(active 1240s in Picardy)

Vierge Dorée (detail)

Cathedral, Amiens (Somme)

The figure of the Virgin is the real centre of this portal, partly because of the three-dimensionality that makes her stand forward from the plane of the tympanum. While the upper registers are almost in bas-relief, there is a noticeable increase in three-dimensionality as one moves downward, until the Virgin on the trumeau is almost a fully rounded figure even though she can be viewed only from the front.

The Virgin's smile, directed toward the child, is quite new, and conveys to us not only the intimate relationship between the two, but also its very human aspect. This figure is the starting point for many sculptures of the Virgin and Child, not only in France.