MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
(active mid-11th century in the Loire region)
Ground level of the tower porcharound 1050
Abbaye de Fleury, Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire
At the beginning of Romanesque art, the Loire basin was a geographical zone of intense artistic activity. The best preserved monument in the region is the tower-porch of the Abbaye de Fleury in Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire. The tower-porch, built on an almost square plan, has a ground floor and one upper storey in its existing state. Each of its external façades is pierced by three openings on both levels. This monument, whose architecture already marks it out as Romanesque, is exceptional for the series of capitals decorating it. On the ground floor, the acanthus reigns on the large capitals. The human figure, which invades the capitals on the upper floors, already appears on the ground floor, in the representations of the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Flight into Egypt.