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Portal from the Abbey Church of Saint-Laurent

Artist/maker unknown, French

Made in France, Europe
Near Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire, central France, France, Europe

c. 1120-1150


Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 201, European Art 1100-1500, second floor (Lila Wallace--Reader´s Digest Fund Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by Elizabeth Malcolm Bowman in memory of Wendell Phillips Bowman, 1928

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    This imposing portal originally served as the main entrance to the small Augustinian abbey church of Saint-Laurent in central France, on one of the pilgrimage roads to the shrine of Santiago da Compostela in Spain. It displays bold abstract patterns on round arches and capitals with complicated intertwined branches, leaves, and birds characteristic of Romanesque architecture. The style seen here was inspired by that of the most influential Benedictine monastery in Europe, Cluny, which had founded the large church of La Charité-sur-Loire near Saint-Laurent. At the suggestion of George Grey Barnard, sculptor and collector of medieval architecture and sculpture, when the portal was installed in the Museum two smaller doorways were added on either side following a design popular in the region of Saint-Laurent, although the origin of these doors remains undetermined. In the Museum the portal now faces a group of large Romanesque capitals, of which six are known to have come from the interior of the church of Saint-Laurent. Dean Walker, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 111.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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