THE ARCH OF THE ALLIANCE
Sculpted, carved and partially gilt wood
This oval, which probably originally belonged to an architectural context, features soldiers from antiquity around a large classical sarcophagus urn decorated by volutes. The latter is recognizable as the Arch of the Alliance thanks to the Tablets of the Law, given to Moses by the Lord on Mount Sinai, which can be seen resting on it. The towered city visible in the background is Jerusalem, to which the Arch was transported to be kept in Salomon’s temple.
Attributable to a Venetian cultural context, the relief we are presented is enlivened by the splendid alternation between the dark shade of the walnut wood and the areas illuminated by gold leaf, visible in the Arch, the mantles and other details of the armed men. Moreover, another type of gilding embellishes the landscape that serves as background for the scene; it is done in gold paste and features a more coppery shade.
Veneto, 16th century