LEFT LATERAL DOOR
It flanks the Porta Magna by Jacopo della Quercia. The minor left door, as well as the right one, was built in the first half of the 16th century on a design by Ercole Seccadenari. The works began already in 1518, initially on the project of Domenico da Varignana and under the direction of Arduino degli Arriguzzi, the mind of the basilica’s majestic project, whose completion never materialized. However, everything was interrupted only in the following year. After having entrusted a new design to Ercole Seccadenari, the project could start from where it had stopped. The decoration of the portals was then completed in the period between 1524 and 1530. The goal was to finish them within the coronation of Charles V, which took place right in the basilica in that year.
The actual completion of the door, which took place almost thirty years later, is dated 1557, when the marble cladding of the façade was already under construction. To finish as quickly as possible, the works were entrusted to a group of sculptors who took part with a behaviour at the edge of the competition with each other, thus causing some attribution problems.
The left door presents several scenes with a biblical and evangelical background: from the burial of Jacob’s wife to the erroneous blessing of the latter, with Isaac who blesses him believing him to be Esau, up to the birth of Christ (placed on the first frame) and on the right pillar, Moses and the test of burning coals.