Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lion

Date:
after 1200
Geography:
Made in Burgos, Castile-León, Spain
Culture:
Spanish
Medium:
Fresco, mounted on canvas
Dimensions:
Overall: 10 ft. 11 in. x 11 ft. (332.7 x 335.3 cm) Overall (top panel): 83 x 132 in. (210.8 x 335.3 cm) Overall (lower panel): 48 x 132 in. (121.9 x 335.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings-Fresco
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1931
Accession Number:
31.38.1a, b
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 1
By portraying this lion with his muscles taut, his fur standing on end, and his gaze intense, the artist conveyed the power of this snarling big cat. Medieval beasts, whether real or imaginary, were often imbued with symbolic meaning, as they are in animal fables today. It is not always possible, however, to reconstruct their specific intention in a given monument, and such beasts could be for “aesthetic delight,” as one thirteenth-century archbishop commented. The monastery from which this fresco comes was abandoned in 1841.
From a room above the chapter house of the Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza, near Hortigüela, Burgos, Spain (sold by the government in the nineteenth century) ; Private Collection ; [ Sr. Colominas, Barcelona (sold 1931)]
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