Sculpted limestone bearded man’s head. Ile-de-France, Late 12th Century


Sculpted limestone bearded man’s head.

Face marked by aging, emotional expression, with wrinkled forehead, prominent superciliary arches, large almond eyes with heavy upper eyelids, lips parted to the lower fleshy lip; hair divided by a middle part covering ears; long moustache extending to both sides of the mouth forming two spirals joined together under the chin; beard with wavy locks, some ending in small curls juxtaposed on the sides.

Ile-de-France, Late 12th Century.

Height: 30 cm (11-3/4 in.) - Width: 18 cm (7 in.) - Depth: 18 cm (7 in.).

Marble plinth consists of two elements:
Height: 17 cm (6-1/2 in.) - Width: 15 cm (6 in.) - Depth: 15 cm (6 in.).

(Slight spalling).

According to the geologist Annie Blanc, the nature of the stone used was Lutetian limestone from Ditrupa known as "Banc de Saint-Leu". It originates from quarries in the Oise Valley (around Saint-Leu-d'Esserent), Aisne Valleys (between Vic-sur-Aisne and Soissons), Automne (near Villers-Cotterets) and Ourcq Valley (around La Ferte-Milon and the west of Chateau-Thierry). This specialist of Lutetian limestone, however, does not know which site where this type of limestone was used between the Gallo-Roman period and 14th century.

The style of this bearded man’s head seems to belong to the transitional period between the Romanesque and Gothic. Some characteristics link to the first half-12th century sculptures such as the treatment of eyes with prominent spheres under thick arches as well as the hair and beard with fine parallel strands whose ends are looped back around the neck. The expression is already personalized, with the slight asymmetry of the face, mouth with parted lips, the aging marks on the forehead and around eyes, reveal its aforementioned Gothic naturalism.

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  • Item(s) quantity:  1
  • Expertissim Reference: 2013120728