This examination of the nine lintels of pilgrimage churches in Western Tuscany, all dating from the second half of the 12th century, places the region in the context of international pilgrimage and crusade.
Although it is known that Italians were settled in the Holy Land well before the first Crusade, Italian medieval art has only occasionally been addressed in this context.
The book considers the iconography, style and meaning of architectural sculpture in and around Pisa, Lucca and Pistioa - cities on the major pilgrimage route.
Lucca was home to the famed "Volto Santo", while the cathedral at Pistoia housed a piece of the head of St James Major acquired from Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where the saint's body was purportedly found.
The port at Pisa was used by pilgrims and crusaders from both Italy and and northern Europe to embark for the East.
Sculpted mainly by Adeodatus, Gruamons and Bidinius, the portals of the churches in these cities depict such seemingly broad subjects as incidents from the life and miracles of St Nicholas, the Entry into Jerusalem, the Mission of the Apostles, the Last Supper, and the Magi before Herod. These subjects, and the unique ways in which t