Head of an Angel (?)

Date: ca. 1250

Geography: Made in Paris, France

Culture: French

Medium: Limestone, paint

Dimensions: 9 5/8 × 6 3/4 × 5 13/16 in. (24.5 × 17.2 × 14.8 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Stone

Credit Line: Purchase, Michel David-Weill Gift, 1990

Accession Number: 1990.132


Beauty and tenderness mark the irresistible appeal of this angelic head, which possesses both a precociousness and a playfulness rarely seen in High Gothic sculpture. The deeply undercut elastic and cascading locks of hair; the suggestive, tight-lipped smile; and the refinement of the surface help place the work at the forefront of Parisian Gothic sculpture, about the middle of the thirteenth century. The style of the sculpture and the type of limestone used suggest that this head comes from Notre-Dame of Paris, probably from its choir screen.