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Monreale cathedral, bronze doors of Bonannus of Pisa, the Sacrifice of Isaac and the Prophets, Hosea and Isaiah

Monreale cathedral, bronze doors of Bonannus of Pisa, the Sacrifice of Isaac and the Prophets, Hosea and Isaiah

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. These are panels on the left door are the first ones in the fourth and fifth rows of Old Testament scenes and figures (counting from the bottom). The story of the Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22: 1-18) is the only narrative scene in the upper two rows dedicated to the Old Testament. The other panels represent patriarchs and prophets. Here, Abraham pins his kneeling son, Isaac, to the ground with his foot and raises his sword. As Abraham proves his obedience to God’s command, the angel intervenes to stop the sacrifice and the ram which was substituted as a sacrifice is shown behind a rock. The angel appears to hold a scroll which may refer to the prophecy (Genesis 22: 17-18) which follows the biblical narrative of the sacrifice: “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gates of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” This makes an appropriate shift from the narrative scenes of Genesis to the series of panels depicting prophets. D'Emilio photo archive no. s19781125_2073u (13.4.20/JD)
Galleries: Bonannus of Pisa, Bronze doors, Bronze doors of Bonannus of Pisa, Monreale cathedral, Hosea, the prophet, Isaiah, the prophet, Italy 1180s, Religious Sculpture, Sacrifice of Isaac, Sheep and Lambs, Tituli on bronze doors
Keywords: angel, blindfold, prophets, ram, sword
Photo Location: Monreale, Italy
Photographer: Dr. James D’Emilio
Device Make: Nikon
Device Model: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Original Dimensions: 3530×5270
Picture Orientation: Portrait
GPS Coordinates:
Picture Number: 22651