The capital dates from a time of great revival in monumental stone sculpture in medieval Europe, known as the Romanesque period. The church of Saint-Constant in western France was built during the first quarter of the twelfth century and destroyed in 1921. This capital with crossed lions moving in opposite directions was one of a pair surmounting columns toward the back of the small aisleless church. Romanesque churches were frequently boldly decorated with carvings of lions and fantastic animals such as harpies and griffins. The collection in Detroit also includes four smaller capitals from Saint-Constant that originally surmounted colonettes inside the church.
Artist French
Title
  • Capital and Abacus Block
Date 12th century
Medium stone
Dimensions Overall (capital): 17 1/4 × 20 inches (43.8 × 50.8 cm)
Overall (abacus): 6 1/4 × 25 1/2 inches (15.9 × 64.8 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Edward A. Sumner Bequest Fund
Accession Number 49.416
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View Romanesque Hall W151, Level 1 (see map)
Romanesque church of Saint-Constant (Charente, France).
(Dikran G. Kelekian);
1949-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Pallas 14, no. 2 (January 28, 1950): pp. 14-15.

Bulletin of the DIA 31, nos. 3-4 (1951-1952): p. 73.

George, J. "Eglises Detruites." Bulletin et Mem. de la Société Architecture et Histoire de la Charente (1929): pp. 17-27, (pl. 9) (ill.).

Cahn, W. Gesta 10, no. 2 (1971): p. 74 (fig. 7) (ill.).