Notre Dame pages include:
page 1: general exterior views
page 2: west front, central portal and tympanum, base sculptures of virtues and vices
page 3: west front, side portals and tympana, two examples of later jamb sculptures
page 4: transepts, transept portals and tympana
page 5: views of the interior

West Front, Left and Right Portals, Notre Dame (the Cathedral of Paris)--page 3 (of 5 pages)


The west facade with the central portal and tympanum depicting The Last Judgment; with the north portal (left) or the Virgin portal; and the south portal (right) or the St. Anne portal

The central portal and its tympanum is illustrated on this page.

The north portal of the west facade: The Virgin portal

This left door is unusual in that it is surmounted by a gable. This side entrance honors the Virgin and depicts two scenes. The crowning of the Virgin is in the top scene with Christ blessing his mother and an angel crowning her. Below in the lintel she is on her death bed surrounded by the Apostles, who, according to apocryphal works, were borne on a cloud from all parts of the world to her home. The figure of Christ stands behind her and angels are about to bear her body to Heaven. These events not described in the Bible but were an important part of medieval tradition relating to the Virgin. The bottom lintel depicts three kings and three prophets meditating on the mystery of Mary.


The south portal of the west facade: the St. Anne portal and tympanum

The top depicts the Virgin holding Jesus. She is seated on a throne under a dome with bell-towers on each side. Angels are on both sides. On one side of the Virgin a king kneels and on the other a bishop stands, identified by his mitre and cross. Behind the bishop a figure writes on a tablet. These figures have sometimes been identified as King Louis VII, Bishop Maurice de Sully, and the Chancellor Barbedor.

The lintel

The top row of the lintel depicts incidents in the life of Mary--from left to right: the presentation of the Virgin (cropped in this image), the annunciation, the visitation, the nativity, the shepherds, King Herod and the Magi. The lower lintel depicts incidents in the life of Anne and Mary--from left to right: Joachim and Anne rejected from the temple, Joachim going to the shepherds and his dream of the birth of the Virgin, Joachim's return and the meeting with Anne at the Golden Gate, the miracle of Joseph's staff, the wedding of the Virgin, and other scenes in the lives of Joseph and Mary.


Jambs--left: jambs from the right side of the Virgin Portal depicting St. John the Baptist, St. Stephen, St. Genevieve, and St. Sylvester; center: jambs from the left side of the St. Anne Portal depicting St. Peter, Dolomon, and a bit of the Queen of Sheba

All of these sculptures are by students of Viollet-le-Duc.

Continue to page 4.

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© 2008 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.