Upper Rhineland, probably Strasbourg
Red sandstone; Overall (without mount): 11 13/16 x 10 1/8 x 9 3/4 in. (30 x 25.7 x 24.8 cm); overall (with mount): 19 15/16 x 10 1/8 x 9 3/4 in. (50.6 x 25.7 x 24.8 cm); base: 7 7/8 x 5 3/8 x 5 3/8 in. (20 x 13.7 x 13.7 cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 2004 (2004.453)
The distinctive red sandstone suggests an origin in the Upper Rhineland, probably Strasbourg. The city suffered during the religious wars of the sixteenth century as well as during and after the French Revolution. No documentation survives to pinpoint this head's original location. The head, broken off at the neck, was probably part of a column statue; its condition suggests that it was protected from the elements, either indoors or in a sheltered exterior spot. With its furrowed brow, thick deeply carved ringlets, and parted lips revealing teeth, the head is similar to late thirteenth-century sculptures from the central portal of Strasbourg Cathedral's west facade.