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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    last quarter of the 15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Grey sandstone (Pietra Serena) carved in low relief

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a grey sandstone (pietra serena) archway made in the last quarter of the 15th century in Florence. The upper part of the archway is decorated with six cherub heads with, in the centre, a pelican in her piety. The style derives from Desiderio da Settignano, and the handling shows some affinities with that of Francesco di Simone, to whom the work was at one time ascribed. The iconography on the upper part suggests that it derives from a church.

Physical description

Architecture archway; the pilasters ornamented with renaissance carving, with flaming braziers, that on the right are decorated with cherubs' heads, fruit, flowers, shells and strings of beads, in low relief. The one on the left is carved with generally similar ornament, except for the base which is carved with putti holding garlands. The arched upper part of the doorway is carved with six winged cherub heads separated by clouds, with, in the centre at the top, a pelican in her piety. There is a moulded border on either side.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


last quarter of the 15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Grey sandstone (Pietra Serena) carved in low relief


Height: 360 cm Internal height, Width: 168 cm Internal width, Width: 246.5 cm Total width, Height: 384.8 cm to crown of arch, Width: 39.1 cm of pilaster

Object history note

Bought in 1866.

Descriptive line

Archway, grey limestone (pietra serena), Italy (Florence), second half of the 15th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1866. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol. 1. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 1
Penny, Nicholas. Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum: 1540 to the present-day. vol. I. Italian Oxford: 1992, p. XXI
Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume I: Text, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century. London: HMSO, 1964, pp. 200-201




Low relief

Subjects depicted

Flower; Shells; Clouds; Garland; Fruit; Cherub; Pelican in her piety; Ornament


Architecture; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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