Comparing two early gothic portals - Focillon Comparing two early gothic portals | Focillon Humane ClubMade in Humane Club

Comparing two early gothic portals

Published May 20, 2022
Updated Jun 10, 2022

📍 🇫🇷 Comparing two early gothic portals

Chartres’ Royal Portal is an impressive accomplishment - a Christ in glory announcing the Last Judgment day, i.e. the Second Coming of Jesus. God accepting good souls in Heaven and sending sinners in Hell. A real obsession in the deeply religious 12th century but in a solemn tone substantially opposed to what was done before.

Look at the Chartres version and you'll find how much it is opposed to the nightmare-filled Romanesque style of earlier days. The comparison with Cahors’ Royal Portal clearly shows the evolution that Chartres represents: theatrical flexions and figures in shambles on one side (Cahors, ~1140 CE), the seriousness and calm of a more orderly society on the other, in which Jesus imposes Himself more clearly (Chartres, ~1150 CE).

Another proof that Chartrian artists were in tune with Europe's then economic growth, and with a mentality of renewed confidence & expansion according to French historian Henri Focillon.

____ Sources ____

>> Henri Focillon, "The Art of the West in the Middle Ages", 1938

Read more on our socials:
12th CE