Diagram of a Romanesque Portal The Second Coming, portal from St.-Pierre at
Moissac, France.
The Last Judgment above the portal of Saint-Lazare in Autun is one of the best examples of tympanum
sculpture. Here we see the typical Romanesque way of stretching or compressing proportions to fit an
available space. The people being resurrected at the bottom of the scene need to fit into a short horizontal
space, so they have large heads and short bodies. The figures above, however, especially Christ in the
center or the blessed at his right side, are extremely tall and thin. Inscribed on the narrow strip of stone
just above the resurrection of the dead scene, is the name of Gislebertus, who was probably the master
sculptor in charge of the carvings at Autun. The sharp angularity of the bodies, the parallel lines used to
describe the drapery folds, and, above all, the inventiveness of the entire scene, are hallmarks of
Gislebertus’ style.
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