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"In the Midst of the Nations... The Iconography of the Choir Capitals in the Church of Our Lady in Maastricht"
Elizabeth den Hartog
Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 62 Bd., H. 3., 1999, 320-365
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"One of the most important ensembles of Romanesque sculpture in the Meuse Valley is the set of twenty capitals in the choir ambulatory of the church of Our Lady in Maastricht. These capitals portray not only biblical scenes, but also various kinds of animals, monsters, birds, naked or scarcely-dressed human figures entangled in foliage and humans fighting with or being attacked by animals. At first sight the series seems to lack cohesion, and not surprisingly, scholars have been puzzled by it, warning against over-interpretation and fruitless speculation. Flament and Ligtenbergj managed to relate certain creatures on the capitals to their counterparts in bestiaries and the like, but the latter concluded that, although it was possible to interpret the meaning of certain individual capitals, or of one of the sides, it was impossible to find a satisfactory explanation for the entire series or even for a part of the series. There seems to be a general consensus among scholars that the capitals were mainly intended to serve decorative purposes and do not represent a unified programme. Can this be true?" - Hartog

Language: English

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