The Coronation of the Virgin

1163-1285
Tympanum of the north portal of the west façade
Notre Dame de Paris

The upper register closely resembles Coronation scenes in tympana at Chartres and Senlis, but unlike them actually shows the crown being placed on Mary's head, by an angel leaning down from above.

In the model adopted at Chartres and Senlis the register below the Coronation is divided into one scene of the Dormition and another of the Assumption. Here the artist has conflated the two scenes: the apostles gather around the sarcophagus as in a Dormition, and angels lift the Virgin by her sheet as in the Chartres and Senlis Assumptions.

This conflation leaves room for a third register depicting the Ark of the Covenant, which John Damascene interprets as a type of Mary in a sermon quoted in the Golden Legend.

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