Temptation of Adam and Eve

 

LOCATION: Pisa Duomo, window n XII

DIMENSIONS: 2.12 X 0.95 m. (panel 1, rectangle, 0.90 x 0.95 m.---panel 2, arched, 1.22 x 0.95 m)

PROVENANCE: Original location.

CHRONOLOGY: 1453-1454

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

PATRON: Opera della Primaziale

SUBJECT/I: Panel 1: On the left, advancing through an arched opening into the Garden of Eden, the angel sends Adam and Eve out of the Garden; Eve sneaks a glance back at Paradise lost. Panel 2: In the Garden of Eden, the nude figures of Adam and Eve stand next to the Tree of Knowledge. The Tree, laden with fruit, has wound around its trunk the Serpent, depicted with long blond hair.

CRITICAL NOTES: The stained glass windows in the Duomo of Pisa had been scarcely noticed by scholars. The author of this file re-evaluated this corpus in a study that included direct examination of the stained glass windows and an 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 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: Creazione di Adamo --Creazione di Eva (Pisa duomo 3), 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).  Window n XII’s composition was influenced by the Genesis frescoes attributed to Paolo Uccello and Dello Delli in the Chiostro Verde of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, but the figure types suggest influence from another source, perhaps the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel.

A group of windows attributed to Banco is distinguished from the windows assigned to Leonardo on the basis of a vigorous trace line which Banco uses to model and describe the forms; the figures are created through the use of a light application of grisaille to create a solid monumentality. These characteristics are evident in this window. In the group of windows carried out during the years 1453-54, Ghiberti’s influence on Banco is undeniable, suggesting that Banco studied intently the Porta del Paradiso as it was underway (c. 1425-1452).

The author of this file had the opportunity to conduct a close inspection of the glass, and this revealed the hand of Banco in s XV, Stories of the Tower of Babel (Pisa duomo 13) and s XIII, the Stories of Jacob and Esau (Pisa duomo 11); these particular windows show Banco’s mature style at the end of the quattrocento, when Banco conducted a restoration which must have completed damaged sections of the earlier cycle of windows; in some cases the restoration seems to have resulted in the re-making of entire scenes.

Partition of  15th century windows 

CONDITION: The re-adaption of the window to the reduced size of its window opening (following a partial blocking of the aperture) resulted in cropping and damage to the panels. With respect to the original format of the window (see partitura compositiva) , the truncation of n XII’s panels is among the most noticeable in the cycle. The window’s base panel, which would have displayed the emblem of the Opera della Primaziale, has been completely 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