The Conques Last Judgment Tympanum
Detail: The Procession
of Saints (excepting the last four)
First in the procession is the Virgin Mary, characteristically wearing
a blue mantle embroidered with stars. Next is St. Peter in a chasuble
with a key and a staff. (It is usual for St. Peter to carry two keys.
Perhaps the staff is a crozier that lost its top hook at some time.)
These are the only figures with haloes.
Following St. Peter is the hermit Dadon, whose cell was just a few
meters from the site of the present church. He is identified by his
tau-shaped hermit's staff. Next comes an abbot -- tonsured, wearing a liturgical stole, and
crozier. (In the middle ages St. Foy was a Benedictine abbey church.)
The abbot leads the Emperor Charlemagne forward (crown, flowering
sceptre, short tunic). Behind them acolytes carry Charlemagne's gifts
for the church, a reliquary and a diptych.
The second acolyte carries his gift in the oriental manner, with his
hands covered; but the other one carries his bare-handed.
The two figures staring
straight out are hard to identify; the one on the right seems
distinctly African, with broad nose and lips and tightly curled hair.
Above this scene four angels hold scrolls with the names of four
virtues. The first and third have become indistinct; one book suggests
that the third is CONSTANTIA, Constancy. The second and fourth are
CARITAS and [H]VMILITAS -- Charity and Humility.
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Photographed at the
site by Richard Stracke