Sens (Yonne)

Although the cathedral of Saint-Étienne was started in 1140, this amazing sculpture seems to me to date from around 1200.
With hands folded in prayer, it could be seen not just as Luxuria without snakes, but with flames surrounding a vulva which symbolises Hell,
but also as Hypocritia, the most characteristic and nauseating sin of the late mediæval and modern periods.

But it could also be a viciously-misogynist portrayal of Mary Magdalen.
Either way, it is a truly pornographic and deeply-unpleasant sculpture.


It is indeed remarkable that only the head has been removed by the iconoclasts (puritan or revolutionary)
who decapitated kings, queens, prophets and saints on cathedrals and abbeys all over France.