Sculpture, Main Portal, San Petronio
Jacopo della Quercia, a Sienese sculptor, executed these reliefs depicting Old Testament subjects on each side of the main entrance to the basilica of San Petronio. Not only is he an important sculptor in his own right (an invited competitor for the Florence Baptistry doors), but he served as an influence on the young Michelangelo, who worked in Bologna on the tomb of St. Dominic and thus knew Jacopo's work.
creation of Adam--the first image on the left-hand side
Although this image is distorted (taken with a telephoto lens shooting upwards so that the vertical dimension is collapsed), the power of Jacopo's noble, muscular figures is readily apparent. Here God, with a triangular "halo," representing the Trinity, brings Adam to life with his right hand. Typically, Jacopo's head, hands, and feet are too large. This depiction influenced Michelangelo's Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel Ceiling.
creation of Eve
God, still with the triangular nimbus and voluminous robe, brings Eve to life. The fig tree figures prominently in the background of this scene as it did in the Creation of Adam
of the Temptation
This dramatic scene depicts Eve both rejecting (with her left hand) and accepting the fruit. Adam's gestures are equally eloquent. His frowning face turns back toward Eve while his left hand indicates his new need to cover his nakedness.