Three Vierges in the Auvergne (Dennis Aubrey)


Besides having a wealth of Romanesque churches, the Auvergne is also rich in our beloved vierges romanes. In the last couple of days we’ve seen three, including a revisit to Notre Dame de Chauriat, one of our favorites.

Notre Dame de Chauriat, Église Saint-Julien de Chauriat, Chauriat (Puy-de-Dôme)  Photo by Dennis Aubrey

Notre Dame de Chauriat, Église Saint-Julien de Chauriat, Chauriat (Puy-de-Dôme) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

In the tiny pilgrimage Chapelle Saint-Roch-de-Montbonnet near Bains in the Haute-Loire we found a nice 13th century statue. She seems well attended as there are pilgrims at the chapel almost all of the time.

Notre Dame de Montboonnet, Chapelle Saint-Roch-de-Montbonnet, Bains (Haute-Loire)  Photo by Dennis Aubrey

Notre Dame de Montboonnet, Chapelle Saint-Roch-de-Montbonnet, Bains (Haute-Loire) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

Our big find for this trip is the famous Notre Dame de Courpière. She was stolen from her church, the Église Saint-Martin de Courpière, in 2007, but was recently recovered, restored, and replaced in her home. She is exquisite, rivaling even Notre Dame d’Heume and Notre Dame d’Estours as the most exquisite renditions of the Virgin in this type of wood sculpture.

Notre Dame de Courpière, Église Saint-Martin de Courpière, Courpière (Puy-de-Dôme)  Photo by Dennis Aubrey

Notre Dame de Courpière, Église Saint-Martin de Courpière, Courpière (Puy-de-Dôme) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

It is such a good feeling to be back in France and finding these beautiful discoveries throughout the countryside. The weather has been perfect and the churches quiet. Via Lucis could not be happier!

10 responses to “Three Vierges in the Auvergne (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. How very beautiful! Thank you so much. The tone of your descriptions reflects your joy to have returned to your beloved France. I hope your stay is the best ever.

  2. Such beauties, I’m glad I don’t have to chose a favorite, they’re all special, each in a different way. Notre Dame d’Estours looks like a girl who used to go to the same elementary school I did, she became a nun later in life. Glad you’re both having a wonderful time.

  3. Dennis,
    I am so glad to learn that ND de Courpière has been recovered ! Your photo is splendid and reflects perfectly the madonna’s characteristic features.
    I never had an opportunity to take a shot of the vierge de Rochebonnet while I lived in Auvergne. I do like it…
    By the way : picture after picture, and especially in the rich auvergnat fund, anyone can see how fundamental is their polychromy, laying aside all the mythical nonsense about “black madonnas”, originated by later artefacts. I intend to write about it…
    Albert

    • Albert, Notre Dame de Courpière is magnificent, has become one of our favorites. We would love your post on Black Madonnas, by the way. There is so much nonsense written about them. BTW, your translation is wonderful. Will publish that in a couple of weeks when I return and can make some photo selections. Thank you so much for that. Our best to Monique!

  4. I have family in the little village of Chauriat, & the first part of my stay is a walk down the street to visit this beautiful “vierge assise”. Mille mercis for sharing your exquisite photos & your love for these icons! Bon joyeux voyage!

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