Capital

French (Languedoc)
Medieval (Romanesque)
about 1200–50
Unidentified artist (Swedish)


Object Place: Europe, Toulouse, France

Dimensions

Overall: 27 x 22.5 x 22cm (10 5/8 x 8 7/8 x 8 11/16in.)

Accession Number

19.645

Medium or Technique

Stone; limestone

On View

I. W. Colburn Chapel Gallery (Gallery 254A)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Architectural elements

Limestone capital, carved in the Romanesque style.


Capitals, the crowning elements of columns, provided areas for sculptural decoration in church interiors and monastic cloisters. The most extravagantly carved capitals might include figures, narrative scenes, plant life, animals, or fantastic beasts. These examples display mythical creatures including the dragon and possibly the amphisbaena–a serpent with a head at either end of its body–both believed in medieval times to exist.

Provenance

Dikran G. Kelekian, New York [see note 1]. By 1917, Hervey E. Wetzel (b. 1888 - d. 1918); 1918, by inheritance from her cousin, Mrs. Albertine W. F. Valentine, Chicago [see note 2]; 1919, gift of Mrs. Albertine W. F. Valentine, residuary legatee under the will of Hervey E. Wetzel, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 31, 1919).

Notes:
[1] See W. Cahn and L. Seidel, "Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections, Vol. 1, New England Museums," New York, 1979, p.103. [2] See Wetzel's will of November 8, 1918 (copy in MFA curatorial files).

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Albertine W. F. Valentine, residuary legatee under the will of Hervey E. Wetzel