UNKNOWN MASTER, French
(active 11th century)

St. Benedict of Nursia

11th century
Bronze relief
Musée de Cluny, Paris

The monastic movement was central to the development of medieval Christianity, and its crucial figure was St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547), whose Rule, first formulated in the 6th century, was adopted by virtually all monasteries and underlay even the later reformed orders.

In the 11th-century bronze relief, shown here, he is represented holding a copy of his Rule and an abbot's staff.