The first Bathing of the Christ Child in Trogir and Venice

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A Bathing of the Christ Child (fig. 5-6) is reconstructed from two fragments, one in the Chiostro di Sant’Apollonia of the Museo Diocesano di Venezia and the other in the Galleria Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro. These sculptures in the round belong to a large Nativity Cycle in pietra d’Aurisina that was carved in Venice during the second quarter of the 13th century. A number of pieces, including the Adoration of the Magi in the Seminario Patriarcale di Venezia (fig. 3) and the Dream of Joseph on the facade of San Marco (fig. 4), are still preserved. They have been compared with the same scenes on the portal of the Cathedral of St. Lawrence in Trogir (fig. 1-2), which an inscription records being carved by Radovan in 1240. The comparison between the Bathing of the Christ Child, which plays a major role in Radovan’s Nativity, and the Bathing in Venice calls for a reassessment of the connections between the portal of the Cathedral of St. Lawrence and the Nativity Cycle from San Marco. The article argues that the sculptures in Trogir and Venice were the result of concurrent but largely independent artistic developments.

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Hortus Artium Mediaevalium

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