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Capital of a Man with Birds
12 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 11 in. (31.8 x 29.2 x 27.9 cm)
French, made in Southwestern France
Medium and Support:
Gift of Joseph Brummer
Location: Currently on view
The capitals that crowned the columns of medieval churches were frequently carved with religious or allegorical scenes. At the corner of two of the four sides of this capital, a squatting figure grasps birds by the neck with each hand. In medieval art, the image of a figure struggling with creatures that seem fearsome or malevolent often represents the ongoing struggle between man and beast, or good and evil.
This sculpture was probably originally decorated on all four sides, but at some point in its history was cut down for use as a corner capital.
[Gallery label text, June 2013]