- possibly 11th century
- Made in Limousin, France
- Overall: 15 1/4 x 25 1/8 in. (38.7 x 63.8 cm)
- Credit Line:
- The Cloisters Collection, 1947
- Accession Number:
Their utilitarian function notwithstanding, medieval door mounts are often ornately designed, with geometric and fanciful motifs. Here, the beasts resemble panthers, which according to medieval bestiaries, exuded a sweet-smelling breath that attracted animals upon which they preyed. The church dedicated to Saint Leonard of Noblat near Limoges was frequented by pilgrims who believed that the saint was particularly efficacious in liberating prisoners.
Doorway under Bell Tower, Church of Saint-Léonard-de Noblac, Saint-Léonard, Haute-Vienne, France (removed between 1880 and 1890 for repairs; ironworker went bankrupt and contents of his shop were sold; recovered by church in early 20th century; disappeared by 1921); [ Sumner Healey, Bordeaux and New York (ca. 1925)] ; Elie Nadelman American (born Poland), Warsaw 1882–1946 Riverdale, New York, Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York (sold 1938) ; New-York Historical Society American, New York (1938-sold 1943) ; Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York (October 13-14, 1943, no. 211) ; [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York (1943-sold 1947)]
Nickel, Helmut. "The Iron Door Mountings from St.-Leonard-de-Noblat." Metropolitan Museum Journal 23 (1988). pp. 83-6, fig. 1-5.
Hofer, Margaret K. "Manhattan to Munich: The Nadelmans' Sources for Folk Art." In Making It Modern: The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman, edited by Margaret K. Hofer, and Roberta J. M. Olson. New York: New-York Historical Society, 2015. pp. 64–65, fig. 45.
Olson, Roberta J. M., and Margaret K. Hofer. "The History of the Nadelman Folk Art Collection." In Making It Modern: The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman, edited by Margaret K. Hofer, and Roberta J. M. Olson. New York: New-York Historical Society, 2015. p. 25, fig. 17.