A 17thC Monastic Flemish Limestone Fragmental Head of a Lion c.1600-50

Origin: Belgian
Period: Baroque
Provenance: An Unknown Monastery in Ronse
Date: c.1600-50
Height: 20”
Width: 9”
Depth: 9.5”

The wonderful limestone stone fragment in the form of a lion’s head, carved in the round and gazing upward, somewhat with sorrow, having a pronounced stylised mane and facial features to its integral base, once being part of a larger architectural ensemble and reputably hailing from a monastery in Ronse in eastern Belgium, the whole surviving in very original condition from the depths of the seventeenth century.

The condition of the whole is pleasing with a good even spread of weathering commensurate with exposure to the elements giving him an evocative all round character and colour. There is ancient loss to the nose as to be expected. He stands without aid and could happily be displayed inside or out.

Ronse was already settled in the Roman times and in the 15th and 16th century, became a thriving city. The chief industry was textiles, and it was the home of many weavers and launderers. Its looms had the highest income after the three main towns of Flanders. Ronse was already damaged in the past by four fires, a flood, and the iconoclasts of the 16th century experienced in 1635/36 a new event even more terrible than the previous ones – the plague came and killed off 80% of the population, making the city almost a desert. Belgium itself has always enjoyed extensive limestone and sand deposits, which are used in making cement and glassware. It is not known which monastery this came from but we did purchase it in Belgium itself.

A rare and highly sought after sculptural delight and in a most suitable size for display.