Engaged Capital with a Lion and a Basilisk

Engaged Capital with a Lion and a Basilisk



Overall: 30.2 x 33 x 29.3 cm (11 7/8 x 13 x 11 9/16 in.)

Weight: 68.039 kg (150 lbs.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1972.20

Did you know?

This capital depicts a struggle between the good lion and the evil basilisk, a legendary reptile from myth. While the artist would not have encountered the mythical serpent, it is likely he never saw a real lion either based on its cartoonish appearance in this sculpture.


The basilisk is an imaginary animal, half cock and half snake. According to medieval bestiaries, the basilisk could kill merely by its glance. It was commonly held as the symbol of the devil to be trodden down by Christ, first at the moment of his incarnation and then again during the Last Judgment.

See also
MED - Romanesque
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 

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