Saturday, 28 May 2016

The church and the priory of Chenôves

Saint-Blaise - Chenôves
Quite some years ago I have been looking for the possible remains of a priory in Chenôves. The church of Chenôves I knew already, although we had never seen the interior, but where this priory might be (if it existed at all) stayed a mystery. Recently it was time for one of the regular inventories of still outstanding items with van Boxtel, who came up with the following suggestion.

The church seen from the parvis
Resting against the west façade of the church a slightly higher building could be seen, and this could possibly be a part of the priory.
The problem with the Saint-Blaise is its accessibility, from one (south) side only. The parvis, if this bit of garden deserves that name is quite small, and further the church is enclosed by private buildings and farms. If one wants to catch a glimpse of the west or north side of the church, one has to either make a walk through the vineyards, or creep underneath barbed wire and wade through the man-size grass of a meadow.

South facade of the possible priory from the parvis
And even then the distances from which the church is visible are great, whilst part of the church is obscured by trees and shrubs anyway.
One beautiful morning, coinciding with the opening hours of the mairie of Chenôves, we drove towards that village. Having learnt from experience we did not approach the mairie first, but tested the church door instead.

North facade of the possible priory from the meadow
And yes, lo and behold, the church door (the south portal) was open. Unfortunately the door on the north side was still locked, the neighbouring houses showed no sign of life and all the gates to the property were closed. The trip through the vineyards and defying the barbed wire and the high grass was not granted by the discovery of a glorious priory.

Church interior
Fortunately we found an arch inside the church with on each side of the arch a wall panel with a fishbone pattern (opus spicatum). Hence the trip to Chenôves had not been completely in vain!
For our own website click here.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Cluny, Musée Ochier

The Palais de Jean de Bourbon, not far from the abbey church, houses the Musée Ochier which is officially called the Musée d'Art et d'Archéologie.

Claire-voie "des Vendanges" - Rue du Merle / Rue Joséphine Desbois
Even though the museum is strongly affiliated with the abbey it has considerably more to offer than the remains found during the excavations of the abbey grounds.

Claire-voie "des Vendanges" - Musée Ochier
In the streets of Cluny there are still some mediaeval houses which possess Romanesque claire-voies. These are decorated window galleries on the first floor of mediaeval dwellings.

Claire-voie "des Vendanges" - Musée Ochier
Quite a number of these houses have been demolished (partially during town renovations); the original claire-voies have in some cases been reused in other buildings or sold and transported elsewhere (one can even find them in the USA), in other cases they ended up in the Musée Ochier.

Animation Grand portail Cluny III - Musée Ochier
One of these houses is to be found in Cluny's main street (on the corner of 1, Rue du Merle and 2, Rue Joséphine Desbois). The original claire-voie "Des Vendanges" has been painted, as far as possible on the original location around the first floor windows. The remains of the claire-voie (the frieze supporting the columns is reasonably complete) however are on display in the museum, which makes a visit to the museum definitely worthwhile.

Frieze Narthex Cluny III - Musée Ochier
Apart from the claire-voies and smaller remains of Cluny III a few other highlights of the museum are parts of the frieze from the narthex of the church and the paltry remains of the tympanum of the grand portal of the abbey church.

Remains Grand portail Cluny III - Musée Ochier
The remains of the frieze are in good shape and give an excellent impression of the decorations used in Cluny III.
The portal was blown up, and what remains are some bits and pieces which are displayed on a background showing in an ingenious way the portal as it once was. However not all pieces on display are real. Some of the more complete fragments can be found in other museums in France (the Louvre, the Parisian Hôtel de Cluny); those parts on display in Musée Ochier are replicas.


Part of a claire-voie - Musée Ochier
The entrance tickets for the abbey are also valid for the museum, which should not be missed out on during a visit to Cluny.
Click here  for a reasonably complete overview of what is on offer inside the museum.

For our own website click here.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Cluny, farinier, a bonus

Besides the aforementioned eight capitals there are more things on display in the farinier.

Detail of marble altar tabletop
The marble altar tabletop stands in relation to the eight capitals roughly where it must have been in the choir, there are e few showcases with remains of various capitals, there are a few complete capitals, and what remains of the clôture of the monk's choir is displayed as well. The farinier also boasts a nice model of part of Cluny III.

Capitals and altar tabletop
Of the things mentioned I have made an arbitrary choice; this blog is not supposed to be a complete catalogue of Cluny's farinier.
However, there is more to see in the former abbey but the granary. The only part of the immense church that is still more or less intact, the great transept, is more than worth a visit.

Clôture
And in the Palais du Pape Gélase (the entrance to the abbey) some more remains of the church are on display, and one can also view an interesting 3D-film about Cluny III. In a word: the abbey certainly justifies a detour!
By the way, it is also good to know that the ticket to the abbey is also valid fot the Musée Ochier in the Palais de Jean Bourbon (a stone throw away from the abbey entrance).

Model
But I will save this interesting Museum for another blog.
Click here for the remaining capitals in the farinier.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 8 of 8 (The Last Four Gregorian Modes)

The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

One of the last modes
Click here for the eigth and last album of a series of eight. This capital is called "The Last Four Gregorian Modes", with their description and matching musical instruments.

One of the last modes

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 7 of 8 (The First Four Gregorian Modes)

The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

One of the last modes
Click here for the seventh album of a series of eight. This capital is called "The First Four Gregorian Modes", with their description and matching musical instruments.

One of the last modes

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 6 of 8 (Trees and Rivers of Paradise)

The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

River
Click here for the sixth album of a series of eight. This capital is called "Trees and Rivers of Paradise".

Tree

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 5 of 8 (The Virtues and/or The Liberal Arts)

The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

North side
Click here for the fIfth album of a series of eight. This capital is called "The Virtues and/or The Free Arts".
Each of the four sides show a human figure in an almond shaped mandorla.
North side : the inscription refers to Summer.

West side
West side : the inscription refers to Spring, however, the fact that the woman carries a book seems to contradict the inscription.
South side : the inscription refers to prudence, however, the person stands for Grammar chastising his pupil.

South side
East side : the painted inscription (disappeared) referred again to prudence, but the figure wears a coat of mail and used to carry a lance; this is more likely a depiction of Force or Rhetoric.

South side (left) en East side (right)

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 4 of 8 (The Virtues and/or The Liberal Arts)

The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

The Virtues and/or The Liberal Arts
Click here for the fourth album of a series of eight. This capital is called "The Virtues and/or The Free Arts".
Each of the four sides show a human figure in a hexagonal mandorla.
Conant saw these as depictions of the three theological virtues (faith, hope and love), others interpreted them as depictions of four of the seven liberal arts.

The Virtues and/or The Liberal Arts

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 3 of 8 (The Four Winds)


The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

Figure with a pair of bellows
Click here for the third album of a series of eight. This capital is called "The Four Winds". On the four corners the winds are depicted as human figures, partially hiding between the acanthus leaves. One of the figures uses a pair of bellows.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 2 of 8 (The Four Seasons)

The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

Figure wearing gloves
Click here for the second album of a series of eight. This capital is called "The Four Seasons". On the four corners the seasons are depicted as human figures, partially hiding between the acanthus leaves. One of the figures wears gloves, another one is nude (possibly Summer), partially hidden in the acanthus.

Nude figure

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Cluny, farinier, part 1 of 8 (Corinthian Capital)

The farinier (granary, or literary flower barn) on the premises of the former abbey of Cluny contains a permanent display of 8 capials from the choir of Cluny III.

Farinier - Cluny III
They are displayed as they were in the choir, however not 10 m from ground level but a bit lower. The abbey is open free of charge on the first Sunday of the month, from November till March. In this period there are hardly any tourists in Cluny, reason why one can observe these gems of Romanesque sculpture at one's leisure.

Concise explanation of the capitals - Cluny III
Besides, no one is bothered by the fact that you are walking around with a camera on a tripod in view of the longer exposures.
I have the various capitals archived in separate albums.
Click here for the first album of a series of eight. This capital is a Corinthian capital.

1. Corinthian capital

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Staff announcement

Picasa : exit
Recently I received some rather disturbing information: the Picasa software, in which I have produced tens if not hundreds of photo albums, will most likely ceased to exist in the near future, and will be replaced by Google Photos.
Because it is not entirely clear what is going to happen exactly, I have occupied myself for a while reorganising (which was no bad thing anyway) and renaming my old Picasa albums into Google Photos, and consequently changing all links to albums on my maps with Romanesque churches as well as the links in this blog.
A hell of a job, and it is not unlikely that I have missed some links, which obviously will not work anymore. Any constructive comments on this matter will be appreciated.

The links can be found on the following blogs:
Blog NL Romaanse bouwkunst in Bourgogne
Blog GB : Romanesque Architecture in Burgundy

Google Photos : enter
More links can be found on the following maps with Romanesque churches:

Bourgogne:
Département Côte-d'Or (21)
Département Nièvre (58)
Département Saône-et-Loire (71)
Département Yonne (89)

Bordering Bourgogne (an arbitrary choice):
Département Ain (01
Département Allier (3)
Département Aube (10)
Département Cher (18)
Départementen Jura & Haute-Saône (39 & 70)
Département Loire (42)
Département Loiret (45)
Département Haute-Marne (52)
Département Rhône (69)
Département Seine-et-Marne (77)

Other maps:
Romaanse kerken in Europe (an arbitrary choice):
Site Clunisiens in Europe
Byzantine churches in Europe and the Middle East (an arbitrary choice):

Friday, 19 February 2016

Picturealbums (for map of Europe) per French department

01R Ain (absent)
02R Aisne
03R Allier
04R Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
05R Hautes-Alpes
06R Alpes-Maritimes (absent)
07R Ardèche
08R Ardennes
09R Ariège
10R Aube

11R Aude
12R Aveyron
13R Bouches-du-Rhône
14R Calvados
15R Cantal
16R Charentes
17R Charente-Maritime
18R Cher
19R Corrèze
20R Corse

21R Côte-d'Or
22R Côtes-d'Armor
23R Creuse
24R Dordogne
25R Doubs (absent)
26R Drôme
27R Eure
28R Eure-et-Loir
29R Finistère
30R Gard

31R Haute-Garonne
32R Gers
33R Gironde
34R Hérault
35R Ille-et-Vilaine
36R Indre
37R Indre-et-Loire
38R Isère
39R Jura (absent)
40R Landes

41R Loir-et-Cher
42R Loire
43R Haute-Loire
44R Loire-Atlantique
45R Loiret
46R Lot
47R Lot-et-Garonne
48R Lozère
49R Maine-et-Loire
50R Manche

51R Marne
52R Haute-Marne
53R Mayenne
54R Meurthe-et-Moselle (absent)
55R Meuse
56R Morbihan
57R Moselle
58R Nièvre
59R Nord
60R Oise

61R Orne
62R Pas-de-Calais
63R Puy-de-Dôme
64R Pyrenées-Atlantiques
65R Hautes-Pyrénées
66R Pyrénées-Orientales
67R Bas-Rhin
68R Haut-Rhin
69R Rhône
70R Haute-Saône

71R Saône-et-Loire (absent)
72R Sarthe
73R Savoie
74R Haute-Savoye (absent)
75R Paris (absent)
76R Seine-Maritime
77R Seine-et-Marne
78R Yvelines
79R Deux-Sèvres
80R Somme (absent)

81R Tarn
82R Tarn-et-Garonne
83R Var (absent)
84R Vaucluse
85R Vendée
86R Vienne
87R Haute-Vienne
88R Vosges
89R Yonne
90R Belfort (absent)

91R Essone
92R Hauts-de-Seine
93R Seine-Saint-Denis (absent)
94R Val-de-Marne (absent)
95R Val d'Oise

Monday, 8 February 2016

The Golden Hour

Years ago, in February 2007 to be precise, we made a picture of the Romanesque church of Ameugny, using a small Olympus point-and-shoot camera. The colours of this picture were quite superb; it seemed like the church was bathing in a golden glow.

The church of Ameugny, 15 February 2007 17h20
However, the quality of the picture was quite low (72 dpi, good enough for internet use, but too poor to make prints), and since we got a request of an acquaintance to deliver some pictures of Cormatin and surroundings to be blown up and framed, I decided to dig in my archives in search of higher quality pictures. That turned out to be not too difficult; most of the more recent pictures were taken with a Nikon D50 or D90, they were sufficiently big and had a 300 dpi value.

The church of Ameugny, 2 December 2012 15h54
Only, the golden glow was missing. Since my better half has been heavily involved in photography last year, the term "The Golden Hour" has been discussed quite frequently. Not that I really believed in the rather euphoric description of pictures taken during that magic hour, but one never knows. The picture taken in February 2007 was indeed from around 17h00, an hour the sun is really low in the sky.

The church of Ameugny, 21 January 2016 15h10
According to her the sun is very low in January anyway, hence she saw no reason why it would not be possible to reproduce that picture around 15h00. That was just as easily said as it was done. However, even though the colours were marginally less dull than those of the older pictures taken with the D50 and D90 (most of them taken in the summer, during the day), I was not really impressed with the result.

The church of Ameugny, 21 January 2016 16h44
So, on one of the few sunny days in January around 17h00 we went back to Ameugny, and took again some pictures. After comparing the photographs, it looked like the golden hour certainly exists: the picture from early February 2007 and from late January 2016 were, in terms of colour, almost identical.
For those who are like a doubting Thomas: look, compare and be convinced!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Because we had an hour to spare

Notre-Dame - La Rochepot
The day we were going to see, in this order, Saint-Sernin-du-Bois (museum), Dracy-lès-Couches (church ruins in the middle of nowhere) and Collonge-la-Madeleine (church interior) there was quite a big time slot between the one but last and the last place.

Château - La Rochepot
Waiting for over an hour in the burning sun, or looking for a terrace which are rathe scarce in this area, or trying to find still another church in area where we seemed to have seen everything was no real option. However, when I had a look at the map, I noticed that we were very near the Côte d'Or, and even better, near La Rochepot. And La Rochepot had a church we did not know yet!


Annunciation
And that is how we ended up in La Rochepot, well before 14h00, where we easily found the church which I had only seen once from the high-up Château La Rochepot (well worth a visit as well, by the way). we were lucky; the church was open, and the capitals in the church were well worth the trip.

Balaam and the angel
A number of them tell a story, others have foliage or animal motifs. The church itself is interesting, the inside as well as the outside. And, from the grave yard, one looks up at the very picturesque château. After having visited the church, we were still well in time for our appointment at the mairie in Collonge-la-Madeleine!

Notre-Dame chevet
Click here for the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Mont-Saint-Vincent – Musée Archéologique Jean Régnier

The museum is open between April and Oktober, Saturdays and Sundays from 15h00 till 18h00, and is free as well.

The museum
The collection of this tiny museum consists of amongst others a Merovingian sarcophagus from Curtil-sous-Burnand, a number of small and larger pieces of flint stone and some old coins, whilst the first floor is dedicated to Romanesque architecture.
The first time we visited this museum was with a big group of people of the Tourist Office in Saint-Gengoux.

Open!
During this first, very brief visit we thought that the first floor had not much more but a collection of scale models, drawings and photographs of the churches of Mont-Saint-Vincent and Gourdon. Still, the maker of Bourgogne Romane thought that there might be more Romanesque stuff in this museum.

Ground floor
From a completely different blog it may be clear that we had undertaken another attempt to pay a second visit to this museum.

First floor
Finally we decided to try out luck once more, this time on our way back from a visit to a former brick factory in Ciry-le-Noble. This time we hit the jackpot. The museum was open, and the ground floor certainly had no Romanesque items, hence we decided to look upstairs. At the bottom of the stairs there were two light switches, taped off with cello tape and a notice saying "Do not touch!".

The chair
It looked as if switching on the lights might cause a short circuit somewhere. Hence we had to investigate the top floor with the light shining through the windows. The scale models, drawings and pictures were still there, but in a dark corner we found a kitchen chair with three pieces of stone and a sign telling us that these were "Rare remains of the priory". Next to it, on a wooden pedestal, there was a modillon with an Atlante.

75 % of the collection
According to Wikipedia: In classical European architecture, an atlas (also known as an atlant, or atlante or atlantid; plural atlantes) is a support sculpted in the form of a man, which may take the place of a column, a pier or a pilaster. The term atlantes is the Greek plural of the name Atlas – the Titan who was forced to hold the sky on his shoulders for eternity.
So this appeared to be the whole Romanesque collection of the museum. However, one has to admit that a museum where the Romanesque remains easily fit on a kitchen chair is certainly something special!

The remaining 25%
Click here for the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Paray-le-Monial – Chapelle Saint-Michel

The Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in Paray-le-Monial is normally open to the public, with the exception of the Chapelle Sait-Michel above the narthex.

Chapelle Saint-Michel
This chapel is only accessible during a guided tour, each day in July and August at € 5.00 pp. Reason enough to plan a re-visit of the church around these dates and around this hour. The tour starts in the narthex, and goes from there to the chapel, the church itself, the cloister gardens and the renaissance townhall.

Imposte
We had chosen not to go during the weekend, to avoid the crowds. Of course we were not aware, that on our weekday the pilgrims taking part in a number of lectures and readings stretching over a number of days would be given the afternoon off. We were not really the only ones who had taken the tour….

Imposte
An extensive description of church and chapel can be found on Bourgogne Romane. The chapel looks out over the nave and the choir, a sight that can only be enjoyed during a visit like this. The chapel itself is rather sober, but it has a number of impostes each with its own specific decoration.

Imposte
Hint for planning a visit: try to find out when there is a pilgrimage, and try to avoid those days!

Imposte
Click here for the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle.