[Photographs by George P. Landow 2010. You may use any of these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a website or include it in a print document.]

Interior of the cathedral

Left: The chancel seen from between the transepts. Middle left: If one turns right 90 degrees, one looks down the right (or south) aisle with its elaborate sixteenth-century sculptures in late-gothic niches. Middle right: Turning almost 180 degrees, one catches sight of the pulpit. Right: Looking from near the south porch entrance to the west end of the cathedral and the giant plain wooden cross whose size can be gauged by the comparing it to the man standing beneath it.

Left: The same view from the chancel aisle (note the sculpture now on one's right). Middle left: The base of the enormous pillars at the transept. Middle right: Looking from the left (or north) aisle toward the south door with a partial view of the chancel. Right: An elaborate zodiac with the constellations aligned with the months of the year. This stone zodiac faces a very detailed stained glass window with another, more elaborate one, and outside the cathedral yet another version decorates the rim of the arch of the north porch!

Samples of the statuary inside the cathedral

Left: A typical madonna of the late thirteenth-century Court Style with a typical S-curved stance. It appears above the door that leads up a flight of stairs to St. Piat's chapel. This style does not appear often in Chartres Cathedral, because the figures on the exterior embody the earlier more linear style whereas Renaissance sculpture appears in the large scenes from the life of Christ that line the outside of the choir. Middle: Three scenes from the life of Mary, with the Annunciation at right. Right: Mary and St. Anne.

Left: The baptism of Christ with a John the Baptist wearing what seems to be a full suit of armor — certainly an unusual depiction of St. John. Note the elaborate foreground vegetation and the figures of the onlookers in bas relief. Middle: An unusual figure of a round-faced woman in elaborate (court?) dress. Right: A detail of the elaborate gothic niche surrounds, which should clash with the sixteenth-century sculpture but doesn't.

Sculpture outside the cathedral — beginning at the top

Left: Angel on the cathedral roof. Middle left: Center left: Job on his dung heap above the Judgment of Solomon (see Miller 45). Center right: A group of apostles. Middle right: St. Modeste [click on this thumbnail for additional discussion]. Right: Madonna and child.

Four left: Sculptures depicting occupations, times of year, and the zodiac on the rim of the eastern-most arch of the North Porch. Right:

Left: Old testament personages who typify, prefigure, and symbolize Christ [Click on the thumbnail both for a larger image and a discussion of the iconography medieval iconography and links to Victorian uses of it.] Middle left: Three prophets or ancestors of Christ. I assume the one on the middle is Jesse, the father of David, from whom grows the Jesse tree of Christ's ancestors (such as one sees in one of the stained glass windows at Chartres). Middle: The figure with the sling appears to be David, here fighting Goliath. The bottom figure could be Balaam and his ass. Middle right: Right:

Left: Middle: Right:

Left: The middle figure must be a very early representation of a sub-Saharan African. Perhaps the object in his left hand makes him one of the Magi, though I'm not sure if that's a snake in his right. Who's the sneaky little figure beside him? Right: According to Malcolm Miller, the dog (here twisted about as if looking behind him) is a traditional image of fidelity, and the right at the left depicts Potiphar's wife listening to the devil.


Houvet, Étienne. Chartres; Guide of the Cathedral [sic]. Revised by Malcolm B. Miller. Chartres: Editions Houvet-La Crypt, n. d.

Miller, Malcolm. Chartres Cathedral. Photographs by Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington. 2nd ed. Andover, Hampshire: Pitkin Publishing, 1996.

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Last modified 25 November 2012