The sculptures of Giacomo Manzù are largely religious in their themes, and their graceful proportions derive from the principles of classical art. Manzù was commissioned to create the fifth door of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Entitled The Door of Death (1962), it was dedicated to the Pope, who is shown kneeling in prayer in one of the lower panels. The heavenward-directed prongs of The Large Key are actually two tall-hatted bronze cardinals, one facing forward, the other backward—an enigmatic statement of the omnipresence of the Roman Catholic Church in Italian life.
© 1998 Walker Art Center