Baptismal Font

Date: ca. 1155–70

Geography: Made in Liège, South Netherlands

Culture: South Netherlandish

Medium: Dark calciferous limestone

Dimensions: 15 1/2 x 51 in., 400lb. (39.4 x 129.5 cm, 181.4kg)

Classification: Sculpture-Architectural

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1947

Accession Number: 47.101.21


Numerous dark stone baptismal fonts produced in the valley of the Meuse River were exported throughout northern Europe. The four projecting heads, carved with unusual simplicity and power, were once supported by subsidiary colonettes; the whole rested on a square plinth. When this font was made, baptismal practice was changing from immersing the body to anointing a child's forehead.