1. Exquisite Tweets from @Calthalas

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    At the south entrance of the cathedral of Lausanne, Switzerland, hides a true medieval gem, a glimpse into the bright and vivid face of the Middle Ages: the Painted Portal, where angels wear rainbows on their wings. 1/ #medievaltwitter #polychromy

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski

    It was constructed in the XIII century (probably between 1230 and 1235) by Jean Cotereel, who was the principal architect of the whole cathedral (which does, according to some, show some distinct English influences) 2/

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski

    The portal has a very interesting programme, showing the role of Virgin Mary in the act of salvation. It is also a most interesting example of transmedial storytelling: it was probably influenced by the homilies of St Amadeus, bishop of Lausanne in the 12th century. 3/

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski

    The striking two central panels show, next to each other, the dormition of Mary and her ascension. She is laid to a grave asleep surrounded by the apostles and wakes up among the mirroring ensemble of angels. Those two scenes form the base of the depiction of Christ in glory. 4/

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski

    Maybe the most remarkable in this portal is the level of preservation of the colourful polychromy. It is actually visible on almost all of the statues but the bright, rainbow like wings of the angels welcoming Mary must be the most striking. 5/

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski

    The conservation of the portal took almost 17 years, but it might be one of the best preserved medieval polychromies in Europe on the outside of a building (it is now closed off by plexiglass windows). Remarkably not too many people know about it. 6/

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski

    Examples like the Painted Portal of Lausanne are very important: they allow us to better understand that the medieval sculpture (just like the antique one where @SarahEBond can tell you more) was colourful and that the chromatic layer played a huge role in its expression. 7/

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski

    For me personally, working a lot with manuscripts, the portal makes it clearer the connections between the various medieval media. I have to think about the angels of the initials just like this one from Appenzell M.03.02 (12th C.), a missal, which would be used in a church. 8/

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    Calthalas

    Mateusz Fafinski