Medieval Portals Defining the Use of Space

Portals and doorways are visual representations of a transition from one space to another, which can alter how a person feels about using the space he/she is about to enter. This exhibit will compare portals from religious buildings from two Abrahamic faiths—Islam and Christianity. It will analyze the main portals of the Church of St. Astvatsatsin, the Cathedral of St. Lazare, the Shāla Necropolis, and al-Jāmi al-Aqsa Mosque, looking specifically at how sculpture and architectural elements of portals prepare the viewers for the space, tell them how to behave, or imply where to look after they pass through. 


Isabella Gallagher