Title of Work
West Facade, Capital Frieze- Life of the Virgin
Title of Image
Scenes 16 - 17
Date
c. 1145
Description
West Façade, Left Frieze, Life of Mary and Infancy of Christ, Left Side of Central Portal
16: The Three Magi before Herod
(Matthew 2:1-8, Protevangelium of James 21:1-2)
The scene is depicted on two perpendicular faces of a capital. Herod (crowned, holding a scepter, bearded) sits at center where the two faces meet. On the right are two bearded figures - one holds and points to a book or tablet. Probably they are the "chief priests and the scribes" referred to in Matthew 2:4-6 whom Herod summoned to learn about Old Testament prophecies concerning the birthplace of Christ.
At left stand the Magi, holding staffs (to indicate they have been traveling?). The two figures nearest Herod are headless. One has his hands on Herod's thigh. The leftmost of the Magi is bearded and wears a round hat (a crown?).
The placement of Herod not only makes his figure very prominent, but allows him to participate in both scenes. It also echoes his position in the corner in Scene 20 - the Massacre of the Innocents.
17: The Horses of the Magi Attended by a Boy
Three horses with saddles and bridles are in the corner between two faces of the capital. Beside them is the arched entrance to a structure with spiral columns with carved capitals. At right stands a smaller male figure. His head is missing. His hand is raised- he may once have been holding an object (the reins of the topmost horse?) (Heimann, p. 80).
The arrangement of the horses in this scene is reminiscent of Panel 11 of The Good Samaritan Window (Delaporte no. 6, Deremble-Mahnes no. 44).
At right are figures from:
17: The Horses of the Magi Attended by a Boy.
Country
France
Location
Chartres
Style
Gothic
Type of Work
Sculpture
Subtype of Work
Capital Frieze
Material
Stone
Subject
Cathédrale de Chartres--Pictorial works.;Church decoration and ornament--France--Chartres--Pictorial works.;Church architecture--France--Chartres--Pictorial works.;Christian art and symbolism--France--Chartres--Medieval, 500-1500--Pictorial works.
Bibliography
Photographer
Philip Maye
Copyright
Identifier
FCSP18116200
MEDART Website

Chartres: Cathedral of Notre-Dame

Scenes 16 - 17

(FCSP18116200)
size