Capital with the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (from Saint-Guilhem Cloister)

Date: late 12th–early 13th century

Geography: Made in Languedoc, France

Culture: French

Medium: Limestone

Dimensions: Overall: 11 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 9 5/8 in. (29.2 x 24.1 x 24.4 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Architectural

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1925

Accession Number: 25.120.60


This capital depicts a scene from the New Testament in which the infant Jesus is presented at the Temple in Jerusalem for consecration to the Lord, as was customary for the firstborn child. On one side appears the now-damaged figure of Simeon, depicted as a high priest, holding the infant. On the other side, a kneeling Joseph supports Christ's feet, while Mary stands behind, holding the sacrificial dove required in the rite of purification.