Stories of Abraham – Chigi Palace

The Romanesque onyx bas-relief, from the nearby Parish Church of Sts. Quirico and Giulitta (now the Collegiate Church), dates from the mid-20th cent. XII.

It is probably the front of an altar or part of a pulpit dismantled in the 17th century to make way for the Baroque choir.

The sculpture depicts scenes from the life of Abraham. Starting from the left, a first scene depicts Sarah, Abraham’s wife, holding her young son Isaac, the patriarch Abramo, the servant Hagar with her other son Ishmael, and again, in the second scene, the angel stopping Abraham’s hand in the act of sacrificing his son Isaac. Finally, on the lower right, under the altar of sacrifice, the goat that will take Isaac’s place.

In the late 1700s, the bas-relief was donated by the church to the Chigi family, which moved it to the 17th-century palace, where it has been relocated today.

The same family removed it in the last century to sell it. Today the work was returned to the San Quirico community thanks to the intervention of the municipality, made possible by a public subscription in which citizens and friends of San Quirico generously participated.

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