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Rectangular stone capital with carved scenes on three sides

This gray stone capital’s front scene shows a robed figure on the left with a halo around their head. Tips of wings protrude from behind their head. They face an open-mouthed, bearded figure on the right who stretches a long object above a tall, rectangular object on the ground. On the capital’s left side, two figures, one with a halo, huddle beneath an arched doorway. On the right face, a skeleton-like figure stands on a stone tower above a figure holding a rope. To the right, a man works on a roof.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Unidentified Artist
Capital from Moutiers-Saint-Jean; principal face: The Sacrifice of Cain and Abel; right face: Samson Wrestling the Lion; left face: Tree of Life(?)
Architectural Elements
Work Type
architectural element
c. 1125-1130
Creation Place: Europe, France, Moutiers-Saint-Jean
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

70 x 64 x 59 cm (27 9/16 x 25 3/16 x 23 1/4 in.)
897 lb.

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, p. 30; repr. as figs. 6, 16
  • Fogg Art Museum Handbook, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1931), p. 20, repr.
  • S. Lane Faison, Jr., A Guide to the Art Museums of New England, Harcourt, Brace and Co. (New York, 1958), p. 112, repr.
  • Horace L. Friess and Herbert W. Schneider, Religion in Various Cultures, Henry Holt and Co. (New York, NY, 1965), repr. p. 374 as fig. 167
  • Pearl F. Braude, "'Cokkel in oure Clene Corn': Some Implications of Cain's Sacrifice", GESTA, International Center of Medieval Art (New York, 1968), Vol. 7, pp. 15-17, repr. in b/w as figs. 1, 3, and 4.
  • Linda Seidel, "Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections: IX: The William Hayes Fogg Art Museum: I: Burgundy", GESTA (1972), vol XI, no. 1, no. 1b, repr.
  • Robert P. Bergman, "Varieties of Romanesque Sculpture", Apollo (May 1978), 107, p. 372; repr. as fig. 1, p. 370
  • Walter Cahn and Linda Seidel, Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections, volume 1: New England Museums, Burt Franklin & Co., Inc. (New York, NY, 1979), no. 1b, fig. 122
  • 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
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 138, p. 122, repr.
  • Neil Stratford, "La Sculpture Médiévale de Moutiers Saint-Jean (Saint-Jean-de-Réome)", Congrès Auxois-Châtillonnais (Paris, 1989), pp. 157-201, p. 169, repr. in b/w p. 168 as figs. 15 and 16
  • 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. 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
  • 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), p. 298; repr. as fig. 3 on p. 299.

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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