'Haggai', marble bust

'Haggai', marble bust

'Haggai'
Marble bust
Giovanni Pisano
Siena, Italy
About 1285-1297
Carved marble
Height 63.8cm
Museum No. A.13-1963

This marble bust represents the Old Testament Prophet Haggai. The dramatic nature of the expression and pose of the figure have been heightened by the weathering that the sculpture has experienced over the centuries. The bust was once part of a full-length statue which was placed on the façade of Siena cathedral in Italy: it was originally part of greater programme of sculpture. The jutting neck and deep shadows created by the carving would have made the figure more effective when viewed from ground level. The figure holds part of a scroll, and the two letters inscribed upon it confirm the identification with Haggai. The sculptor has shown Haggai with an open mouth, as though declaring his prophecy to the world.