Grado Baptismal Font in Baptistery
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
Grado is a small, ancient town situated between Venice and Trieste on a peninsula bordered by the Adriatic Sea. Because of Grado's proximity to Aquileia (significant imperial Roman city), it became a haven for refugees fleeing Huns (5th C.) and Lombards (late 6th C.), and inherited some of its neighbor's importance. Very ancient church buildings survive in Grado: the two churches of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Basilica of Sant' Eufemia (the city's cathedral, or duomo), and the free-standing, octagonal baptistery.Tangible record of these buildings' very early history has been interwoven with later rejuvenations .While portions of the baptistery's interior have been carefully and accurately restored, its hexagonal stone font is original (6th C.). In addition to larger structures, an abundance of ancient sculpture also survives. Details captured in the background of this image illustrate reconstructions that have reused elements from earlier renditions of Grado's church buildings. Behind the baptistery's font one can see a carved panel enclosing the baptistery chancel. Beyond that, in the shadows, is a small altar which has been faced with yet another carved panel. The heart of this panel's composition features a cross flanked by peacocks. Superimposed on the cross, at the intersection of its staff and arm, is a circle which inscribes the monogram of Probinus, Archbishop of Aquileia from 569-571 (identified and dated by Paolo Lino Zovatto in 1948).July 1991
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