North Side - N8B9

NE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NW

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Capital with Elisier, Rebecca and Laban at the well or Life at the monastery

A large wheel takes up the west side of the capital. It first reveals its meaning in the context of the figure on the north side. It is the pulley wheel of a well, out of which the figure on the left lifts a bucket of water.

The other capital sides are also connected by the acts and gestures of the figures, which are concentrated on the capital corners. Pots and plates are passed from one figure to the next in a type of round dance.

In the context of the series of capitals on the west flank of the cloister, which present the story of the patriarch Jacob, this capital has also been connected to this cycle by previous scholarship. Indeed, the depicted event concerns the parents in a time before the birth of Jacob – Abraham’s servants are holding the hand of Laban’s sister, Rebecca, at the well (Gen. 24).

In a competing interpretation the capital represents daily life at the monastery. Instead of the courtship of the bride of Isaac, seeing the vita monastica in this capital makes sense, especially insofar as the theme’s placement exactly in that part of the cloister where a passage led to the well located in the center of the courtyard and where the wall on which the column stands has been lowered.