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Gallery Text

Once set atop an engaged twin column in the abbey church of Santa María de Lebanza, in Palencia, this capital would remind viewers of the Christian promise of Resurrection. The narrative wraps around the entire object, and it seems likely that it would have been seen from three angles. On the front, an angel sits on the edge of the tomb, and two women stand nearby; a third woman approaches on the right. These are the three Marys, who went to Christ’s tomb only to find it empty. The figure on the left, holding a gardening hoe, may be the gardener for whom Mary Magdalene mistook the risen Christ. Perhaps in accordance with the theme of death and resurrection, the inscription above asks for prayer for the patron’s soul: “Rodrigo Gustioz, a very good man, made this arch. Knights, pray for him.” These two capitals are the only remains from the church of this important Romanesque abbey.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1926.4.2.A
People
Unidentified Artist
Title
Capital from the Abbey of Santa María de Lebanza, Palencia; principal face: Two Holy Women and Angel at the Tomb: right face: Third Holy Woman; left face: Gardener (Christ?)"
Classification
Architectural Elements
Work Type
architectural element
Date
c. 1185
Places
Creation Place: Europe, Spain, Palencia
Culture
Spanish
Location
Level 1, Room 1003, West Arcade
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Limestone and mortar with red paint
Dimensions
64 x 64 x 50.5 cm (25 3/16 x 25 3/16 x 19 7/8 in.)
822 lb.
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: abacus: ISTO: ARCO FECI[T] RODRICUS GUSTIUT (us) VIR VALDE BONU[S] MILITE(s) ORATE PRO IL(1)O
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Friends of the Fogg Art Museum Fund
Accession Year
1926
Object Number
1926.4.2.A
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Arthur Kingsley Porter, Spanish Romanesque Sculpture, Pegasus Press and Pantheon Books (Paris, France and Florence, Italy, 1928), vol. II, p. 32, pl. 104

Linda Seidel Field, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, exh. cat., ed. Stephen K. Scher, Thistle Press and Clarke and Way, Inc. (Providence, RI, 1969), repr. as fig. 42a, p. 119

Linda Seidel, "Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections: X: The Fogg Art Museum: III: Spain, Italy, the Low Countries, and Addenda", GESTA (1973), vol. XII, no. 1/2, no. 4, repr.

Walter Cahn and Linda Seidel, Romanesque Sculpture in American Collections, volume 1: New England Museums, Burt Franklin & Co., Inc. (New York, NY, 1979), no. 54b-1, fig. 215

Exhibition History

32Q: 1003 West Arcade, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu