This relief once framed a tabernacle—a receptacle above and behind an altar for the safekeeping of the Eucharist. The inscription over the doorway, LOCHVS SANCTVS (Holy Place), and below, LAVS DEO (Praise God), confirm the relief’s intended purpose. Originally, a door at center, perhaps in gilt bronze, would have secured the tabernacle. The pose, costumes, and modeling of the flanking angels all suggest the hand of a gifted artist probably working under the influence of Tullio Lombardo, a brilliant Venetian marble sculptor.
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