Carlo Pellicani (after Carlo Buzzi) Jael and Sisera

West façade, Milan Cathedral

This panel is over the smaller door to the left of the main entrance. It illustrates Judges 4:17-22 and 5:26. Fleeing from the Israelites, the Canaanite general Sisera comes to hide in Jael's tent, thinking she is an ally. But while he sleeps she drives a tent peg through his temple.

In the sculpture a heroically portrayed Jael takes a hammer from the woman on the left. Unfortunately, the right hand and tent peg have broken away from the sculpture. The woman on the left is not in the scriptural account, but she visually she echoes the maid in the corresponding panel to the right of the main entrance. That maid does figure in the account of Judith's beheading of the Assyrian general Holofernes. Paleo-Christian and medieval writers considered Jael and Judith to be types of the Church.

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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.