The Modena Archivolt


Click on the figures for larger details.

Click for a larger image of the Modena Archivolt.


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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.

Details:
An armoured Italian knight with kite shield and couched lance.
Isdernus (Lancelot).
Artus Britani (King Arthur).
The castle: Burmaldus, wielding a pick-axe, emerges to the left. Winlogee (Guinevere) and Mardoc (Meleagant). Carrado, on horseback, emerging to the right.
Calvariun (Galeschin?).
Che (Kay) and Galvaginus (Gawain).
Source: Crusader Imagery
A KNIGHT c.1100 from Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300 by Ian Heath, based on the Modena Archivolt



See also Knights & infantry in Archivolt carvings above the Leoni door of the church of San Nicola in Bari, 1099 to 1106 AD
Other 12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Italian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers