Meaning of mandorla in English:


Pronunciation /manˈdɔːlə/


  • A pointed oval figure used as an architectural feature and as an aureole enclosing figures such as Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary in medieval art.

    Also called vesica piscis

    ‘The mandorla is supported by six angels, wearing amices, with carved looped clouds or stars at their feet.’
    • ‘Over the front entrance is a sculpture of Jesus seated against a mandorla.’
    • ‘Over the south door, the twelfth-century carving of Christ in Glory is seated in a niche, within the traditional mandorla.’
    • ‘In two mandorlas above him, angels display the Instruments of the Passion.’
    • ‘Of the two clay gate-keepers which once flanked the entrance, only the painted fiery mandorlas remain, together with considerable portions of murals.’


Late 19th century from Italian, literally ‘almond’.