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Rectangular stone capital with carvings of figures

On the front of this off-white, rectangular stone capital, a man in long robes touches the halo behind his head. He faces two robed figures to the right, one of whom is missing his head. Small figures with halos border the scene. Another side shows two figures from the chest up in arched alcoves. On another side, an angel leans forward from the capital’s surface. On the final side, two figures in an alcove gaze up at a door.

Gallery Text

The principal face of this capital recounts the encounter between Christ and two pilgrims on the road to the town of Emmaus, a subject made popular by the mystery play, the Peregrinus. The resurrected Christ raises his hand to greet the pilgrims, identified by their staffs. According to Scripture, Christ appeared in another likeness, rendering him unrecognizable. His resurrected status is revealed to the viewer through his cruciform nimbus and the cross in his right hand, now partially broken. Two angels frame the narrative to suggest the importance of the scene.

The left side of the capital is decorated with an angel, and the right with a gated city, perhaps Emmaus or Jerusalem. Each facet of the capital reveals an interest in pattern, observable in the folds of the drapery, brickwork, and intertwining foliate decoration.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Unidentified Artist
Capital from Moutiers-Saint-Jean; principal face: The Journey to Emmaus; right face: The Village of Emmaus; left face: Angel
Architectural Elements
Work Type
architectural element
c. 1125-1130
Creation Place: Europe, France, Moutiers-Saint-Jean
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1003, West Arcade
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Physical Descriptions

61 x 63.7 x 59 cm (24 x 25 1/16 x 23 1/4 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Friends of the Fogg Art Museum Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • "America Acquires Romanesque Art", The International Studio (October 1922), vol. LXXVI, no. 305, pp. 37-39, pp. 37-39, repr.
  • Arthur Kingsley Porter, "Romanesque Capitals", Fogg Art Museum Notes (1922), pp. 22-36, pp. 28-30; repr. as figs. 4, 5, 15
  • Fogg Art Museum Handbook, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1931), p. 20, repr.
  • Denis Grivot and George Zarnecki, Gislebertus: Sculpteur d'Autun, Editions Trianon (Paris, France, 1965), p. 65; repr. as fig. B1
  • Linda Seidel, "Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections: IX: The William Hayes Fogg Art Museum: I: Burgundy", GESTA (1972), vol XI, no. 1, no. 1c, repr.
  • Walter Cahn and Linda Seidel, Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections, volume 1: New England Museums, Burt Franklin & Co., Inc. (New York, NY, 1979), no. 1c, fig. 123
  • Neil Stratford, "Sculpture Romane Originaire de Moutiers-Saint-Jean", Mémoires de la Commission des Antiquités du Départment de la Côte-d'Or (1980-1981), Tome XXXII, pp. 327-335, p. 327
  • Jane Hayward and Walter Cahn, Radiance and Reflection: Medieval Art from the Raymond Pitcairn Collection, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1982), p. 81
  • Lore Holmes, Charles Little, and Edward V. Sayre, Elemental Characterization of Medieval Limestone Sculpture from Parisian and Burgundian Sources, Journal of Field Archaeology, Taylor & Francis (Boston: Boston University for the Association of Field Archaeology, Winter 1986), vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 419-438
  • Neil Stratford, "La Sculpture Médiévale de Moutiers Saint-Jean (Saint-Jean-de-Réome)", Congrès Auxois-Châtillonnais (Paris, 1989), pp. 157-201, p. 167; repr. in b/w p. 166 as fig. 11
  • Elizabeth Bradford Smith, Medieval Art in America: Patterns of Collecting 1800-1940, exh. cat., Palmer Museum of Art (University Park, PA, 1996), p. 176
  • Christine Smith, ed., Before and After the End of Time: Architecture and the Year 1000, exh. cat., George Braziller (New York, NY, 2000), pp. 26, 38, 52
  • Kathryn Brush, Vastly More than Brick and Mortar: Reinventing the Fogg Art Museum in the 1920s, Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge MA / New Haven, CT, 2003), pp. 54-56
  • The Limestone Sculpture Provenance Project, website, 2004
  • Sarah Blick, ed., Art and Architecture of late medieval pilgrimage in Northern Europe and the British Isles, Brill Academic Publishers (Leiden) (Boston, MA, 2005), vol. II, part III, repr. as fig. 110
  • Kathryn Brush, "The Capitals from Moutiers-Saint-Jean (Harvard University Art Museums) and the Carving of Medieval Art Study in American after World War I", Medieval Art and Architecture after the Middle Ages, ed. Janet Marquardt and Alyce Jordan, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 2009)
  • Dirk Aerts and Martin Kellens, Pelgrims: Onderweg naar Santiago de Compostela, exh. cat., ed. Daniëlle Lokin and Kees van Schooten, W Books, Museum Catharijneconvent, and Nederlands Genootschap van Sint Jacob (Zwolle and Utrecht, 2011), repr. in color p. 29

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 1003 West Arcade, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at