The name of Saint-Etienne was changed, and the body of Saint-Trophime, carried in state from the ruined Church of the Aliscamps, was buried under a new altar and he was solemnly proclaimed the Patron of the richest and most majestic church in all Provence. Nearly eight hundred years later a traveller stood before the portal of this church.
Their art is a simple art, a sober art, and in its nearest approach to opulence the sculptured portals of Saint-Trophime of Arles or Saint-Gilles-de-Languedoc there is still a reserved rather than an exuberant and uncontrolled display of wealth. By what simple, superficial sign can this architecture be recognised by those who are to see it for the first time?
In the midst of the wealth of antique ruins, near the Theatre, the Coliseum, and the Forum of this "little Rome of the Gauls," stands a noble monument of the ruder ages of Christianity, the Cathedral, Saint-Trophime.
After the richness of the portal's carving, the interior of Saint-Trophime is to them "far too plain;" in futile comparison with the Cloister's grace, it is found "too severe;" and one author has written that only "when the refulgence of a Mediterranean sun glances through a series of long lances, ... then and then only does the Cathedral of Saint-Trophime offer any inducement to linger within its non-impressive walls."
Listen!" And her old eyes began to gleam. "I'll tell you of a time before you were born. I was a child then; and we marched here every Sunday, other little girls and myself, and we stood before this door. And the nuns it was often Sister Mary Dolorosa told us the stories of these stones. See! Here is Our Lord Who loves all mankind, but has to judge us too; and there is Saint-Trophime.
In nearly every case the treatment of the subject is subordinated to the general architectural plan and symmetry. At Saint-Trophime there was the limit of space, the axiom that a door must be a door, and doubtless many allowable subjects. But within these necessary bounds the unknown sculptor recognised few conventionalities.