Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Chapter House from Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut

Date:
12th century
Geography:
Made in Aquitaine, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
Overall: 453 x 304 in. (1150.6 x 772.2 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Architectural
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1935
Accession Number:
35.50
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 6
The chapter house was the daily meeting place in most European monasteries and convents. The monks or nuns sat on the stone bench around the walls, as business was discussed each day and a chapter of the Rule of Saint Benedict, the official code of monastic behavior, was read. The location next to Cuxa Cloister preserves the relationship of the chapter house to the cloisters in a typical medieval monastic plan. The architecture of the chapter house features typical Romanesque characteristics, notably the rounded arches, thick walls, small windows, and heavy rib vaults.
The abbey at Pontaut, founded in 1115 as a Benedictine monastery, housed a Cistercian community after 1151. The abbey was damaged during religious wars of the sixteenth century. In 1791, the monastic buildings were sold to a local family, and the chapter house was converted into a stable; it was sold in 1932 and brought to New York.
The plastered vaults and the floor tiles of the reconstructed chapter house are modern.
From the Capitular Room, Cistercian abbey of Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut, Pontaut, Gascony ; Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut, Gascony (until 1791) ; Monsieur Dyzez, Samadet (from 1791) ; Monsieur de Poudenx(by descent from Monsieur Dyzez's daughter) ; M. A. Lang & E. Levy, France (until 1930) ; [ Monsieur Paul Gouvert, Paris (1930 -1935)]
Rorimer, James J. Medieval Monuments at The Cloisters: As They Were and As They Are. Revised ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. pp. 25-27, fig. 19-21.

Schrader, J. L. "George Grey Barnard: The Cloisters and the Abbaye." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 37, no. 1 (Summer 1979). p. 46, fig. 59.

Young, Bonnie. A Walk Through The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. pp. 40-45.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 53, pp.60-61.

Forsyth, Ilene H. "The Monumental Arts of the Romanesque Period: Recent Research." In The Cloisters: Studies in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary, edited by Elizabeth C. Parker. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. pp. 7-8, fig. 6.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 21, pp. 49, 194.

Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. p. 16, fig. 9.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 46-49.

Husband, Timothy B. "Creating the Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 70, no. 4 (Spring 2013). p. 42, fig. 86, 87.



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