Architectural Frieze

Date: second quarter 12th century

Geography: Made in Cluny, Burgundy, France

Culture: French

Medium: Limestone

Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 22 x 7 3/4 in. (29.2 x 55.9 x 19.7 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Architectural-Stone

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1980

Accession Number: 1980.263.1


This elaborate frieze, which combines rosettes and a cityscape, is thought to have decorated the third abbey church at Cluny, the largest ecclesiastic building of its time in western Europe. As rulers of large estates, the Benedictine abbots of Cluny wielded considerable power in medieval France. The target of iconoclasm, the Cluny abbey church was almost entirely destroyed during the French Revolution.