The Church of Saint Peter in Chains (Dennis Aubrey)

Following our post on the newly restored Notre Dame du Port in Clermont-Ferrand, PJ and I decided to feature an unrestored church in Burgundy. The 12th century Église Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens in Varenne-l’Arconce is quite beautiful but is unfortunately in poor condition and in need of restoration. The name of the church translates to “Saint Peter in […]

Unadorned Romanesque – Malay (Dennis Aubrey)

There are many examples of the wonderful adornment in Romanesque churches – the sculpture of the capitals, the tympana, the frescoes, and even the painted churches themselves. Particularly in the Cluniac churches, the adornment of churches was so prevalent that Bernard of Clairvaux felt constrained to rail against the practice. In his “Apologia” to William, […]

A New Podcast – the Val d’Aran

In the Middle Ages, there were areas in Europe that existed in an isolation almost inconceivable today. In the center of the Pyrénées, just south to the current border of Spain, is a small east-west valley tucked into the mountains. During the winter snows, the valley is almost completely inaccessible. But in that valley there […]

The Saint and the Simpleton (Dennis Aubrey)

There are so many wonderful stories and legends associated with the churches we photograph in France, but none is more pleasing than that of Saint Menulphe and his friend, the Simpleton of Mailly-sur-Rose, a town in the Allier. Menulphe was the son of an Irish king and very devout. He traveled to England, Brittany and […]

The Woods of Our Lady (Dennis Aubrey)

So often we find glorious Romanesque churches in the smallest villages of France, often remnants of a remote abbey with a village that grew up around it. Sometimes we see modest parish churches that have survived a thousand years. And other times we find something a little more surprising, a small village that once had […]

A New Podcast – Throne of Wisdom

One of our most popular exhibitions is that showing the vierges romanes. These Throne of Wisdom madonnas are captivating and powerful iconographic images of the Romanesque era. Most of these are small (30 inch/76 centimeters), polychrome wooden statues from the 12th and 13th centuries. The Sedes Sapientiae(“Throne of Wisdom”) is an icon of the Mother […]

A New Podcast – Painted Romanesque

We are all accustomed to see Romanesque and Gothic churches with their austere bone-white pillars, walls, and vaulting and assume this look was the intent of the builders. When modern churches in the classical style are built, they usually follow this aesthetic guideline. The truth is that the medieval churches were often brightly painted with […]