The Artist (PJ McKey)


During the Romanesque period the arts were pressed into service by the church as a medium of mass-communication with which to address an ever-increasing but largely illiterate public. The teachings of the church, the hierarchy of society, and the relationship of the church and the secular world provided subject the subject matter. But that said, […]

The Survivors of History (PJ McKey)


There is an extensive strip of land in the north of France looks oddly new. This is unusual in a country that has been settled for thousands of years and bears that history still in its everyday surroundings. We can see the physical remains of Celts, Gauls, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs even before the medieval […]

Faces of the Romanesque (PJ McKey)


I have found many faces in the Romanesque. They look out at you from corners, capitals, naves, portals and cloisters. Made of stone or wood, they give the churches an immediate human dimension. Occasionally I see one that looks like someone I know.

Stone and Light (PJ McKey)


I’ve come to understand that it’s not really the churches we photograph. We really try to photograph the light. It’s the light that creates the spaces as it plays across the surface of the stone.

Lights along the way (PJ McKey)


Traveling in France can always be expensive, but there is one expense that I never regret. My candle budget is huge. My pockets are always full of change. Candles are everywhere in most of these churches and like many others before me, I have a lot of blessings to ask for. Protection and happiness for […]

Getting the shot (PJ McKey)


Photographs are elusive. They are images, moments seen or missed, teasing at the corners of our consciousness. Once you find them and know they are there they must be captured and this is where Dennis’ style differs so completely from mine. Our photography of the the Romanesque churches is a bit like a safari. There […]

The Two Madonnas (PJ McKey)


Looking to photograph their Vierge Romane, we first went to Eglise Saint Anne in Heume L’Eglise in May 2006. It was love at first sight. On a cool, grey, rainy spring day we finally found this small country church sitting in the middle of a few farm houses and barns, kept company only by the […]

Gofridus me fecit (PJ McKey)


One incredible feature of Romanesque art in all forms is the fact that the creators are, for the most part, anonymous. No headlines, no public tributes or fame acknowledge their skill and accomplishments. It was enough to create for the greater glory and love of God. The capital sculpture in the churches offers a clear […]

Crossing the Threshold (PJ McKey)


Nowhere is the passage of humanity more apparent than in the worn stone thresholds and weathered wooden doors of these churches. I am fascinated by these entrances, these invitations. First, I am always struck by the contrast of the wood against the frame of stone. Wood is a vulnerable humble medium, prey to disease and […]