A DIDACTIC AND POLYCHROME TYMPANUM
In the representation of Hell, all is arranged in order to frighten the illiterate, the big majority of the population in these times, as is revealed by the quotation engraved on the lintel base:
O PECCATORES TRANSMUTETIS NISI MORES
JUDICIUM DURUM VOBIS SCITOTE FUTURUM
"O sinners, change your laws for you might face a cruel judgment"
As if to strike the mind, vivid colours highlighted the sculptures. Some important remains are still visible with a dominating blue for Paradise and red for Hell.
The tympanum applies to all. One can easily imagine the pilgrims standing on the church square trying to decipher the scenes one by one. As a matter of fact, church art was the only art available to be contemplated by the multitude. Conques' tympanum spoke directly to the people's mind.