The enigmatic smile and lyrical treatment of the hair distinguish this angelic head as an outstanding example of mid-thirteenth-century Parisian sculpture. Several stylistic and technical aspects, such as the type of limestone, link this work with sculpture made for the cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris. The absence of weathering suggests the head was originally part of an interior setting, yet its exact origin and function remain unknown.
From Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris (?); [ Joseph Altounian, Maçon (sold 1923)] ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1923–sold 1929, to Bing)] ; Alexander M. Bing, New York (1929–sold 1944, to Brummer) ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1944–sold 1949)] ; [Joseph Brummer Collection sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York (April 20-23, 1949, no. 739)] ; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA ; [ Sotheby's, New York American (May 31, 1990, lot 20)]