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Wall Painting of a Camel

Date:
first half 12th century (perhaps 1129–34)
Geography:
Made in Castile-León, Spain
Culture:
Spanish
Medium:
Fresco transferred to canvas
Dimensions:
Overall: 97 x 53 1/2 in. (246.4 x 135.9 cm)
Classification:
(not assigned)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1961
Accession Number:
61.219
  • Description

    A hermitage was constructed in the first half of the eleventh century at San Baudelio de Berlanga, which was situated along part of the frontier between Islamic and Christian lands. Its interior was transformed a century later, after Berlanga came under the control of an agent of Alfonso I, king of Aragon and Navarre, in 1129. Two cycles of vibrant wall paintings were created for the community of monks established there: scenes from the life of Christ were set on an upper level, while images of animals and hunting decorated the lower wall. The camel seems to have been associated with the lands of the Bible, but also with power, luxury, and the exotic.

  • Provenance

    From the Monastery of San Baudelio de Berlanga, Soria; Sebastian and Carlos Juñer , New York (sold 1961) ; Clowes Fund and Mr. Elijah Martindale (co-owned) (until 1961)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
471906

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