Portal Fragment

Early 12th century

White Marble

Location: Museum of Montecassino Abbey, Gallery

Provenance: Montecassino of San Vincenzo al Volturno

This is a block of white marble with gray veins, found around 1960 during excavations at the abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno. Its single, carved face in low relief suggests that it is a fragment of a portal. In the relief, one can see the figure of a lion in profile (the tip of its tail is shaped like a leaf with five lobes; a similar pattern emerges from the cat’s jaws). To the side of this block of marble, there is the cornerpiece of an elegant, classicizing frame that once stretched along the portal’s two jambs. The artifact dates back to the early 12th century.