French, Paris / Head of King David / ca. 1150French, Paris
Head of King David
ca. 1150

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Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Active Place: Paris, France
Creator Name-CRT: French, Paris
Title: Head of King David
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1140
Creation End Date: 1160
Creation Date: ca. 1150
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Sculpture-stone
Materials and Techniques: Limestone
Dimensions: H. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 38.180
Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938

During the French Revolution all of the monumental Old Testament kings decorating the portals of the famed cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris were decapitated and presumably destroyed, as it was thought at the time they represented the ancient rulers of France. Until recently, this extraordinary head of King David was the only known surviving head from this rich decorative program. Carved of a fine-grained limestone from the area, the highly expressive face of King David was originally even more emphatic, as the eyes were intended to be inlaid with lead. The head comes from the right-hand portal of the west fa├žade dedicated to themes of the life of Saint Anne, the Infancy of Christ, and his genealogy. Carved around the middle of the twelfth century, the portal was not installed until the early years of the thirteenth century.

AMICA ID: MMA_.38.180
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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