Color and Saint Austremoine (PJ McKey)


Every time we visit Saint Astremoine in Issoire, I cannot help but think of the impression it must of made in times less cluttered by man-made visual stimuli. This year during our visit I found myself in the south side of the ambulatory transfixed by the riot of patterns and color. I always try to capture what I’m experiencing but inevitably fall short. The camera can’t capture my emotional response to certain colors, to being surrounded in this place.

South side aisle, Basilique Saint Austremoine, Issoire (Puy de Dôme) Photo by PJ McKey

Saint Austremoine is joyous. The colors sing and there is nothing somber or fearful. This is a church that can only be experienced.

Ambulatory, Basilique Saint Austremoine, Issoire (Puy de Dôme) Photo by PJ McKey

A trip into the crypt really felt like a descent into harder times. It evokes the seriousness of a martyr’s death and the burden of man striving for the light.

Crypt, Basilique Saint Austremoine, Issoire (Puy de Dôme) Photo by PJ McKey

It was pure relief to go ascend into the church and emerge once again in the land of the living color.

Basilique Saint Austremoine, Issoire (Puy de Dôme) Photo by PJ McKey

If you are interested in a previous post on this church, follow this link.

Location: 45.543522° 3.250213°

5 responses to “Color and Saint Austremoine (PJ McKey)

  1. It might deserve mention that the inerior polychrome is based on an 1859 “restoration”. I certainly am no polychrome-denier, but I don’t believe for a minute that it ever looked this garish in the day.

    • Kalli, how foolish that I never looked up your site before until I saw that you were a painter of murals. I went to the site today but it won’t load. Am I doing something wrong?

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