Lombard sculptor, Stone tablet bearing symbols of the Evangelists

Lombard sculptor, Stone tablet bearing symbols of the Evangelists, Musso-Olgiasca marble, first decades of 12th century (inv. n. 631 bis).

The tablet came to the Sforza Castle in 1926, from the church of Santa Maria Beltrade, which was demolished following works on the square bearing the same name just off Milan's via Torino. Within a plain frame, the work presents the winged symbols of the Evangelists, each of which is holding an open gospel. The feathering of the wings, the lion's mane, the linear folds of the angel's tunics and the scaled motif on the eagle's body are rendered with supreme graphic complexity. The sharp definition of the contours and the gradation of the relief, work together to exalt the plasticity of the symbolic representation of the evangelists. Both this work and the tablet representing the procession of the Madonna “Idea” (inv. n. 630 bis, Room VI) originate from the same church and are an important iconological testament to the Romanic style of the Po valley. Following the restoration of 2006, the hypothesis has emerged that it functioned as an architrave, possibly for the main entrance to the church. It has been dated to within 1130 AD.