MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, Catalan
(active 1125-1150 in Ripoll)

West façade and portal

1140s
Marble
Abbey Church of Santa María, Ripoll

The marble porch of the monastery church at Ripoll is typical of 12-century Catalan art. The façade, entirely covered with sculptures, is treated like a picture book - the Bible translated into stone images comprising scenes from the Old Testament and from the lives of the apostles, mingled with fabulous beasts. A number of influences, particularly from Italian art, are mixed with local Catalan and Roussillon traditions and can be discerned in the clearly differentiated styles on the various registers. The pictorial treatment that is carried to the point of disorder in the upper registers contrasts with the more architectonic composition of the lower parts and of the jambs.