|Budget Amount *help
¥1,900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,900,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥1,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,400,000)
The Benedictine monastery of La Madeleine, Vezelay (Yonne), has a grand narthex with three portals that present masterpieces of Romanesquc sculpture. Close scrutiny of the portal sculptures, however, reveals diversity in style and stone, irregular masonry, and an unusual two-registered jamb configuration. Scholars inferred that these anomalies resulted from changes of the portal configurations due to the conflagration of 1120 and the later expansion of the narthex, although no theory has been accepted as to the date and configuration of the original portals. This research project, first, collected Viollet-le-Duc's documentation on his Vezelay restoration, second, made observations and took measurements and photographs of the narthex portals and the adjacent masonry work to record their present state, third, created a visualization of the current portals and a hypothetical reconstruction of the original portals based on measurements and observations using AutoCAD, and fourth examined the potential of AutoCAD as a research tool.
This research leads the author to conjecture that the final narthex portal configuration of la Madeleine of Vezelay seems to have been reached by dismantling the existing open porch during the narthex expansion around 1140. Though visual observation confirms that an open porch had existed previous to the present narthex, its plan and sections remain pure conjecture. Using AutoCAD as a research tool, this report presents a hypothetical reconstruction with variations of the original simple portals that must have originally faced the open porch.