MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
(active after 1046 in Western Pyrenees)
Tympanum (detail)after 1046
Abbey Church of Sainte-Marie-de-Vallespir, Arles-sur-Tech
The earliest sites of Romanesque sculpture are simple architectural elements, such as the corbels and the surfaces, similar to metopes, between them, or the door lintel. Soon, tympanums started to appear vaulted above door lintels; they were initially no more than the one in Arles-sur-Tech in the Western Pyrenees, which was an arch filled with sandstone containing a cruciform representation of Christ in Majesty. During the following period, the tympanum became the central and most prominent site for Romanesque sculpture.