22 July 2020

La façade sud de la cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens

On the south-facing façade of the transept of the cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens there's a portail, a portal, that seems to go by two names. It's called either the portail Saint-Honoré or the portail de la Vierge dorée ("the golden Virgin").
Here are three views of it, going from farther out to closer in.

The figures above the Virgin Mary are the twelve Apostles.
Saint Honoré, who died in about the year 400, was the seventh bishop of the city of Amiens.
He is also the patron saint of bread bakers (boulangers).

This statue of the Virgin and Child is actually a copy of the 13th-century original (photos here),
which was moved to the interior of the church in 1980.

It's this kind of statuary that was saved by sand-bagging the façades of the cathedral during the bombardments of the 1914-1918 war. These are 10-year-old photos that I took with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 digital camera.


  1. Not only this cathedral is an absolute work of art, but the statuary is magnificent, reminiscent of that of Moissac.

    Thank you for this series of stuning photos. I had a sneaking suspicion it was Lumix.

  2. The portal is elaborate. I love the angels taking care of Mary.

  3. The 12 apostles over the door above Mary, with her Gothic headpiece. The carving is really wonderful and crisp. I see tiny traces of color. Looks like Mary's robe and crown may have been gilded at one point, bits of blue and red above.

  4. I wonder how many sculptors worked on all these statures and reliefs. I prefer the smile on the original statue of Mary.

  5. Beautiful quality photos, Ken. I've never been to Amiens, so I'm pleased to see this.
    I learned, from some art history source or another, that, if you think about it, the images of Mary holding baby Jesus, always show her holding much higher than natural-- a woman would normally hold the baby close to her hip. The reason it is always portrayed this way, so I've read, is to show that Jesus was to be considered higher than man.


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