Captivated by Gaze. Sculpture as Witness at the Lausanne Cathedral’s Porch



Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Convivium. Exchanges and Interactions in the Arts of Medieval Europe, Byzantium, and the Mediterranean. Seminarium Kondakovianum Series Nova
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords interactivity of spaces; gaze; iconic presence; cultic images; pilgrimage
Description The sculptures of the Lausanne cathedral’s painted porch (1225–1235) are unique testimonies to a fully adorned and painted liminal zone. Focusing on the notions of movement and iconic presence, this article explores the potential liturgical and social functions of this space in relation to its sculptural imagery. It focuses particularly on circulation and threshold as experienced by pilgrims and other believers. Further, it deals with the notion of images’ capturing viewers’ attention by analyzing the Lausanne porch sculptures’ most striking features: their position, their polychrome decoration, and their gaze. This study contributes to understanding the role of medieval images, how they could accompany daily events, and how such images became witnesses to a believer’s once-in-a-lifetime, life-changing moment.