The Modena Archivolt

Click on the image for larger details.

The Modena Archivolt is a sculpture carved over the Porta della Pescheria, the north portal of the Cathedral of Modena in northern Italy.
This seems to be a version of the story of the rescue of Guinevere, told in Caradoc on Llancarfan’s Life of St. Gildas, Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet and Chrétien de Troyes’ The Knight of the Cart. This means that it is roughly contemporary with Geoffrey of Monmouth and Caradoc of Llancarfan, but so geographically separate as to be almost certainly independent of them. It depicts an attack on the castle by a number of knights of the round table, on horseback, in order to rescue Winlogee (Guinevere) who is held prisoner by Mardoc (Meleagant).
Construction of the cathedral began in 1099, though the sculpture can probably be dated to 1120-1140.


Back to the Modena Archivolt