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SARA Lutan-Hassner

The South Porch of Chartres Cathedral

The Margins of Monumental Sculpture


The author examines the 96 haut-reliefs on the four piers of the cathedral’s south porch. They reveal a unique phenomenon of thirteenth-century Gothic sculpture that surprisingly has not been subjected to a thorough scholarly research as yet. Lutan-Hassner has been careful to avoid reiterating the well-known findings about the cathedral, its history, its monumental sculptural programs and the stained-glass windows that have attracted generations of art-historians. In this book, therefore, the reader will find a very concise discussion of the 96 southern reliefs at Chartres, their position in the vast artistic creation of the cathedral, their characterizations, and their historical, social, stylistic and iconographical contexts.


Contents: I. Introduction (Why Chartres? Gothic miniature sculpture as a “non-topic” of scholarly research, The southern reliefs of Chartres Cathedral). II. The question of patronage. III. Visual cycles on the southern piers (a. The lives of the saints. b. The Virtues and Vices. c. The Elders of the Apocalypse). IV. Visualizing the urban landscape: canopies and architectural frames. V. Jamb statues – stained-glass – piers: interrelations of form and meaning, or the question of integration (Integration of subject-matter. Integration of form. Gothic integration). VI. Reconsidering the patrons and their audience. VII. Conclusion. Appendix I: Catalogue of saints, Virtues and Vices, Elders of the Apocalypse. Appendix II. Catalogue of architectural frames. Index. Bibliography. List of Illustrations. Illustrations 1-310.


Bound, 24x17 cm. 368 pp. (192 pp. text and 310 illustrations, mostly in full colour)

2011   ISBN: 978-94-90387-05-1                                                                    Price: EUR 250


St. Remi anointing Clovis, 1230-1240

St. Gregory the Great writing, 1230-1240

Elder of the Apocalypse, 1230-40