In order to get to the apse, there are different parts of the plan that one has to transverse before getting there. One can easily notice that the plan of the Church was designed to signify the cross, a fundamental sign in every Christian Church. The cross is further characterized with three aisles, a short transept as well as an ambulatory. The double flying buttresses can easily be noted to support the high nave which is also anchored by the great abutments as well as the colonnettes (Fletcher, 2011). Several sculptures fill the great abutments. The external appearance of the building has been well designed through the buttresses. This designe is also uplifted by the clerestory windows and the height of the nave which gives the Church a well lit picture.

The portals in the Church are endowed with several statues with the north being composed of the Precursors of Christ with a genealogy from Melchizedek, Simeon as well as John the Baptist. Peter, who is within a meter, represents the leadership of the Church and the first Pope. The North Portal illustrates the Old Testament and how the Virgin Mary would one day bear a son who would be the savior. The statue seen here is the one of St. Anne who is holding the young baby Mary while her husband, Joachim, looks at her. Some figures in this section include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Simeon, John the Baptist, St. Peter and Elijah. All these prophets have been used to signify that the message they preached is coming to fulfillment in Jesus.

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The South Portal on the other hand is seen as representing the new age of the New Testament. A closer look will reveal a figure of Christ, who appears as depicting the true human nature of humanity. As noted earlier, the left side of the Southern Portal is composed of some of the martyrs of the Church. On the right side there are sculptures of St. George and St. Theodore who are considered to be the figures of confessors and saints who never experienced martyrdom. The carving of the royal portal represents Jesus and Mary (Fletcher, 2011). The picture has been painted to show how Christ follows a path through various ancestors in the world while Mary is seen as having witnessed various transformations from the annunciation to the shepherds. The labyrinth is also a pathway that can be seen inside the Church as one walks towards the apse. There are also stained glass windows that continue to glow like jewels in Chartres.

Giotto’s Arena Chapel nativity and Pisano in the Pisa Baptistery Pulpit

The Arena Chapel nativity offers an opportunity to understand the various groups that were involved during the birth of Christ. While we were not vividly there, Giotto offers us with an opportunity to see the animals that were present during the nativity. For instance, Giotto uses the Ox and the Donkey and is seen as paying homage to newborn child in the crib (Web Gallery of Art). Through the artistic work, Giotto tries to bring out that what is happening is just a continuation of the prophecy that had been prophesied by Isaiah. The cave or Stable signifies the place where Jesus was born, in a humble background. The angels are singing and praising God at the sight of the newborn child while the shepherds join too in acclamation. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, is depicted as being in deep thought, perhaps at the sign of a great marvel that has just happened. The nativity at the Arena Chapel shows Jesus as a hero conquering the world with humble means as signified by those who visit him. On the other hand, the pulpit in the Baptistery indicates the lions overcoming their prey. The art work signifies how Christianity is destined to overcome the pagan world. This can be seen at the lower level. The middle level serves to show the prophets and personified virtues while the upper part signifies the life of Christ. 

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