Links to all French Cathedral and Abbey Photo Pages in Paradoxplace

Links to all Abbey and Cathedral Pages in Paradoxplace

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Cathédrale St-Lazare, Autun (Burgundy)

West Portal - Tympanum, Lintel and Capitals (1130-35)

by Gislebertus

 

Back to Paradoxplace Burgundy & Champagne Pages

 

 

 

LINKS TO OTHER CATHÉDRALE ST-LAZARE (AUTUN) PAGES

 

 

Cathédrale St-Lazare, Autun - Main Page

 

 

Romanesque West Portal Tympanum, Lintel and Capitals (this page)

 

 

Medieval Narrative Capitals in the Nave

 

 

Labours of the Month and Signs of the Zodiac - January to May

 

 

Medieval Narrative Capitals in the Chapter House

 

 

Labours of the Month and Signs of the Zodiac - June to December

 

 

Musée Rolin and Gislebertus' Eve

 

 

 

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Link to Sacred Destinations page on Autun

 

 

Link to another photo rich web page (in art-roman.net)

 

 

 

Links to Basilique Ste-Madeleine (Vézelay) and Basilique St-Andoche (Saulieu)

 

MAP OF BURGUNDY

MAP OF THE FRENCH PILGRIMS' ROADS TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

 

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - Tympanum by Gislebertus

 

 

 

 

The existence of this 1100s masterpiece today is mainly down to the cathedral canons of 1766, who decided that the carvings were mediocre and childish, and covered everything in a thick layer of plaster adorned with unchildish decorative motives that looked so ordinary that nobody bothered with them until ..... read the rest of the story ..... 

 

 

On the left hand side - God's People

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - Tympanum by Gislebertus

 

 

On the left hand side, good people, including angels, a pair of bishops / abbots (see the crosiers?) and pilgrims, are on their way to heaven in  a more supportive group than those on the right.

 

 

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - Tympanum by Gislebertus

 

 

"Move right along there, you damned people" - The Archangel Michael manifests himself for the second time on the lintel under the tympanum, marshalling the damned (on the right) under Gislebertus' name (as artist or donor ?) at the feet of Christ. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopeful of safe ascendancy, on the left are two pilgrims carrying (now broken) pilgrim staffs, with purses marked with the pilgrims' signs of the Cross of Jerusalem and the Scallop Shell of Compostela.  The tired feet of the Compostela pilgrim rest on some leaves, the only greenery in the whole tympanum. 

 

The final figure in the group is wearing (Crusader Knight ?) chain mail (thinks Linda Seidel).  Or he is a monk, already in paradise, contemplating Christ (thinks Denis Grivot). 

 

Behind the chain mail man (above photo) are a man holding the hand of and looking back towards his wife and child.

 

Note that by contrast no-one on the the damned side is given any clothes.

 

 

MORE LINTEL PEOPLE

 

 

Abbot and Angel of the left - everyone looking up, but they don't look too happy either

 

 

On the right hand side - the Devil's People

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - Tympanum by Gislebertus

 

 

On the right, Archangel Michael (mid photo) weighs souls, whilst the devil tries to pull the bar down to claim another club member (detail below - this is a common component of soul weighing imagery).  Misery and comeuppance abound and it is definitely not a good place to be.

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - Tympanum by Gislebertus

 

 

 

 

Archangel Michael weighs souls whilst the devil tries to pull the bar down to claim another club member.

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - Tympanum by Gislebertus

 

 

A devil figure appears from the jaws of hell to pull in a few more souls for the new members night, whilst an angel trumpets.

 

 

More from the Lintel (Sinners Side)

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - Tympanum by Gislebertus

 

 

The devil's foot-claw hooks a sinner:  to the left of the claw the money bag of Avarice, to the right Luxuria - snakes munch away at a lustful woman's breasts (detail below).

 

Link to "Sins (Vices) and Virtues"

 

 

 

 

Sinners to the left

 

 

Sinners to the right - what's the grass roller doing?

 

 

Capitals of the West Portal

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - West Portal Capital

 

 

Saracen (?) bashing - but what was on the defaced front ?  Autun was captured by Muslim forces from Al-Andalus on 22 August 725 (a few centuries before this capital was carved!).  This was about as far east as the Muslims got, and after the battle of Poitiers in 732 they lost their momentum and faded back to the west across the Pyrenees.  Just for fun, the photo below shows the other side of the capital where the Saracen looks as though he is peeking round the corner rather than being flattened, and on the right there is a Knight Hospitaller cross above the remains of someone who doesn't seem to be having a good time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capitals supporting the architrave - right hand side:

 

the Presentation of Jesus, the Conversion of Eustace and St-Jerome takes a splinter out of a lion's paw (detail below).

 

 

Autun Cathedral St-Lazare - West Portal St- Jerome Capital

 

 

 

 

Capitals supporting the architrave - left hand side:

 

Crane feeds wolf (?), Adam and Eve (?), the Elders of the Apocalypse

 

 

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