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Monreale cathedral, bronze doors of Bonannus of Pisa, Cain kills Abel

Monreale cathedral, bronze doors of Bonannus of Pisa, Cain kills Abel

The bronze doors of the west entrance of Monreale cathedral were signed and dated (1186) by Bonannus of Pisa who also made two sets of doors for Pisa Cathedral. Twenty Old Testament scenes occupy the five lower rows and twenty New Testament scenes the upper five rows. This is the first of two panels in the third row of Old Testament scenes (counting from the bottom) on the left door. Cain raises a weapon to slay Abel who kneels with head bent, like a sacrificial victim. The suggestion of a sacrifice creates visual links with the scene of the Sacrifice of Isaac directly above and alludes to the typological meaning of both scenes in medieval Christian readings of scripture as foreshadowing the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The skins which Cain wears are like those worn by Adam and Eve in the panel directly below showing their expulsion from Eden and the consequences of their sin. That is the only panel in which Adam and Eve clearly wear the “garments of skins” (Genesis 3:21) which God made for them after their sin and condemnation. The repetition of the garments helps to link the two offenses. D'Emilio photo archive no. s19781126_2074u (13.4.20/JD)
Galleries: Bonannus of Pisa, Bronze doors, Bronze doors of Bonannus of Pisa, Monreale cathedral, Cain and Abel, Italy 1180s, Religious Sculpture, Tituli on bronze doors
Keywords: brothers, hides
Photo Location: Monreale, Italy
Photographer: Dr. James D’Emilio
Device Make: Nikon
Device Model: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Original Dimensions: 3482×5270
Picture Orientation: Portrait
GPS Coordinates:
Picture Number: 22652