MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
Tympanum and door lintel of the west portal (detail)1160s
Church of Saint-Hilaire, Semur-en-Brionnais
In this detail the pope is shown sitting on the toilet, a humiliating place to die; his soul escapes his mouth in the form of a small child which is immediately seized by three horned devils. This scene reflects the great fear at the prospect of death coming unexpectedly, without time for prayer and practical repentance for the forgiveness of sins.