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Arched Entrance, from the Chapter House of the Carmelite Convent Les Grands Carmes des Arènes

Artist/maker unknown, French

Made in Limoges, western France, France, Europe

Second half of 13th century


14 feet 4 11/16 inches × 9 feet 10 3/8 inches x 38 inches (438.6 × 300.7 × 96.5 cm) Height (Modern Base): 15 1/2 inches (39.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 301, European Art 1100-1500, third floor (Wallace Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Tatnall Starr, 1928

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This arched entrance served as one of two passages connecting the contemplative space of the convent's cloister to the communal area of the chapter house (a meeting room for the governing body of the monastery). During the French Revolution (1789–99), the convent—continuously occupied and much expanded since its foundation in the thirteenth century—was closed and the nuns expelled. The convent was then sold and many of the buildings demolished. The chapter house escaped destruction, and in the early twentieth century this arch was rediscovered in its original location and eventually came to the Museum.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.