I took the two photographs above during the son et lumiere show which is given during the summer months after nightfall. Traces of the original polychromy were found during restoration a few years ago and the information used to make a reconstruction using light projection. Neither my photographs- nor any others I have seen- really do justice to the experience.
It has long seemed to me that the column figures flanking the doorways of the French Gothic cathedrals serve as a vivid illustration of the Church as God's temple "built of living stones". As I stood before the west front of Amiens Cathedral on the night of 5th July and the lights came on I, along with many in the crowd, gasped in wonder as this building of seeming living beings sprang into life! I realise I have put that somewhat awkwardly but that is how it was. The whole company of Heaven had come to earth and the living stones not only breathed and spoke but sang!