Mathieu Beaud, Institut national d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris.
This paper aims to consider in the XIIth century the conception of a past where legends, biblical story and history merge to compose a civic memory. The legend of Theodoric’s hunt, placed at the entrance of the portal of the Basilica of San Zeno in Verona, highlights this phenomenon. As sculpted on this façade, this episode synthesizes Roman and Germanic legends about this ambiguous figure in Christian history who evokes an uncertain past for Verona. It is part of an iconographic assemblage that arranges, around two biblical cycles, pieces of the pagan Roman past, the proto-Christian past and the present of the city. This assemblage invites us to wonder about the way in which the city’s present is inserted both into a local memory and, more broadly, into an history of the entire humanity.