MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
(second quarter of 12th century)
Tympanum and lintel1125-50
La Madeleine, Neuilly-en-Donjon
The church of Neuilly-en-Donjon in Burgundy, which is dedicated to Mary Magdalen, has a tympanum on which are juxtaposed three interrelated scenes from the Bible. Each shows Biblical archetypes of women: the Fall, in which Eve tempts Adam by offering him the apple from the Tree of Knowledge; Christ in the house of Simon the Pharisee, where Mary Magdalen anoints his feet and wipes them with her hair; and the Adoration of the Magi, in which the three kings pay homage to the infant Christ, who is seated on the lap of the Virgin Mary.
In Romanesque art Eve, Mary Magdalen, and the Virgin Mary are presented as the three main archetypes of woman, each with distinctive characteristics. They are given a far more prominent role in Romanesque artistic imagery than in the art of earlier periods.