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Arth 109

Romanesque Sculpture

Slide List 20

 View of the narthex portal of Ste. Madeleine at Vézelay, c. 1125.  View of the portal of Vézelay.

 Tympanum of Vézelay: Mission of the Apostles; archivolts: signs of the zodiac and labors of the month.  

   Detail of Christ from the tympanum at Vézelay.

   Detail of the lintel: Pigmies.

   Jamb figures of Sts. Peter and Paul.

 West Portal of St. Lazare at Autun: Tympanum: Last Judgment; archivolts: signs of the zodiac and labors of the months.  


 Tympanum of Autun.  Autun tympanum from oblique angle.

   Detail of Autun tympanum: Blessed

   Detail of Autun tympanum: Weighing of the Souls.

   Detail of the lintel: Separation of Good and Evil.

   Detail of lintel: Damned awaiting Judgment.

List of Terms

Parts of a Romanesque Portal

Tympanum: the surface enclosed by the arch and lintel of an arched doorway, frequently carved with relief sculptures.
Archivolt: the molding fram an arch. In Romanesque and Gothic architecture, each one of a series of arches framing the tympanum of a portal.
Lintel: a horizontal beam spanning an openings, as over a window or door, or between two posts.
Trumeau: doorpost supporting lintel.
Jamb: the side of a doorway or window frame. The jambs of the portals of Romanesque and Gothic churches are frequently decorated with figure sculpture.

Theophany- manifestation of divinity.



John X, 9: I [Christ] am the door. By me, if any man enters in, he shall be saved; and he shall go in and go out, and shall find pastures.

I Corinthians, XIII, 12: We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.

Anonymous 12th c. author: "God cannot be seen directly. The contemplative life that begins on earth will only be perfect once God has been seen face to face. When a gentle, simple soul has been elevated to speculative heights and when, breaking the ties of the flesh, it has contemplated what lies in heaven, it cannot remain long above itself, for the weight of the flesh pulls it back down to earth. Though it is struck by the immensity of the light on high, it is quickly reminded of its own nature; yet the little it has been able to taste of the divine sweetness is of utmost benefit to it, and soon thereafter, inspired by great love, it hastens to resume its upward flight."

Anselm of Canterbury, Mediation I, "A Meditation to stir up fear":
"Barren soul, what are you doing? Sinful soul, why are you lying still? The day of judgment is coming, 'that great day of the Lord is nigh, it is near and comes quickly, day of wrath and day of mourning, day of tribulation and anguish, day of calamity and misery, day of darkness and shadows, day of clouds and eddies, day of trumpets and noises.' O bitter voice of the day of the Lord. O man, luke-warm and worthy to be spewed out, why are you sleeping? He who does not rouse himself and tremble before such thunder, is not asleep but dead."

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