I can’t stop gazing at this door jamb sculpture from the Gothic Chartres Cathedral. Abraham holds his son Isaac, ready to sacrifice him with the knife (half broken unfortunately) held high to cut Isaac’s throat. But Abraham is turning away from his son, craning his neck because, if you look closely enough, you’ll see there is an angel emerging from above him…He will not have to sacrifice his own son. And underneath their feet is the ram, who will replace the boy Isaac as sacrifice.
‘That most terrible church of the most glorious Virgin Mary, mother of God, deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars. And although some speakers, by their own free judgment, because [they are] able to see only a few things easily, may say that some other is more beautiful, I believe however, respectfully, that, if they attend more diligently to the whole and the parts, they will quickly retract this opinion.’
—Jean de Jandun, Tractatus de laudibus Parisius