An Apology and a First for Via Lucis (Dennis Aubrey)


Via Lucis has moving moving in such stops and starts for the last few years, mainly because of illness and our move to Ohio, but since Spring when we photographed for seven weeks in Europe, it seemed that we were back on track – plenty of new material, a book on Cross-Tipped Churches. Suddenly, about three months ago, things stopped completely as illness struck again. This time it was a bit more serious – I was diagnosed with cancer and have been dealing with the illness itself as well as treatment protocols. Treatments will be completed in about two months, and hopefully there will be enough energy to keep working during this time. I am feeling better – most of which I attribute to my holistic practioner who has been of enormous assistance.

Abbaye Notre Dame de Fontenay, Fontenay (Côte-d’Or) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

The first for Via Lucis is a magnificent post on a Belgian Romanesque church, the Collégiale Sainte-Gertrude de Nivelles by Jong-Soung Kimm. This is another wonderful example of how his architectural sensibility can be brought to bear on a description of the church. He actually sent this post to me over a month ago, and in trying to publish it, I made so many errors that it was a mess. Finally straightened it out today – I had put photographs from a different church into the post and didn’t realize it! No wonder I made a mess of it. Anyway, errors corrected, please read the post.

45 responses to “An Apology and a First for Via Lucis (Dennis Aubrey)

    • Thank you, John. Am feeling surprisingly good lately and it is terrific to have the energy to actually work. Of course, I try to ignore the hideous politics here in the USA, which would suck the life out of a healthy person!

  1. Wishing you all the best! Hope that your health and strength will return and that you and yours will visit many more magnificent places in the days to come.

  2. No! This was not good to hear. I’ve wondered where you’ve been. We all want you to recover and tell us more about Romanesque churches. French ones in particular… But thanks for asking Jong-Soung Kimm to write some posts. These are good, especially as a comparison of German and French churches. (And Belgian).

    • Trish, thanks so much. I am confident in my recovery. As for Jong-Soung, he has been so generous- I have never needed to ask and he steps up. We are all so lucky for his contributions!

  3. I hope all goes well for you Dennis, and that you feel better quickly. I’ve dealt with the nasty C myself, I was fortunate as it was small, contained and I did not need anything but surgery. I have been and will continue to keep you and P.J. in my prayers.

    • Aquila, my friend, thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I knew that you had experienced this in the past and am glad that you are recovered. My hope is that in two months I will look back with the same confidence. PJ and I both send you our best greetings.

    • Bob, so nice to hear from you again. Would much rather discussing a trumeau rather than illness, but I’ll settle for this! Best wishes for the Christmas season, which speeds closer every hour!

  4. Hope you have a speedy recovery. You have been missed. I had my right hand reconstructed surgically a year ago and am just now back to being able to photograph and use a computer with any dexterity. Best to you always.

    • Mike, it seems like it has been a year for me, so it is hard to imagine how difficult it must be for you. Thanks for the encouragement. You, as so many others in the Via Lucis world, brighten my day with your thoughts.

  5. Dennis, it was good to see Via Lucis in my inbox after a long silence. Kay and my prayers are with you and PJ during this time of treatment. Love you both. Grace and Peace to our favorite photographers and chef!

    • Thank you, Dominique. Please send my greetings to all of our AFC friends to thank them. In a couple of months I hope to be back at work with you all. Have a wonderful Christmas season!

  6. Dennis, in the late few weeks I have visited some Romanesque churches here in Spain. In every occasion I took my camera with me (always in “auto” program) with the aim of getting perfect pictures in order to produce “the perfect post”. I coveted to emulate (somehow) Via Lucis’ awesome art, mastery and sensitivity, but… impossible job. I couldn’t even take one single shot. I know it is difficult to believe, but the truth is that every Romanesque corbel and capital I’ve stumbled upon told me (very angry) that they are on strike. They won’t allow me or any other aficionado to take pictures in their Romanesque realm. All of them know that P.J. and you will visit them sooner and later, armed with your equipment, your art, your mastery and your sensitivity. Until that moment arrives, they stand ready to attack ferociously anyone who dared to use a camera in front of them. So, please, Dennis, hurry up: a speedy recovery is mandatory! The Romanesque crew is waiting for you!

    I wish you all the best, my friend.

    • Dear Covetotop, I am so sorry to hear about the strike by the capitals and corbels. They are, as we all know, capricious and jealous of their hard-won privileges. I cannot, however, believe, that they would not accommodate the great Covetotop. I will send a message to them all with a solemn and respectful request that they allow at least you to photograph.

  7. Historically, affirmatively, aesthetically…your photo of Fontenay above says everything we know about you, Dennis. You are a survivor!!!

  8. Dear Dennis,

    I am so sorry to hear your health issue. and sincerely wish and hope the issues would turn out as positive and healthy stage again soon.

    Your website is more valuable than any other physical publications on the subject of Romanesque art and ,especially, architecture. I can’t believe not only your hard working but the passion with professional standard quality and real hardcore substances which you can’t find from any other sources. This subject is one of my best & favorite period of architecture.

    I admire you and express my sincere respect together with your partner PJ.

    Best wishes for the Seasons and a very Happy & Healthy New Year 2108.
    I look forward to having your news. Prof. Kim is my senior friend.

    Eonuh Rhee (London)

    • Eonuh, I appreciate your kind words so much. My health is actually far better than I would have been expected and we hope for an excellent result.

      As far as our work at Via Lucis, it is a consuming passion for both PJ and myself. She and I are both looking forward to our next visit to France and Spain, hopefully in Fall 2018.

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