|island / lake orta
all you need to know italian lakes
The Romanesque ambone, made
by dark gray-green serpentino (a kind of stone that on contact with air it takes a
color similar to bronze) and extracted from the nearby quarries of Oira, can be dated to
the early twelfth century.
It has a square plan with four columns supporting the
parapet and rests on a base decorated with acanthus leaves.
Watching the figures we find: a centaur in the act of
shooting an arrow at a deer, the symbolic four evangelists' representations (the ox of
Luke, the angel of Matthew, the lion of Mark, the 'eagle of John), and the representation
of a griffin that bites the tail of a crocodile. The two fight scenes - corresponding to
medieval bestiaries - signify the struggle between good and evil
Between the Mark's lion and the John's eagle is placed a
male figure, in a solemn posture, with the cloak and a stick with tau's form: the identity
of this figure is controversial and much debated. An interpretation that seems to be
sufficiently established says that is the figure of William of
Volpiano, born on the island and venerated as a saint by the Church.
photos © by pansaram