Head of an Apostle from the South Portal of the Cathedral of Thérouanne

c. 1235-1240

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

These monumental stone heads are among the substantial known remains of the sculptural program of Thérouanne’s cathedral, which was razed by Emperor Charles V of Spain in June 1553. These heads were found in a wall of rue Ste. Croix in the town of Saint Omer (a short distance to the north) in January 1923. This group of sculptures from the gable of the south portal of Thérouanne, which includes a stylistically related Christ as Judge, is recorded to have been moved to the Cathedral of Saint Omer in 1554. With their deeply carved wavy hair, curly beards, wrinkled foreheads, and ponderous facial features, these imposing heads—even in their now fragmentary and weathered state—attest to the powerful monumentality of the stone sculpture covering French church facades of the Gothic period.

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  • Title: Head of an Apostle from the South Portal of the Cathedral of Thérouanne
  • Date Created: c. 1235-1240
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 41.9 x 30.4 x 32.4 cm (16 1/2 x 11 15/16 x 12 3/4 in.)
  • Provenance: found in the wall of a house in the rue Sainte-Croix in Saint-Omer in northeast France in 1923; (Audomarois dealer, France); (René Gimpel, London); (Gimpel Fils, London); (Artemis, London and New York, through Eugene V. Thaw).
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1978.56.1
  • Medium: oolitic limestone
  • Department: Medieval Art
  • Culture: Northern France (Pas-de-Calais), Thérouanne, 13th century
  • Credit Line: Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
  • Collection: MED - Gothic
  • Accession Number: 1978.56.1

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