Caen (Calvados), Abbey church of the Holy Trinity (Abbaye-aux-Dames)


End of the 11th century or early 12th century

This half-column corner capital originates from the Trinité church, in the Abbaye-aux-Dames, in Caen (Calvados). It was carved in limestone during the last third of the 11th century or first third of the 12th century.
The body of a ram protrudes from the corner, with coiled horns on its head which act as corner volutes. A strange bird, in the woodpecker position, has its back to ram. 
The realistic rendering of the only surviving horn is worthy of note. The same grooves cover all the sculpted ram's horns in the capitals in the Abbaye-aux-Dames. These heads used as corner volutes are probably inspired by the Italianate style transmitted by the Abbey of Saint-Germain des Prés (Paris) and can be seen in Normandy in Sainte-Marie du Mont and at Lonlay-l’Abbaye.

Dimensions of the object
H. 0.23 m ; l. 0.25 m ; Prof.  0.19 m 

- Le décor sculpté / Maylis Baylé. - in : L'architecture normande au moyen-âge, Colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle (1994). - Caen : PUC ; Condé sur Noireau : Ch. Corlet, 2001, p. 31-35
- Loisel C, Inventaire de la collection lapidaire romane réunie par la Société des Antiquaires de Normandie, Mémoire de maîtrise, Université de Caen. 1972
- Thybert H, Inventaire du lapidaire roman du Musée de Normandie, Association Caen-Archéologie, 1992

Musée de Normandie, Caen, Calvados
DSAN 83 1218 014, Dépôt de la Société des Antiquaires de Normandie