" Vierge à l'enfant " For this day, I have selected the above statue of Mary and Jesus. It is a copy of the original statue which is now located at the Louvre Museum. Gallery:
It is the 800th anniversary of King St Louis' birth. Sainte-Chapelle was constructed under his direction during the 13th century. All is in good repair and "living" despite the wrinkles of time, thanks to the advocacy and foresight of preservationists and timely restorations
The Statue and Location
The lower chapel of Sainte-Chapelle is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and this lovely statue is located just outside the entrance and underneath an arched porch, the trumeau or pillar at the gate. The Coronation of Mary is represented on the tympanum (wall) just above the statue. The lower chapel was the parish church and also served the inhabitants of the household.
Depictions of the Christ Child playing in His mother's arms really took off during the middle ages. In the photos above, we see that the baby Jesus is holding a bouquet of flowers and playing with the veil or hair of His mother and possibly, he is looking for her ear- implying that she was always listened.
In one source "It is told that Jesus may have playfully hung flower jewels of ruby and amethyst colors on his mother’s ears."Perhaps Jesus is getting ready to do the same here and in that way cheer her up a little.
The Virgin appears rather serious as she looks out into the world, and further, a sphinx lurks below her feet. For medieval Christians, the sphinx "symbolized temptation. Here, the serpent-shaped tail further emphasizes the siren's evil nature. The figurine's position at the base of a large object would have signified the overcoming of sin." Jesus, the one who will conquer all sin, threatens the sphinx. On the other side of the column, you will find the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil depicted.
The Upper Chapel is known for it's most intricate stained glass window "walls" of biblical and golden legend scenes. Also, it is where the Relics of Christ's passion were once housed.
The Upper Chapel
Some exterior and interior parts of the church are covered by scaffolding (2014), however, one can still view the tympanum scene from the Last Judgement which is also under a porch just outside the Upper Royal Chapel. There, Christ is seated center and surrounded by angels holding the instruments of His passion.
Sainte-Chapelle suffered damage during the French Revolution and many of the relics were destroyed. Those that remain were transferred to the treasury of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris and to the National Library.
Sacred Songs of France link
More Madonna and Child Statuary
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
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