Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hildesheim Cathedral, Bernward’s Door

Option 2

          In the Hildesheim Cathedral, the Bernward’s Door is a very large bronze door. There are panels that are carved with eight scenes from the Old Testament on the left and on the right side there is the eight scenes from the New Testament. From the top to bottom on the left side there is the creation of Adam and Eve all the way down to the murder of Abel. While on the left it starts from the Annunciation and goes to the Noli me tangere.
       The panel the fall is the scene of Eve tempting Adam with the forbidden fruit from the tree. The tree is off center to the right of the panel. There is also the serpent on the scene; the serpent is the one that tempted Eve with the fruit off the forbidden tree. She knew that she wasn’t allowed to eat from the tree but she did it anyway, and she tempted Adam with the fruit as well. Adam and Eve have very similar body styles but they way I think you can tell which one is which is that Eve has the apple in her hand. Underneath this panel is the scene of the Accusation and Judgment of Adam and Eve. This is the scene where they have disobeyed. You know this by the God-like man that appears while Adam and Eve bow to the ground in shame.
         On the right side directly across from The Fall is the scenes known as The Passion. The Passion is the panel of the Crucifixion of Jesus. The moment of the first sin, Eve eating from the forbidden tree, that begins the entire curse and separation from God. Thus, the scene of Jesus is the sacrifice, known as the Crucifixion. In this panel you see Jesus on the cross being stabbed by guard next to John. I remember hearing in church that Bible says the guards offered vinegar instead of water. So I think that is was the guard on the other side is doing. The panel underneath the Crucifixion is the panel of Judgment of Jesus by Pilate. In this scene you see Pilate has brought Jesus out and as they sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement, they ordered him to be Crucified.
         I think that the panels that are placed on the top because they show the great importance. But these panels are put at the center because it is the beginning one telling about Eve eating from the forbidden tree while the other side of that is telling about the Crucifixion of Jesus. I think they are paired together to show that Jesus was crucified for our sins. While the Adam and Eve panels are showing that a sin is taking place. Each panel is showing a sin one in the falling of Jesus and the other showing that mankind makes sins. On the right side with the Crucifixion of Jesus that is showing that mankind will be forgiven for their sins, since Jesus gave up his life. While the Eves sins was to punish their daughters by having pain during childbirth. Each of these panels are similar to each other with the theme of stories they tell. 


  1. These are interesting panels to compare, and you have brought up some good points about how the subject matter is related. What do you think about the compositions of these panels? Do they seem similar or opposite to you? As was discussed in the lecture video, the compositions of these door panels (when approached with a "horizontal reading") are either similar or opposite in composition (and sometimes a little of both!).

    -Prof. Bowen

  2. I agree with you and like how you pointed out that the scene of adam and eve eating the forbidden fruit is like the beginning and the other panel of Jesus on the cross is the end it brings in a great parallel to these panels being related to one another. I feel that although the right side panel maybe the end and salvation to humans from the original sin i feel that it is also a beginning of a new story also pointing to another similarity between the two panels.