Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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capital with foliage and figures
  • France
  • capital with foliage and figures, late 1100s
  • Where object was made: Ile-de-France, France
  • limestone
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 30.5 x 23.2 x 35.6 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 12 x 9 1/8 x 14 in
  • Museum purchase
  • Not on display
  • 1957.0075
Multimedia
Description
Literature

The capital is weathered, and some foliage and one head are missing. The astragal of this complex capital is quatrefoil, or four-lobed, in section. The four sides of the basket are carved with three human figures and a bird entwined in the upward-growing tendrils of a vine. Its thick stems terminate in fleshy leaves that are deeply undercut, casting heavy shadows against the ground. At the top, the crisply carved abacus flares out into an octagon. Thus the captial must originally have topped a shaft with a composite form and occupied a space where it was visible from all four sides. Its small size would be appropriate in a secular setting or in a cloister or crypt.