Telamone with dragons
The capital with telamon and two dragons comes from inside the lost Romanesque basilica of San Giovanni in Borgo, the church demolished in 1811 to give more space to the monumental Borromeo college. The artifact, characterized by an advanced executive technique, is unanimously considered by critics to be a masterpiece, one of the most famous and highest quality pieces of Pavia plastic from the early 12th century. The processing technique reaches a high level of mastery, for example in the rendering of the legs of dragons that sink into the fleshy masses of lions. The sculptor manages to create an ingenious composition and to wisely graduate the planes in relation to the background, making the surfaces turned, smooth and well polished. The motif of intertwined monstrous animals, between which the telamon is safely inserted, reaches the maximum fusion and plastic effectiveness of the whole in this capital. The capital of the rectangular pillar finds in the center a naked virile figure, crowned, sculpted in high relief, with a prominent belly, navel and well-defined ribs, legs apart and arms open to grasp the neck of the two powerful winged dragons, with globe eyes, the whose long scaly tails intertwine symmetrically wrapped around the legs and feet of the seated man. The two monsters in turn lean on the hips of two semi-rampant lions, with a long neck marked by a mane furrowed by tufts ending in curls and the tail between the legs, arranged at the two corners of the capital. In the abacus there is a fretwork Greek fret with staggered rectangles, executed with a chisel, which seems to continue, in smaller dimensions, on the crown of the central figure, emphasizing the head. On the short side on the right there is another monstrous winged figure, with a snake's body crossed by pearl-shaped scales.