Quantcast
Videos ()
Sunday at the Met: Search for the Unicorn

Close

Chapel from Notre-Dame-du-Bourg at Langon

Date:
after 1126
Geography:
Made in Aquitaine, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
Overall: 268 1/2 x 197 5/8 in. (682 x 502 cm) Overall (34.115.1a): 11 x 21 1/2 in. (27.9 x 54.6 cm) Overall (34.115.1b): 6 1/2 x 26 1/4 in. (16.5 x 66.7 cm) Overall (34.115.2a): 11 1/2 x 20 1/4 in. (29.2 x 51.4 cm) Overall (34.115.2b): 6 3/4 x 25 3/4 in. (17.1 x 65.4 cm) Overall (34.115.3a): 10 3/4 x 20 1/4 in. (27.3 x 51.4 cm) Overall (34.115.3b): 6 3/4 x 26 3/4 in. (17.1 x 67.9 cm) Overall (34.115.4a): 15 1/2 x 29 in. (39.4 x 73.7 cm) Overall (34.115.4b): 7 3/4 x 33 1/4 in. (19.7 x 84.5 cm) Overall (34.115.5a): 16 x 31 in. (40.6 x 78.7 cm) Overall (34.115.5b): 7 x 15 in. (17.8 x 38.1 cm) Overall (34.115.5c): 7 x 23 1/4 in. (17.8 x 59.1 cm) Overall (34.115.6a): 16 3/4 x 48 in. (42.5 x 121.9 cm) Overall (34.115.6b): 7 x 21 in. (17.8 x 53.3 cm) Overall (34.115.7a): 17 x 47 1/2 in. (43.2 x 120.7 cm) Overall (34.115.7b): 7 3/4 x 33 in. (19.7 x 83.8 cm) Overall (34.115.7c): 7 3/4 x 34 3/4 in. (19.7 x 88.3 cm) Overall (34.115.8a): 11 1/4 x 16 3/4 in. (28.6 x 42.5 cm) Overall (34.115.8b): 6 3/4 x 24 3/4 in. (17.1 x 62.9 cm) Overall (34.115.30): 16 x 16 1/2 in. (40.6 x 41.9 cm)
Classification:
Installations
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund,1934
Accession Number:
34.115.1–.269
  • Description

    Parts of this chapel-like gallery were constructed with twelfth-century limestone blocks from the church of Notre-Dame-du-Bourg at Langon, located about nineteen miles east of Bordeaux. According to one seventeenth-century document, the small parish church—which had a single apse nave, slightly projecting transepts, and a semi-circular apse—was founded in 1126 as a dependency of the nearby abbey of Notre-Dame-de-la-Grande-Sauve. Seven capitals from the crossing and choir of Langon are installed in this gallery, all of them decorated with human heads or figures carved almost in the round. The crowned female bust on one of the capitals has often been identified as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122?–1204), one of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages. However, other than a trip she took to the region with her husband, King Henry II of England (r. 1154–89), in the 1150s—when they might have spent one night at the nearby Notre-Dame-de-la-Grande-Sauve—there is no documentary evidence that Eleanor ever visited Langon or that the bust was intended to portray her. The blind arches lining the walls (below, left) and the predominantly geometric patterns decorating the abaci, arches, and cornices (below, right) are all characteristic of the late-twelfth century architecture in western France.

    Like many religious monuments in France, Notre-Dame-du-Bourg suffered repeated damage, especially from the Hundred Years' War and the French Revolution. By the early nineteenth century the choir had been divided into two levels: the lower served as a stable, while the upper became a dance hall, then a theater. When the Museum purchased the chapel fragments in 1934, the upper level was being used to store tobacco (above). The reconstructed chapel is about three-quarters of its original size.

  • Provenance

    From the choir of the church of Notre-Dame-du-Bourg at Langon, near Bordeaux
    ; Dubois , Langon ; [ C. Joret , Paris (sold 1934)]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
479486

Close