(active around 1230 in Strasbourg)


c. 1230
Cathedral, Strasbourg

The double portal (south portal) is flanked by the allegorical figures of Ecclesia (the Church) on the right and Synagoga on the left. These figures, whose originals are preserved in the Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame in Strasbourg, have been replaced by copies.

The two female figures on the south portal of the Strasbourg Cathedral allegorically represent Christianity and Judaism. In Medieval iconography they were usually shown as engaged in a dispute in which Synagoga, the personification of Judaism, was the inferior and was shown vanquished. Most unusually, however, the figures at Strasbourg turn toward each other and toward the central figure of the double portal, Solomon. Thus the conflict is reinterpreted and given a conciliatory outcome.

The figure of Ecclesia, standing almost stiffly upright, wears a crown. The cross and chalice are replacements, but these attributes seem insignificant compared with the figure's majestic appearance. She turns to speak her final words to Synagoga, while the latter, already turning toward her opponent, will maintain her attitude of rejection only for a few moments more. She still holds the broken staff and the Tablets of the Law, and turns away, blindfolded, because she has not yet recognized the revelation of Jesus Christ.