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17 January Jan 2017 1242 7 months ago

A giant in the museum?

All the "whys" of the Grande Museo del Duomo

The re-opening of the Grande Museo del Duomo in 2013 was an occasion not only to, in some cases, rethink the organization of the various works and restore them, with the subsequent need to renovate and expand the museum, but was also a valuable opportunity to broaden the collection with elements that complete the history of the Duomo's construction and of its Fabbrica. It was at this crucial moment that the enormous high-relief depicting a shepherd or a farmer made its entrance into the museum, one of the so-called Giants of the Cathedral. These imposing figures support the whimsical gargoyles placed at the corners of the buttresses. Their function as supports for these water spouts is enhanced by the forms that they were given over time, a rich and whimsical army of wandering craftsmen, travellers, and elegantly clad noblemen, as well as pages, soldiers, and commoners. These extraordinary artistic artefacts, so inextricable from the entire building complex, provide a fascinating topic of research in the study of the Duomo's oldest sculptures.

An interesting fact: the large dog holding a bone in its mouth and paws, which can be admired together with the many and original gargoyles, has now, in the museum, been united with its "master", the very Giant on display, after each was removed from the Cathedral in order to better preserve them.