Gothic sculptures



The cross of Guillemette

The cross of Guillemette
Date : 1301-1400
Designation : Croix de Guillemette
Field : Sculpture
Material : Pierre
Technique : Taille en réserve
Dimensions (cm) : Largeur : 32 Hauteur : 80
Location : Exhibited
Room : sacristie
Inventory number : RA 685

This type of cross was very common in parish cemeteries. Sarcophagi and slab gravestones were far too expensive for most people.
Here, there is no date of death but an epitaph and the coat of arms of the deceased. It is GuillemetteAzémar, wife of a farrier. Her canting arms therefore bear the tools of the farrier : hammer and anvil, as well as her husband’s surname in the form of a rebus in Occitan : « aze » (the name of the sculpin fish in Occitan) and “mar” (the sea). The addition of a scallop shell does not necessarily mean that Guillemette went to Santiago de Compostela for its famous pilgrimage*. The deceased were often placed under the protection of Saint James (Santiago) for their pilgrimage to the hereafter.

* Translator’s note: The Scallop shell – coquille Saint Jacques or ‘Saint James’ shell’ in French - is the symbol worn by pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela still today.

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