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Sunday at the Met: How the Cloisters Came to Be

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One of Two Doors with Ironwork

Date:
12th century
Geography:
Made in Pyrenees, France or Spain
Culture:
French or Spanish
Medium:
Oak and iron
Dimensions:
Overall: 114 x 39 1/2 x 2 in. (289.6 x 100.3 x 5.1 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Iron
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1925
Accession Number:
25.120.291
  • Description

    When closed and bolted, these massive doors provided considerable defense against weapons such as battering rams and other war machines. Their vertically arranged oak planks are reinforced with spiked iron bands on the exterior and crossbeams on the interior. Except for the fifteenth-century lock, the doors and ironwork are believed to have come from a twelfth-century building in the Pyrenees. The twenty-four iron bands affixed horizontally to the doors are pierced with geometric patterns such as diamonds, dots, and rectangles. The terminals of the bands are decorated with fanciful motifs resembling animal heads, treetops, or wheels. The wheel-shaped terminal directly above the lock contains an image of the crucified Christ.

  • Provenance

    George Grey Barnard American, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 1863–1938 New York , New York (until 1925)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
472341

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