Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Head of a King

Date:
ca. 1150–75
Culture:
French
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
Overall: 18 1/4 x 9 3/8 x 15 1/4 in. (46.4 x 23.8 x 38.7 cm) weight: 103lb. (46.7kg)
Classification:
Sculpture-Stone
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederic B. Pratt, 1944
Accession Number:
44.85.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
A recently discovered photograph taken about 1906–10 seems to confirm earlier speculation that this head comes from Notre-Dame-dela-Couldre in Parthenay. Following the French Revolution, the church was secularized, sold, and demolished by its new owner. Certain aspects of this sculpture, such as the striated hair and the thick upper lip, are characteristic of Parthenay production. Although its original placement and identification remain unknown, the head may have belonged to a large figure on horseback, set in profile, on the church’s façade.
Probably from Notre-Dame-de-la-Couldre, Parthenay; Valentin Guille(?), Nantes (until 1910); Victor Poulit(?), Nantes; Mr. and Mrs. Frederic B. Pratt, Brooklyn and Glen Cove, N.Y. (1920-1935)
Rorimer, James J., and William Holmes Forsyth. "The Medieval Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 12, no. 6 (February 1954). p. 130.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at the Metropolitan: 800 to 1400." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 62, no. 4 (2005). p. 16.

Little, Charles T., ed. Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture. New York, New Haven, and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. no. 31, pp. 87-88.

Cavaillès, Maria. "Notre-Dame de la Couldre à Parthenay." In L'âge roman: Arts et culture en Poitou et dans les pays charentais, Xe-XIIe siècles, edited by Pascale Brudy, and Anne Benéteau Péan. Montreuil: Gourcuff Gradenigo, 2011. p. 263, fig. 8.

Maxwell, Robert A. "Le goût pour la sculpture romane de Parthenay: Les collectionneurs américains et la redécouverte de l'art du XIIe siècle." In L'âge roman: Arts et culture en Poitou et dans les pays charentais, Xe-XIIe, edited by Pascale Brudy, and Anne Benéteau Péan. Montreuil: Gourcuff Gradenigo, 2011. p. 272.

Maxwell, Robert A. "Accounting for Taste: American Collectors and Twelfth-Century French Sculpture." Journal of the History of Collections 27, no. 3 (November 2015). p. 396.



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