Chartres Cathedral Relief Statues
David and Goliath




Title: Inner column statues: Base - David and Goliath
Date: c. 1194-1230
Location: France, Chartres
Collection: Chartres: Cathedral of Notre-Dame
Contributor: University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh Digital Collections.



Referenced as figure 32A-C in Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
32A-C ‘Goliath and Philistines’, carved reliefs, County of Blois, c.1205
(in situ north portal of Cathedral, Chartres France)

    These carvings are good examples of the kind of fanciful and exotic military equipment often given to ‘pagan’ or ‘infidel’ figures in early Gothic art. Fanciful as it might be, many of the elements can be traced back to an original source. It is also interesting to see that many pieces which would subsequently be adopted by European warriors first appeared in such imaginary equipment. Here Goliath wears armour based on Byzantine art which was, by the 12th and 13th centuries, often similarly fanciful. It consists in one case (A) of a scale cuirass with laminated upper arm defences. In the second example such a cuirass seems to be worn over a stylised hauberk and mittens (B). The leg defences are more interesting. These consist of decorated poleyns, greaves which seem to lack hinged divisions at sides or back, and either scale-covered or highly stylised mail sabatons. Such leg armour is remarkably similar to that of early 14th century Europe. It must also be remembered that the Bible specified Goliath as wearing ‘greaves of brass upon his legs’ (I Sam., 17.6).
Chartres Cathedral Relief Statues on Columns: Goliath
Chartres Cathedral Relief Statues on Columns: David beheads Goliath
For terms in italics see Terminology in Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350 - Western Europe and the Crusader States - David Nicolle



See also Chartres Cathedral Statues: The Murder of Thomas Becket. France, early 13th century.
Other 13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers