Chartres Cathedral, South Transept, Central Portal


The left portal is dedicated to the Martyrs, with a tympanum depicting the martyrdom of St. Stephen; the right portal focusses on the Confessors, with a tympanum illustrating good deeds from the lives of St. Martin and St. Nicholas. The central portal depicts the Last Judgment.
Both martyrdom (left portal) and good works (right portal) relate to the theme of the central portal, for both indicate the ways to be accepted into the kingdom of heaven.

The central portal--with the tympanum of the Last Judgment and the trumeau with Christ, carved in the round, a more human figure than the Judge in the tympanum

Christ the Judge is flanked by Mary, the Queen of Heaven, and St. John, both usually viewed as mediatory figures or intercessors for mankind. Christ's right breast, formerly pierced by the spear, is bare, and the wounds made by the nails are evident. Angles carry the instruments of his martyrdom: spear, column, whip, the crown of thorns, and nails. Two angels at the top of the tympanum carry a cross. The lintel depicts the separation of the Saved and the Damned with the central figure of St. Michael.

The central tympanum; details from the lintel of the Damned


Voussoirs depicting the Damned on the right side (Christ's left) of the central tympanum


Details of the Damned and Demons

See also the Last Judgment tympanum at Notre Dame, Paris

Voussoirs on the left side (Christ's right) depicting the Saved; the Lap of Abraham, a medieval symbol of heaven

See also South Transept jamb statues and the right (East) portal tympanum.

From the North Transept, see also central portal tympanum and jambs and the tympana of the side portals.

From the west facade, see also the central portal, the north portal, the south portal, the frieze of capitals, and the jambs.

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