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Engaged column

Engaged column

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1170-1190 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved sandstone

  • Credit Line:

    Given by J. H. Fitzhenry

  • Museum number:

    47-1906

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This engaged column and capital is from Southern France by an unknown artist timing from about 1170-1190.

Judging by its size, the column and capital probably formed part of an intermediate window mullion, perhaps in a secular rather than ecclesiastical setting. There are similar capitals in the Musée d' Aquitaine in Bordeaux. The central figure devouring the tails of two sirens, is a common iconographic type and is found on capitals throughout France in the 12th century.

Physical description

The shaft is octagonal, and is attached to the rounded half-column against a squared back with three semi-cylindrical projections for fixing into the wall. The capital, square in form, is carved with a monster devouring the tails of two sirens: a third siren has a tail terminating in a dragon head. The base is square, and has foliated corners.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca. 1170-1190 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved sandstone

Dimensions

Height: 133.5 cm, Width: 28 cm base, Height: 27.8 cm capital, Width: 28 cm capital

Object history note

Given by J.H. Fitzhenry, 1906.

Historical context note

Judging by its size, the column and capital probably formed part of an intermediate window mullion, perhaps in a secular rather than ecclesiastical setting. There are similar capitals in the Musée d' Aquitaine in Bordeaux. The central figure devouring the tails of two sirens, is a common iconographic type and is found on capitals throughout France in the 12th century.

Descriptive line

Engaged column and capital, carved sandstone, France, late 12th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Years 1905 - 1908. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, During the Year 1906, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition with Appendix and Indices. London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, 1909, p. 8
Williamson, Paul. Catalogue of Romanesque Sculpture. Victoria & Albert Museum, London 1983, p. 41, cat. 18

Materials

Sandstone

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Sirens; Monster; Dragon's head

Categories

Architectural fittings; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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