Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Column Statue of a King

Date:
ca. 1150–60
Geography:
Made in Saint-Denis
Culture:
French
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
Overall: 45 1/2 x 9 x 9 1/2 in. (115.6 x 22.9 x 24.1 cm) weight: 155lb. (70.3kg)
Classification:
Sculpture-Stone
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1920
Accession Number:
20.157
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
The royal abbey at Saint-Denis housed the shrine of this national saint. It possessed many of the regalia of the kings of France, and the abbey served as their burial site. Under the energetic Abbot Suger (1122–51) the abbey was rebuilt in a new style that was hailed in the Middle Ages as “the French style” and subsequently called Gothic. This column figure of an unidentified king is the only complete statue to survive from the now destroyed cloister. The jeweled crown and halo distinguish the royal and saintly nature of the figure whose identity may once have been inscribed upon the scroll. Integrating a standing figure with a cylindrical column is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the new Gothic style.
From the cloister of the royal abbey of Saint-Denis, France.; marquis de Migieu, Savigny-les-Beaune (about 1771?); vicomte de Vaulchier ; [ Dealer, Versailles (?)]; [ Alphonse Kann, Paris (sold 1920)]
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