(active 1135-1165 in Arles)


Sainte-Trophime, Arles

The most extensive sculptured portal after Saint-Gilles is attached to the former cathedral of Saint-Trophime in Arles (bouches-de-Rhône). Designed in imitation of ancient single-arch triumphal arches, the portal is not set into the wall as usual, but placed in front of the otherwise undecorated façade. The entire ensemble has been well preserved, and the restoration work, finished in 1995, has restored it to its original condition.

The iconographical program alludes to the last Judgment. In the tympanum Christ is enthroned in a mandorla, accompanied by the Evangelists' symbols; he is surrounded by hosts of angels in the inner archivolt. There is a continuous large frieze at lintel level; in the lintel itself the Apostles are depicted sitting. There are standing Apostles in the jambs and in the box niches on the outer wall.