The Medieval World, C. 400–1300

Romanesque Europe

What is a tympanum?

A tympanum is a semi-circular space often located above a door (also known as a portal). In Romanesque churches such as the Abbey Church of Saint-Lazare in Autun, France, this space is filled with architectural relief sculpture. Common tympanum scenes include the Last Judgment, in which Christ is represented saving blessed souls and sending the damned to Hell.


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