AN UMAYYAD CARVED WHITE MARBLE CAPITAL
AN UMAYYAD CARVED WHITE MARBLE CAPITAL

CORDOBA OR GRANADA, SPAIN, 9TH/FIRST HALF 10TH CENTURY

Details
AN UMAYYAD CARVED WHITE MARBLE CAPITAL
CORDOBA OR GRANADA, SPAIN, 9TH/FIRST HALF 10TH CENTURY
Of typical form developed from the Roman Corinthian order, with finely drawn floral motifs, the scrolling corners terminating in rosettes, with damaged extremities
9 7/8in. (25.1cm.) high
Provenance
Formerly Private Belgium Collection, Since 1970s

Brought to you by

Romain Pingannaud
Romain Pingannaud

Lot Essay

A number of similar capitals are known, although a close inspection shows that almost all of them differ slightly one from another. Although the most well known Corinthian capitals are found in the salón of 'Abd al-Rahman III (954-57 AD) in Madina al-Zahra, the present capital shows slightly different proportions from those dating to the caliphal period.

A group of capitals dating to the period of 'Abd al-Rahman II (822-852) is described by Manuel Gomez-Moreno as being of smaller size and with a tall abacus carved with horizontal lines, one of which is very similar to ours (Manuel Gomez-Moreno, Ars Hispaniae, vol.III, Madrid, 1951, p.51-4, fig.60). Similar elegant proportions are also visible in a capital in the Archeological museum in Granada which is dated to the 9th century and attributed to Granada (Les Andalousies, de Damas à Cordoue, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 2001, p.95, cat.48). The capital mentioned by Gomez-Morena is also published in a more recent publication where it has however been given a slightly later date; catalogued as first half of the 10th century (El Esplendor de los Omeyas Cordobeses, exhibition catalogue, Granada, 2001, p.87). Among the variety of styles typical of pre-caliphal capitals, the features visible in this beautiful capital can be seen as the prototype of some of the most celebrated Caliphal examples.
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