Center Portal One

Central portal of the Triumphant Christ

The central portal splays more widely open than the side portals and we are welcomed by the Apostles, six on either side.  The Apostles look very similar one to another: only four are readily recognizable: Peter, Paul, James and John.  With one exception (doubting Thomas) they all look inward toward the central image of Christ.  Their similitude to the central figure can be understood as reflecting their lives, which were built upon the prototype of Christ: like him, they also suffered and died.  Since some of them trample their executioner or hold the instrument of their execution: they can be understood as existing in their resurrected state.  Christ tramples the beasts (reference to Psalm 92) expressing his triumph over temptation and death.  The composition is intended to carry moral, or tropological force: if you, the pilgrim, choose to follow virtue and avoid vice (depicted in the quatrefoils below) you can build your life upon the prototype of the Apostles and of Christ.  Psalm 92 was read on Palm Sunday, celebrating Christ's resurrection: the story of the resurrection of human beings and of the Final Judgment is told in the tympanum above.  The tympanum was probably completed in the 1240s.