MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
(active 1130-60 at Saintes)
Sainte-Marie-des-Dames, Saintes (Charante-Maritime)
The Abbey of Sainte-Marie-des-Dames was the first Benedictine abbey for women in Saintes in Charante-Maritime in France. It was founded in 1047 by Geoffrey II, Count of Anjou and his wife Agnes.
The remaining sculpture of the abbey church is concentrated around the main portal, and its archivolts are formed by animal and vine friezes. The sculpture is arranged by both radially and tangentially. On the inside, six angels are moving tangentially towards the highest points, where two of them are holding a medallion with the hand of God. There are many figures in the third archivolt, each of them on its own voussoir, and they show the Massacre of the Innocents in Bethlehem, while the number of the Elders of the Apocalypse is increased in the fourth archivolt, in accordance with the number of voussoirs, to fifty-four.
The photo shows the main portal of the abbey church.