12th Century

On the first floor of the Museum it is possible to admire some sculptures that illustrate the stylistic evolution towards more massive forms. Note, in particular, the two Lions grounded in their intense corporeality, while the capitals of the second construction phase of St. Thomas show a deterioration in quality, due certainly to less skilled workers than those of the previous period (this important church

suffered a serious fire around 1186 and was largely rebuilt). It was the Antelami Masters, so-called due to their origins in the Comasco valleys (in particular from the Intelvi valley) who built Genoa using stone rather than the wood and earth as in the early Middle Ages. But they were first and foremost builders: and for sculpture they used relatively unskilled labour. It is necessary to go to the second floor to see a high quality Romanesque monument: these are the two columns, borne by lions, which come from the ancient church of San Siro, the city's first cathedral. They are dated from around 1185 and have some Tuscan characteristics that, once again, demonstrate the openness of the Genoese to other artistic cultures, as long as they are of quality.