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date: 11 December 2019

Oderisius of Beneventolocked

(fl c. 1119–50).
  • Tessa Garton

Extract

(flc. 1119–50).

Italian bronze-caster. According to inscriptions, he made bronze doors for churches in Troia, Capua and Benevento. The doors of Troia Cathedral were commissioned by Bishop William II of Troia. The main doors, completed in 1119, include an image of Oderisius, while the south doors, completed in 1127, are engraved with his signature: factor portarum fuit oderisius harum beneventanus. The lost doors of S Giovanni, Capua, made in 1122 and inscribed magister oderisius fecit has portas, were recorded in a 17th-century drawing, published by Salazaro. The doors of S Bartolommeo, Benevento, made in 1150 and engraved opus oderisi, were melted down in 1693.

The Troia doors consist of bronze plaques applied to a timber structure and surrounded by a metal framework. The smaller south door is divided into 24 panels decorated with nielloed images of bishops and an inscription expressing the political aspirations of Troia to be liberated from Norman domination. Four panels are decorated with lion heads in high relief holding rings in their jaws. The main door is more elaborate. Divided into 28 panels (some of which are 16th- and 17th-century replacements) set in prominent frames, its decoration includes nielloed figures as well as 10 panels with sculptured animals in high relief: a series of lion heads and two winged dragons serve as door knockers. As on the south door, the inscription occupies the lower panels. The Capua doors appear to have been similar to the main doors at Troia. The style of Oderisius shows a fusion of Byzantine techniques in the engraved and inlaid silver work with Western influence in the high relief work....

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