MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
(active 1170 in Senlis)
West portalc. 1170
Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Senlis (Oise)
A tall lintel sculpted in two panels form the powerful base for the tympanum of the west portal. In the left-hand panel are depictions of death and entombment of the Virgin. On the right-hand panel this is complemented by the raising of the Virgin to Heaven. In the tympanum the Virgin and Christ are depicted, facing one another sitting on symmetrically placed small thrones. This iconography reflects the growing contemporary reverence for the Virgin, in which she is regarded as more than merely the earthly mother of the divine Christ Child.