late 12–early 13th century
Object Place: Europe, France, Languedoc
25.5 x 21 x 28 cm (10 1/16 x 8 1/4 x 11 in.)
Medium or Technique
I. W. Colburn Chapel Gallery (Gallery 254A)
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.
By 1919, D.G. Kelekian, New York; 1919, sold by Kelekian to the MFA with funds from J. Templeman Coolidge. (Accession Date: February 27, 1919)
Gift of J. Templeman Coolidge