St. Trophime--page 2 (of eight pages): Front facade: the tympanum

The front (west) facade

Here there is only one main entrance and only one tympanum. It depicts Christ in Majesty in a mandorla surrounded by the four apocalyptic beasts, a subject probably borrowed from the Royal Portal at Chartres Cathedral. The four Evangelists are often represented as four winged creatures: Mark, a lion, Luke, an ox, John, an eagle, and Matthew, a man or angel.

The lintel and the voussoirs

The twelve figures on the lintel are the twelve apostles, to whom Christ said at the Last Supper, "You shall sit on thrones as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:30) and in the voussoirs, the angels blow the trumpets of the Last Judgment, a subject which is depicted in the reliefs below. (For the Last Judgment reliefs, see this page.

Evangelist symbols for Matthew and Mark


Evangelist symbols for John and Luke

While three of the Evangelists hold their gospels (the book--a codex) John, the eagle, holds a scroll.

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© 2007 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.