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Notre Dame Cathedral: Portal of the Virgin (c.1220)

Portal of the Virgin (c.1220)

The Portal of the Virgin, dedicated to the patroness of the cathedral, is usually the exit door for modern visitors. It was sculpted second of the three portals, in the 1210s-1220s. The tympanum features the Coronation of the Virgin, with an angel crowning Mary while Christ blesses her and gives her a scepter. The top lintel depicts the Death of the Virgin - Mary lies on her death bed (corresponding to the Nativity bed in the same position on the right portal) surrounded by Jesus and the Twelve Apostles. Two angels at her head and feet lift up her up to Heaven. The bottom lintel has three Old Testament prophets (left) and three Old Testament kings (right), all holding scrolls representing prophecies of Christ.

Credit: Holly Hayes