ARCHITECT, French
(active 2nd quarter 12th century in Poitou)

Exterior view

1125-50
Photo
Notre-Dame-la-Grande, Poitiers (Vienne)

In the west of the Frankish empire, the region between the Loire and the Dordogne, two main group of Romanesque buildings can be distinguished: the hall churches and the domed churches. Notre-Dame-la-Grande in Poitiers belongs to the hall churches.

The west front of Notre-Dame-la-Grande (c.1150) is one of the finest Romanesque facades in France. It is flanked by turrets topped with conical spires, which, along with the rich sculpture, are the hallmarks of Poitou Romanesque architecture.

The extravagant joy in ornamentation that marked the Romanesque style of western France left an example in Poitiers: the façade of the church.

The sculpture of the west front is divided into three tiers. The middle and top tiers are a jumbled array of carved saints, prophets, creatures and foliage. The bottom tier tells the story of Jesus from right to left, based on The Drama of the Prophets, a fifth-century sermon.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.