During the French Revolution all of the monumental Old Testament kings decorating the portals of the famed cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris were decapitated and presumably destroyed, as it was thought at the time they represented the ancient rulers of France. Until recently, this extraordinary head of King David was the only known surviving head from this rich decorative program. Carved of a fine-grained limestone from the area, the highly expressive face of King David was originally even more emphatic, as the eyes were intended to be inlaid with lead. The head comes from the right-hand portal of the west façade dedicated to themes of the life of Saint Anne, the Infancy of Christ, and his genealogy. Carved around the middle of the twelfth century, the portal was not installed until the early years of the thirteenth century.