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Arnolfo di Cambio, Censing Angel (c. 1294- 1302)

For Artwork in Focus we explore individual artworks, critiquing their style and discussing their socio-political context. Today we look at Censing Angel (1294- 1302) by Arnolfo di Cambio.

About the Work

Title : Censing Angel
Artist : Arnolfo di Cambio
Year : 1294- 1302
Medium : Marble
Dimensions : 115.6 x 25.5 x 50.5 cm (45 1/2 x 10 1/16 x 19 7/8 in.)
Location : Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Censing Angel

This sculpture originally belonged to a cathedral in 13th century Florence. The architect for the cathedral was Arnolfo di Cambio, artist of the sculpture. Unfortunately, di Cambio died before the completion of the project.

According to the digital catalogue of the Harvard Art Museums :

“A sixteenth-century drawing indicates that this sculpture, essentially a high relief, was placed above the main entrance of the cathedral, flanking a large statue of the Virgin and Child that was at the center of the tympanum. The skillful handling of the marble, the deeply undercut drapery, and brilliant drill work, especially in the angel’s hair, reveal the close observation of, and renewed interest in, ancient sculpture that was an essential underpinning of the Renaissance.”

Other Details

Arnolfo di Cambio’s Censing Angel is housed in the Harvard Art Museums in Room 2460. It is part of the museum’s collection of East Arcade.

To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.

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