Interpreting the Unknown Statue

I am not sure exactly where I took this photo.  It may be somewhere in Northern Italy but I couldn't exactly pinpoint where.  Rose tells me that this was close to the leaning tower of Pisa.  

The image has been in my iPhone for almost two years now.  I do remember why I shot it though.  I thought the net that was partially covering the building created a nice soft background.  It made the statue pop out.  I also liked the pastel colors of the architecture.  

As for the statue itself, I have no idea who it is and what it represents.  What I always noticed are scallop shells in this kind of statues.  Now, the scallop shell I was informed symbolized purity.  In Catholicism, the clam or scallop shell is symbolically referred to Mary, who had Jesus Christ in her body when he was conceived.  I seriously doubt the artist was portraying Mary here but who knows.  In fact, I'm not even sure if the statue is a man or a woman.

There seems to be two dolphins next to the statue's feet.  I couldn't find its symbolism in Renaissance art based on my cursory review.  So maybe they are not dolphins.

There seems to be a bear or a dog trying to climb up a tree.  Dogs are often depicted to symbolize protection, loyaltyfidelityfaithfulnesswatchfulness, and love.  So maybe it is a dog.  I believe the tree might be his toilet.


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