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Salle Capitulaire de la Cathédrale Saint-Lazare

Museum, Religious art, Romanesque in Autun
  • On the west side of the cathedral, a 16th century building housing the large sacristy and, on the first floor, the chapter house. It can be entered via a staircase in the south arm of the transept. The rib-vaulted room, the former chapter library, houses a small lapidary museum where 23 capitals from the nave and choir of the cathedral are exhibited, especially from the part around the transept crossing. They were removed in the 19th century during the restoration of the bell tower supports,...
    On the west side of the cathedral, a 16th century building housing the large sacristy and, on the first floor, the chapter house. It can be entered via a staircase in the south arm of the transept. The rib-vaulted room, the former chapter library, houses a small lapidary museum where 23 capitals from the nave and choir of the cathedral are exhibited, especially from the part around the transept crossing. They were removed in the 19th century during the restoration of the bell tower supports, often replaced by modern copies in the church. In this way, the sculptures can be admired in all their splendour from a very short distance. Fourteen capitals are historiated. The most famous capital of Autun is probably the Flight into Egypt, which comes from the choir, where we admire the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus, on the donkey, and Joseph (we find this famous subject in Saulieu). The other wonders coming from the choir are : the Arrival of the Magi at Herod's, with a scene of the kings with very mutilated horses; the beautiful scene of the Adoration of the Magi with the Virgin Mary with the Child seated under a baldachin and St. Joseph on the right; the Sleep of the Magi, with the moving sculpture of an angel awakening the Magi; a fighting Dwarf riding a monster bird; the Three-Headed Bird and a very mutilated Basilisk and Sagittarius. Five capitals come from the nave of the cathedral: the Death of Cain, killed by an arrow; The Church Offering, a presentation scene with a sleeping King on the right; The Hanging of Judas which is a very dramatic scene with two winged demons pulling the rope; God and Adam, with God speaking to Adam or Cain, and Abel lying in the foliage on the right; and two Vices and two Virtues with amazing faces representing Avarice, Charity, Wrath and Patience or Hope. The two mutilated corbels of the great portal of the narthex have been placed here: the Hippogriff or griffon mounted by an Ethiopian rider, and Balaam on his donkey. Finally, nine capitals with delicate foliage decoration (from the nave and the choir) can be admired here.
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