Work of the Sculptors 4

The "Parisian Beautiful" Mode

The final mode, characteristic of the 1240s and 1250s can be related to the famous "smiling angel" and the work of the "Joseph Master" of Reims Cathedral as well as the Apostles of the Sainte-Chapelle, the image of King Childebert from the trumeau of the refectory portal of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris and much of the sculpture of the transept portals of Notre-Dame.  This mode brings rhythmically-curved bodies, broadly-carved drapery with zig-zag folds and expressive faces.  At Amiens it is found principally in the tympana of the Last Judgment and Saint-Honoré (south transept) portals, reaching its culmination with the famous Vierge dorée statue installed in the south transept in the mid-thirteenth century.  This figure, with its enigmatic tenderness and otherness is surely "masterpiece" of the Amiens sculptural ensemble.  This mode of production is associated particularly with the emergence of Paris as artistic capital of the North and was eagerly adopted by tailleurs d'images and imagiers in multiple media: manuscript painting, ivories and metalwork, enduring well into the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.