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Captial with masks and foliage

Captial with masks and foliage

Culture Group: French
Culture: French
Date: 1125–1150
Medium: Limestone
Dimensions:
10 1/4 x 10 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (26 x 25.7 x 26 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: The Brummer Collection
Label Text:The artistic repertory of the Romanesque period contained an infinite variety of fantastic subjects; perhaps none was more popular than animal or humanoid heads spewing foliage. Beginning in the late 11th century, sculptors throughout Europe developed imaginative variations of this theme for column capitals. The heads of animals or grotesquely evolved humans usually occupy the projecting corners of the capital and emit fronds of vinescroll which entwine around the trunk of the capital. This relatively sober example contains two animals and one human mask in the three remaining corners. The leafy tendrils curl into neat clusters of three-part, or palmette form, which are contained in linked medallions. Recent cleaning has revealed the splendid, subtle detail, like the chain-link motifs and the refined facial features of the human head. Aspects of the composition and the carving technique are characteristic of sites in the vicinity of Paris including St.-Denis, and Notre-Dame and St.-Basile at Etampes. Petrographic analysis of the stone sample has confirmed this attribution to the Paris vicinity.

Provenance: Purchased May 17, 1938 through (a Paris house) by Ernest [1890-1964] or Joseph [1883-1947] Brummer; by inheritance to Ernest Brummer's wife, Ella Brummer; purchased 1966 by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 1966.63.1