Limestone base decorated with the head of a bearded man wearing a hood.
Inscription in the molding “Nicolaus”
Limestone with trace of polychromy
Ile de France, XIII century
H 24 x L 26 x P 32 cm
Carved in high relief, this architectural element was embedded on a wall from which it protruded and received the fall of an arch.
Stylistically still anchored in the art of the years 1230-1260, the Saint presents an elongated face with a wrinkled forehead; almond-shaped eyes with highlighted lids; sinuous whiskers falling over the beard with ripples marked in parallel lines.
The molded upper part bears the inscription "S Nicolaus". It was from the 11th-12th century, after the transfer of his relics to Bari (1087), that the cult of Saint Nicolas enjoyed considerable popularity, in Italy but also in France and Germany. Born around 270 in Lycia, first a monk, then abbot, he later became bishop of Myra, a small town in Anatolia.
Similar architectural elements can be found in many Gothics, religious and civil buildings. Stylistically comparable bases are displayed in the Louvre Museum (Inventory No. RF 437 - RF 2603 and also RF 507).