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North Side - N7B8

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The stoning of St. Stephen

In previous scholarship on the cloister of Aosta, the figures of this capital were identified with the story of Job. Berton (1954) and Brunod (1977) saw the three stages of his life – kingship, illness, and misery – represented on the capital.

Sandra Barberi understood the figures, however, as St. Stephen, whose stoning is portrayed on the west side. The arch-martyr drops down, pummeled by stones upon his back and head. The figure behind him on the south side would be, therefore, one of the conspirators, that is, a stone-thrower, which, in a way resembles the figure on the east side, who holds three stones in his hand and has more stockpiled in his jacket. The interpretation of the winged figure on the north side as an angel who would then be blessing and comforting Job or carrying the soul of Stephen, in both readings remains unsatisfactory.

Barberi, Sandra: Il chiostro di S. Orso ad Aosta. (Reihe: Quaderni della Sopraintendenza per i Beni Culturali della Valle d'Aosta, N.S.), Rom 1988, p. 26, note 33.