Battistero di San Giovanni, Interior and Baptismal Font Baptistery of St. John the Baptist, Interior and Baptismal Font
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
Sitting on an octagonal, two-step stone platform and occupying the center of the Volterra baptistery's interior space is a large, octagonal font whose eight sides are decorated with marble intarsia, alternating diamond and oval patterns. Sources give 1759/1760 as the date this font was created and list the artist as Giovanni Vaccà. The font is surmounted by a sculpted figure of St. John the Baptist. (It is not clear whether the sculpture was part of Vaccà's work or added later.) The Baroque font offers an aesthetic contrast to its Romanesque setting. The interior walls of the octagonal baptistery (13th C.) are bare masonry, punctuated with six shallow niches that stretch from the floor nearly to the base of the second story slit windows. In the background of this image is an altar framed with a marble frieze designed by Mino da Fiesole (Italian sculptor, ca. 1430-1484) and executed by Balsimelli from Settignano. The wood panel painting of the Ascension above the altar was painted by Niccolò Circignani in 1591. ca. December 1986
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