Things about Via Lucis that I love (Dennis Aubrey)

As everyone who reads the Via Lucis blog knows, PJ and I love this project passionately. I love that PJ and I are equally enthusiastic about photographing these churches. What readers might not also realize is that there is a community of remarkable people who we have found through our work here – Fra Angelico Surchamp, Servane de Layre Mathéus, Gilles Fresson, the folks at American Friends of Chartres, our frequent guest blogger Jong-Soung Kimm, scholars like Janet Marquardt, liturgical artists like George Hoelzeman, fellow blogger Gordon Stewart, and so many others who I am shamed not to name. These are people who we would not have gotten to know if it hadn’t been for our Via Lucis blog.

There is a fellow-blogger who engages us occasionally and who delights me. Robert Consoli of Squinchpix is like a bulldog who sinks his teeth into a discussion and doesn’t let go until the matter is resolved. We first engaged in a discussion of HDR photography that quickly developed into an exegesis on Renaissance painting. We subsequently had a go over what might be termed “privatization” of public monuments. And most recently, Robert framed a conversation about whether or not the word “trumeau” properly designates the pillar that separates two bays of a portal.

The trumeau in the narthex - or maybe not - Basilique Sainte Madeleine, Vézelay  (Yonne)  Photo by Dennis Aubrey

The trumeau in the narthex – or maybe not – Basilique Sainte Madeleine, Vézelay (Yonne) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

I thought that discussion was complete until Robert sent me this link today for a post he made on his Squinchpix blog, Ceci n’est pas un trumeau.” Enjoy! If you don’t know Squinchpix, consider this an introduction to a terrific blog and image library.

And Bob, I surrender. I’m still going to use the word “trumeau”, but I surrender!

11 responses to “Things about Via Lucis that I love (Dennis Aubrey)

      • Dennis, I would think it perfectly acceptable to put the original French in parentheses after the English rendering in instances where there may not be an exact English equivalent. That way no injustice is done to the object’s true name.

        Very best to you!


  1. You’ve named the problem exactly. As I said, ‘pilier central’ is clumsy and imprecise. And I think that others in the 19C thought so, too. But I can look. There’s probably a lot more to this than I’ve discovered so far.


  2. Dennis, Exchanges such as this one with Bob are so interesting to those whose limited vocabularies did not include the likes of ‘trumeau’. And I love your description of Robert’s research tenacity as bulldog-ish. The English bull dog is my favorite animal, in part because, once they lock on, they won’t let go, but also because their fearsome appearance is altogether different from the gentle disposition of the bull dog. But I digress.

    You honor me by placing my name and blog in the same company with Bob and the other thoughtful people who comprise your on-line community. Thank you for the inclusion, and, as always, thank you to you and PJ for your wonderful contributions to a deeper and wider wisdom.

    • Gordon, you honor us by being such a part of the Via Lucis community. BTW, the bull dog is my favorite dog as well. We can’t have one at this time, but have adopted one in absentia. My ideal bull dog will be called Buster and one day he will ride around France with me on a tractor 🙂

      • “Francois” wouldn’t be such a good name for him in France. Buster has a nice bull dog ring to it. One of my favorites was Becky, a small bull dog that roamed the beach at Granite Point, where we used to vacation near Biddeford Pool, ME.

      • I have this long-standing fantasy about retiring to France, riding on an old tractor, driving very slowly holding up traffic, with my trusty, half-inebriated bull dog swaying at my side. Buster will be refered to by the locals as “une catastrophe!”

  3. Dennis, Via Lucis is truly a community of lovers of Romanesque architecture. Thank you and PJ for posting so much food for thought. I am honored and a bit embarrassed that you include me among other contributors. Jong-Soung

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