The MET : Gallery 3 : Saint-Guilhem Cloister (The Cloisters)
Art From Us Museum Guide
CORBEL WITH TWO MEN WITH FINGERS IN MOUTH ca. 1150 – 1200, Metropolitan Museum, Saint-Guilhem Cloister
CORBEL WITH ANIMAL MASK OF WOLF ca. 1150 – 1200, Metropolitan Museum, Saint-Guilhem Cloister
RELIEF WITH ANNUNCIATION ca. 1180 – 1200, Metropolitan Museum, Saint-Guilhem Cloister
Continuing the journey through Medieval Europe, the Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 3 houses what used to be a site of pilgrimage.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 3
The abbey of St.-Guilhem-le-Désert was established in the early 9th century, when it became a major religious site near Montpellier in Southern France. The abbey is named after Saint William (Guilhem), who was once the duke of Aquitaine. Traditional and biblical motifs of vines, palm tree barks, flowing water and roman leaves are apparent in the abbey’s architecture. The 140 odd fragments of this medieval monument were purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from American sculptor and collector George Grey Barnard, in 1925.
Corbels of different shapes and sizes also adorn the walls of this particular gallery. What are corbels, you may ask? Corbels are structures affixed to walls or pillars, that support their superincumbent weight. They are generally made from stone, wood or even metal. So what’s so exciting about them? Well, corbels aren’t just functional, shabby looking protrusions, in fact, they are highly decorative and ornamental.
In Gallery 3 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can see some fine examples of typical Medieval corbels. Humanoid forms, wolf faces and other beastly or friendly visages peer out from columns and pillars of the peripheral structure of this room. These were collected from various parts of Europe including France, Spain and Italy.
Discover Medieval architecture through the Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 3.
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